An artist stretches out a large piece of fabric on the clean stream of a river. Using a paddle, she hits the fabric against the mass of water, Tireless and energetic she torments the virgin canvas, subjecting it to a long process of washing and recomposition of its internal structure. The procedure leaves permanent traces. Finally, a tapestry has taken shape. Through its scars seep water, light, dust and air: the most ungraspable and subtle forms of nature and, at the same time, the cardinal axes of life. Cerviño works cannot be analysed without mentioning these axes, on which her conceptual work is affirmed, and that constitute the essential materials which sustain her discourse.
To materialise her works she has relied on supports as diverse as her body, a graphite plaque, alabaster, a garden creeper, this short review aims at pointing out how she has subverted the use of such a conventional and ancient material as canvas. When she started her cycle of works on canvas, she recontexualized the classical function of the pictorial support demonstrating that it has within itself an active and unexpected existence full of plastic quality. Though this perspective, she found ways to reverse the unchanging traits imposed on it by tradition, for which it would always be a simple structural surface. Terms such as religious, orientalistic, contemplative, have often been invoked to describe her works. Elizabet Cerviño’s messages have been conveyed, on countless occasions, with mud, water, and clay; her own conceptualism, are intimately linked with poetry.
Elizabet Cerviño was born in 1986 in Manzanillo (Cuba). She lives and works in Havana.Some of her most important solo exhibitions include: Mónadas (2018), Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy. Na (2017), Arte Continua, Havana, Cuba. Pausa (2017), La Columnata, Lima, Perú. Paisaje a 360º (2014), Galería Villa Manuela, Havana, Cuba. Hálitos (2013), Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana, Cuba.
Her collective exhibitions comprise: Remnants (2018), Green Gallery, Dubai, UAE. Ola Cuba (2018), Lille 3000, Gare Saint Sauveur, Lille, France. La tierra dada (2018), Pabellón Cuba, Havana, Cuba. ¿Cómo está el agua? (2018), Arte Continua, Havana, Cuba. On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection (2017), Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida, USA. ¿soy Cuba? (2017), Palazzina dei Bagni Misteriosi, Milan, Italy. Cuba mi Amor (2017), Les Moulins, Galleria Continua, France. South-South (2017), Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa. Intersecciones: Havana/Portland (2016), Galería Hoffman, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, USA. Anclados en el Territorio (2015), Arte Continua, Havana, Cuba. Muestra central 12na Bienal de La Habana, Cuba. RIAP. 18ème Édition, Rencontre Internationale d’Art Performance (2014), Quebec, Canada. Para quebrar los muros (2013), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Arte Cubano, Cuba.