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Museum director Natalie Bondil said that this is the first time North has received so many works that tell the visual arts history of such an "extraordinary country" like Cuba.

More than a 100 paintings, a similar number of posters, 200 photographs and documents, sculptures, installations, videos, film excerpts and music comprise the exhibition with works loaned by Havanas Museum of Fine Arts, the Cuban photographic library and other cultural institutions on the island as well as the New York Museum of Modern Art.

"Never has such a big exposition taken place outside of Cuba," said Moraima Clavijo, director of the Havana Museum of Fine Arts.

One of the exhibition's centerpieces is a massive, 55-square-meter mural created in 1967 by 100 artists from different countries. The Collective Mural of the Salon de Mai was created in Havana, the night of July 17 during an important international visual arts event. It is the first time it has been exhibited outside Cuba, since 1968.

The works of Wilfredo Lam, Marcelo Pogolotti, Jorge Arche and Rene Portocarrero are among those drawing considerable attention; likewise the graphics of Alfredo Rostgaard and Eduardo Munoz Bachs and the mixed-media creations of young artists the Los Carpinteros duo and Alexis Leyva (Kcho).

The Montreal museum has published a 424-page hard-cover catalogue about the history of Cuban art covered by the exhibition available in French and English with a Spanish edition on the way.


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