Lesbia Vent Dumois (Cienfuegos, Cuba 1932)
Lesbia has been part of the vanguard of the island’s cultural life in the visual arts as an artist, teacher and gallerist from the early days of the revolution in 1959. She is a founding member and the current president of the visual arts section of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC). Her creativity spans engraving, painting and drawing but she is also one of Cuba’s foremost ambassadors of the visual arts, representing the island in countless international cultural forums.
Vent Dumois attended art school in Santa Clara, in central Cuba, where she learned woodcut techniques. In 1961 she studied lithography in Prague on a UNESCO fellowship. Upon her return to Havana, the work of this artist revealed a passionate interest in the emancipation of women, sometimes painted in a colourful, bold, expressionist style with humour and satire. As Lourdes Prieto, a filmmaker documenting the life of the artist put it, “Lesbia,” she said, opened “a dream world that unfolded before my eyes, a personal mythology, where all sorts of angels and fantastic characters reveal an exuberant imagination”.
In more recent years, she has explored techniques associated with the occupation of her mother who was a seamstress. Using ribbons, sequins, and buttons, her work has been described as ‘a spontaneous reflection of a cluster of practices, customs, culture and stories’ with a universal meaning which is ‘alien to gender, trends or fashion.’
A winner of numerous prestigious awards and honours throughout her career, Vent Dumois has exhibited in a number of Latin American countries and elsewhere including France, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Poland, Portugal, Russia, the UK and the US.