Revolution Is an Abstraction

  • Installation view at Aichi Triennale 2019
    Revolution Is an Abstraction, 2019
    Photo: Takeshi Hirabayashi

This installation is made up of two giant sculptures, and multiple concrete paintings displayed on the wall. The sculpture that sits on the floor in the foreground, and the fingers of two giant hands that come out of the ceiling in the back, are both 1:1 replicas of monuments that actually exist in Russia. From the explanatory notes on the glass wall the visitor can guess the astonishing dimensions of these monuments.
Displayed on the wall on the other side are paintings of slogans and images cut out from propaganda posters made by avant-garde artists in Soviet-era Russia.
These works were created based on scrupulous research, against the backdrops of monuments and icons as products of history. They symbolically point out such things as the erection of giant monuments aiming to enhance the prestige of a nation established through revolution, and facts that have been utilized as efficiently expressive means of propaganda. The title "Revolution Is an Abstraction" refers to the irony in the way the utopian dreams that initially inspired people in the early days of the revolution have lost their concreteness, and turned into rather abstract ideas.

Reynier Leyva NOVO

  • Born 1983 in Havana, Cuba
  • Based in Havana, Cuba

Reynier Leyva Novo carefully examines official documents to create photographs, videos, and installations about a people and history that have started to be forgotten in Cuba, a country in the process of change. In his minimalist piece El peso de la muerte (The Weight of Death), Novo melted down bullets and converted them into a series of weights, conceptually questioning the weight of life. He deconstructed myth and history with his piece A Happy Day FC, in which he erased the figures of leaders such as Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro from archive photographs, evoking our imagination in relation to these past events. Novo's work looks critically at ideology and power, elegantly confronting us with past violence and history.

Selected Works & Awards

2018 Going Away Closer: Japan-Cuba Contemporary Art Exhibition, Spiral Garden, Tokyo, Japan
2018 Going Away Closer: Japan-Cuba Contemporary Art Exhibition, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba
2017 57th Venice Biennale, Cuba Pavillion, Venice, Italy
2015 12th Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba
2012 11th Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba
2010 Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK


Toyota Municipal Museum of Art


8-5-1, Kozakahonmachi, Toyota, Aichi


Admission until
30 minutes
before closing


Mondays (Except for National Holidays)


・15 minutes on foot from Toytashi Station on the Meitetsu Mikawa Line or Shin-Toyota Station on the Aichi Loop Railway.
・10 minutes on foot from Bijutsukan-kita Bus Stop on the Meitetsu Bus.
・Approximately 10 minutes from the Toyota I.C. of the Tomei Expressway.
・Approximately 15 minutes from the Matsudaira I.C. of the Tokai-Kanjo Expressway.
・Approximately 20 minutes from the Toyota Higashi I.C. of the Tokai-Kanjo Expressway.