JOSÉ BEDIA (b. 1959)
Doce cuchillos
signed and dated 'Bedia, 83' (lower right)
acrylic and pastel on heavy paper
30 x 20 in. (76.2 x 50.8 cm.)
Executed in 1983.
Ángel Romero Gallery, Madrid.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
A. Chicuri, et al., Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Farber Collection, 2007, p. 49 (illustrated in color).
"Obras de artistas cubanos en importante muestra sobre el Caribe organizada por museos de Nueva York," Cubaencuentro, June 2012, (illustrated in color). Accessed on 1/11/2024:
R. Díaz Casas, "Recap and Analysis: 'The Volume One Generation' at CIFO," THE ARCHIVE Cuban Art News, June 2016, (illustrated in color). Accessed 1/11/2024:,
C. Hernández, Desafiando el canon: el arte contemporáneo en Venezuela (prácticas e instituciones), 2023, p. 249 (illustrated in color).
Havana, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Pequeño salón, Persistencia del uso: José Bedia Valdés, instalaciones y dibujos, 1984.
New York, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, June-October 2012.
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Lot Essay

"The present work was the study for an installation I created for a solo exhibition titled Persistencia del uso at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana, Cuba in 1984. The installation was also my submission and one of three works, I showed in the 1st Bienal of La Habana in [May-June] 1984. The work deals with my constant search and study of anthropological meanings, in this case, focusing on the knife as a basic form and primordial tool of mankind. It was all fabricated by hand by me, and each of the "blades" represented in the work were made from diverse materials like bone, shell, different types of wood, metal, copper, iron, and even recycled glass. The "blades" were affixed with asphalt to the wooden handles and the text alluded to a simple explanation, like a hypothetical professor writing on a blackboard explaining its ingredients. Since then, I have used cursive (or Palmer) calligraphy in my work. Unfortunately, the installation was lost in Cuba, but this initial drawing exists and captures the same concept."

- José Bedia, 2024

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