In 2013, Robert Rowen of Nuance Galleries, 804 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, purchased a collection of several hundred works by 20th century Cuban artists. The art had previously been lent by a collector to the Meridian International Center, which works with the State Department on cultural exchanges and traveling exhibitions. • Because the collection is so large and varied, Rowen can't exhibit much of it at one time, so he periodically pulls a selection together for a show. • All of the artists are from Oriente, Cuba's historic area on the eastern part of the island. It's one of the earliest Cuban settlements, with its capital, Santiago de Cuba, founded in 1514. The 15 artists in the collection range in age from their 40s to their 90s. One has died, and several have had to leave Cuba. Most focus on their country and issues they have with it. They tend toward realism rather than conceptual approaches, though they take great latitude with it, as you can see in the two examples shown. • The exhibition continues through Sept. 1. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free. nuancegalleries.com or (813) 875-0511.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic