Rolando Duartes is a Cuban painter, graphic artist, ceramist, video producer, and teacher. Throughout his decades-long career, the artist used a variety of materials to explore numerous art genres such as conceptual, abstract and figurative art. By using earthy colors, vivid brushstrokes and at times human forms the artist is continuously trying to portray numerous hardships like poverty, oppression, loneliness and the way people cope with it.
Rolando Duartes Rensoli studied Art History at the University of Havana, but the artist also graduated graphic design after which he temporarily made a shift from the art world and went to postgraduate studies in Ergonomics and Architecture. The artist started his career in his native Cuba where he had his first solo exhibition. Rolando Duartes worked for 17 years as a graphic designer with the National Theater in Havana, producing art posters to promote the theater’s major productions. In 1997 Rolando Duartes first visited Europe when he attended the artist residence in Bornholm, Denmark. After several group exhibitions held in Europe (mostly Denmark and Sweden), the artist decided to permanently change continents and finally settled in Switzerland where he lives today.
The Cuban artist works in a variety of styles and media and his art is known to deal with an abundance of topics. In the past, the artist created figurative works depicting portraits of both famous and ordinary people. Sometimes painted as individuals other times portrayed in groups the human characters visible in each piece evoke a sense of serenity and familiarity. Later on, the artist has begun to create abstract works using fast, conspicuous brushstrokes and a rich color pallet to experiment with both colors and compositions. Ranging from simple minimalist monochromatic works to complex colorful compositions the artist managed to create a variety of pieces continuously pushing the boundaries of abstract art.
Conceptual art also makes up for a part of the artist’s repertoire as he uses innovative ideas to confront or attack predominant notions in the society. Rolando Duartes’ conceptual works usually deal with the times of war, peace, democracy and ecology. The artist clever juxtapositions and unavoidable sense of humor are certain to provoke a response from the viewers and encourage them to contemplate their predetermined beliefs. The artist always believed that art can help people deal with a variety of problems. When he first arrived in Denmark he became aware of the high suicide rates in this country and begun to create his therapeutic paintings that were aimed to help people deal with their depression and go through the hard times. Rolando Duartes’ artworks were on view in numerous galleries and museums in Switzerland and abroad.
The artist is represented by Art Acacia.
Featured Image: Rolando Duartes – Portrait
Images courtesy of Art Acacia
|2017||INFINITE VISION||Kronen Galerie, Zurich||Solo|
|2017||Jury exhibition||ARTISCHOCK. Zurich,||Group|
|2016||Disturb vs Comfort. Context and Perception||Zurich University of Arts, Toni Areal||Group|
|2016||Handle with care||Ortsmuseum, Meilen||Group|
|2015||Swiss contemporary abstract||Galeria Rossi en Ginebra desde||Group|
|2015||Exposición con motivo de la celebración de los dias de la Paz en||Lucerna, Suiza||Solo|
|2015||Artischock Ausstellung||Galerie im Höchhhuus, Küsnacht||Group|
|2013||ExpoTranskultur 2013||GZ Seebach||Group|
|1996||Fiat Lux||1622 Chestnut St Gallery, A.I., Philadelphia||Group|
|1987||Habitat||National Theatre in Havana||Solo|