The Bass presents AbsenceRevealed, an exhibition featuring a new series of works by experimental photo-based artist Maria Martínez-Cañas on view through October 23, 2022.


The new works forming the series Absence Revealed came about through two different personal events in the artist's life: the loss of her mother and the finding of her home's original 1920's wallpaper while renovating. The works highlight physical and emotional processes of excavation: the act of revealing and uncovering, as well as the surfacing of pain, loss, and absence. Martínez-Cañas created these works by collaging items from her personal archive of found objects, actively engaging with ideas of memory and loss. Using materials that the artist's mother had taken from Cuba during her exile in 1960, the works re-arrange personal stories, often complicating her understanding of her personal history.

By objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations, Martínez-Cañas increases the dynamic relationship between the viewer and the artist. The artist notes, "By experimenting with different and unconventional processes, I reflect on the closely related subjects of archive and memory. This often results in an examination of both the human need for conclusive stories and the question of whether anecdotes fictionalize history."

Maria Martínez-Cañas was born in 1960 in Cuba. Her family moved to Miami when she was three months old and later then to Puerto Rico in 1964. She had her first exhibition in 1977, Reflejos, at Galería Casa Aboy in San Juan. She graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography in 1982 and two years later earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Martínez-Cañas had her first solo museum show in 1983, María Martínez-Cañas: Photographs at the Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico. In 1985 She received a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to photograph and conduct research in Spain, using archival sources such as historical maps and documents from the Archivo de Indias in Seville and Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid to inspire the creation of negatives based on Cuban maps. She returned to the United States in 1986 and has since settled in Miami.


María Martínez-Cañas: Absence Revealed

Until October 23, 2022

The Bass

Miami Beach, FL.

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