The 13th Havana Biennial Returns to Cuba

Toronto – March 21, 2019 – The 13th Havana Biennial, Cuba’s largest visual arts event, will return to the island’s capital from April 12 to May 12, 2019 with the theme La Construcción de lo Posible (The Construction of the Possible). This year the month-long event also coincides with the 500-year anniversary of Havana.



Originally postponed due to damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017, the 13th edition of the Biennial will expand beyond Havana for the first time since its inception in 1984, with artist projects located across the country including Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus, and Camagüey. Cuba is expected to welcome more than 230 creators from nearly 50 participating countries primarily in Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Roughly 70 local artists will represent Cuba, including Cuban National Art Award winners Manuel Mendive and René Francisco Rodríguez. Younger emerging Cuban artists include Rocío García, Adonis Flores, Frank Martínez, Kadir López, Tamara Campo, and Luis Gárciga.


“We are delighted to welcome the international art world to Cuba for our country’s most important art event,” said Eloy Govea, director of the Cuba Tourist Board of Canada. “The Havana Biennial transforms our capital city into a cultural installation, in which the public can interact with artists and experience breathtaking art, culture, music and cuisine.”


In Havana, dozens of cultural organizations are taking part, from the Biennial’s home base at the Wilfredo Lam Center to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Factoría Habana, the Pabellón Cuba, and Galería Villa Manuela.


Timed to coincide with the Biennial, the Italy-based international art gallery Galleria Continua has announced plans to open “El País del Arte,” a multidisciplinary art space created in collaboration with the Cuban government, an anonymous collector, and Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, who is represented by the gallery.


About the Havana Biennial:


The Havana Biennial was conceived in 1984 by the Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center as an event for artists, instead of collectors. Since then, it has gained importance as a meeting place and platform for artists from Latin America and other developing countries. It has stimulated work that reflects on and transforms the role of the visual arts in a polarized world, culturally segregated and dominated by the supremacy of the market.


Taking place in the spring of 2019, the thirteenth edition of the Havana Biennial suggests new paths of collective reasoning between the public, place, and levels of experience with the theme of La Construcción de lo Posible (The Construction of the Possible). Along with responding to the present, artists and works will present notions of the future that respond to society’s need for social transformation. Can art involve a new social dimension and serve as a model for new sustainability structures? Creators, curators, experts, and institutions will come together to examine and respond to these themes and more.


About the Cuba Tourist Board:


The Cuba Tourist Board represents Cuba internationally as a vacation destination. Known for the warmth and friendliness of its people, spectacular beaches and reliable climate, the Cuba Tourism Board is responsible for providing leadership and awareness of Cuba’s extensive tourism offerings. Not only does Cuba have some of the most spectacular beaches in the Caribbean but it is a destination rich in culture, history and leisure activities. The Cuba Tourism Board showcases the spirit of Cuba and the wonderful opportunities the country has to offer. For more information, visit www.gocuba.ca.