Bringing New Art to Old Havana: A Q&A with Dealer Concha Fontenla

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— In Old Havana, where bright-hued colonial balustrades are a more common sight than white-cube galleries, the nonprofit Factoría Habana art space is something of an anomaly. Opened last December in a majestic warehouse on a back street far removed from the neighborhood's main tourist corridor, the gallery is the project of founding director Concha Fontenla, a native of Galicia, Spain, who curates a diverse program alternating foreign contemporary art with work by local artists like Lázaro Saavedra, Sandra Ramos, and René Francisco. (The art program is also occasionally interspersed with extra-curatorial events, such as Havana’s Street Dance Festival, which filled the gallery with dancers on roller skates.)

The 1,250-square-meter space is spread over three floors of an early-20th-century industrial building that has been impeccably restored by the Office of the Historian of Havana, which layered a spare renovation over the bones of the original structure — all under Fontenla’s watchful eye. ARTINFO sat down with the gallery director, who also runs the commercial gallery Factoría Compostela in Santiago de Compostela....

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