New in the Galleries: 101-year-old Cuban artist Carmen Herrera explores the possibilities of geometric abstraction in her painting “Beacon II” (2016). Though this work’s crisp lines and contrasting planes of color might seem simple, Herrera, who trained as an architect at the Universidad de la Habana, creates the illusion of depth by converging the red triangles just off the center of the canvas. This contradiction between flatness and depth creates a spatial tension that allows Herrera to challenge the geometry of her canvas.  

“Beacon II,” 2016, by Carmen Herrera (Promised gift of Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman)

La Lupe is a Cuban singer known as the Queen of Latin Soul and for her energetic, sometimes controversial, performances. She sang in various musical genres and styles, such as boleros, guarachas, merengue, bomba, boogaloo, and in particular Latin Soul. Lupe released her first album, “Con El Diablo en El Cuerpo” (“With the Devil Inside”) in 1960. Her first television appearance on Puerto Rican television caused a stir due to her frenzied, vibrant performance, which reportedly shocked some viewers. Soon after she arrived in New York in 1962, she began singing with orchestras led by Mongo Santamaria and Tito Puente, with whom she recorded a number of hit singles, including “Que Te Pedi.” By the end of the 1960’s, she was a star in her own right, working with Tito Puente and with other bandleaders, and touring the United States and Latin America. She did a wide variety of cover versions in either Spanish or accented English, including “Yesterday”, “Dominique” by The Singing Nun, “Twist & Shout", “Unchained Melody”, “Fever” and “America” from West Side Story. Fred Weinberg, who was her favorite audio engineer, also produced several of her albums. Weinberg called La Lupe “a hurricane” in the studio due to her intense singing and enthusiasm.

Hey friends! This meaningful dedication is from The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis, which is a companion novella to this book i recommended the other day.
The Paths We Choose is a very diverse book that’s culturally sensitive, and has a lot of well-developed female characters, found family feelings, and a lovely wlw romance with the trope “casual to something more”, between a grumpy pink haired Brazilian woman and a bisexual black Cuban artist. It’s my newest book rec for you all. 💖