contemporary art / history of art

Lissette Solórzano

Born in 1969 in Cuba, Lissette Solórzano lives and works in Havana. She studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro (San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts) and at the Instituto Superior Diseño Industrial, ISDI (Higher Institute of Industrial Design) both in Havana. Additionally, she attended the Provincial School of Photography. During her career, Lisette participated in several workshops, masterclasses and residencies for photography and curation, inter alia at the UNEAC (by Lesbia Verdumuois), at the University of Maine in the U.S. (by David Alan Harvey, Stacy Boge and David Wells) and at the Cara and Cabezas Contemporary Gallery, in Kansas City and San Francisco. In addition, she made her Master’s degree in Microsoft at the Universidad Cristóbal Colón (Cristobal Colon University) in Veracruz, Mexico.

In the 1990s, Lisette started to publish her photographs, in specialized magazines in Cuba, the United States and Europe. At that time, her works were mostly in black and white. In 2000, colour entered her images with the series “Malecon”. Though the tints are very discreet with the result that the impression is mostly monochrome. Even in later series, the colours are often muted and subtle, sometimes highlighted with one flashy accent. In contrast, the “Urban Landscapes” from 2007-2009 and more the “D-constructions” from 2017 are in radiant tints

Likewise the colour use, the motifs are discreet. Portrayed people are rarely looking into the camera, just as little as they occupy the direct image centre. Therefore, there is space to depict the environment and with that the atmosphere. In landscape photographs and urban pictures, Lissette focuses on details or choses the section ostensible insignificant. Especially this lack of presence attracts attention. The eye is lost in the emptiness, but finds securement by the embedded lines and fields. Even though, the photos show precise items, the images are often on threshold to abstraction.

Regarding all the photos created by Lisette within the last years, not all the aspects fit in all images at the same time. Sometimes people look in the camera like in the series “Once Upon a Time … A Matrioshka” from 2009. There are exceptions with individuals in the centre of the picture like “El Santero” and “El Pajaro” from the series “Malecon Havana Coastline”. Nevertheless, they are depicted from their back and allow the view to be carried away through the sea. During the XI. Florence Biennale in 2017, the artist was honoured by the Premio Leorenzo il Magnifico for photography, based on these two photos.

Besides, she received several other prizes: in 1994 the “Casa de las Americas”, in 1995 “Tina Modotti” by the Cuban press and in 2005 the National Curatorship Prize for her exhibition and series of the same name “The City of Columns”. The show was first on view in the “Fototeca de Cuba”, later at the Université d’Architecture La Villette in Paris, France and the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. In addition to several personal exhibitions in Cuba – including collateral shows during the four Biennales of Havana – Lissette’s works were shown in Kansas City, U.S., Milan, Italy and Harare, Zimbabwe. She participated in numerous group exhibitions in Cuba, the United States and Mexico, published her works in books and is represented in public and private collections on the American continent.


Artwork of the month / February 2018