Glexis Novoa was born in Holguín, Cuba, in 1964 into a mulatto-mestizo household. His family moved to Havana before he was one-year-old, where he was exposed to the arts from an early age through his maternal family’s extensive artistic heritage. His father, although with a short career, influenced by Clyfford Still, was an innovator of abstract art in Cuba in the early 60s. His mother and main role model is a renowned Cuban writer.
In 1983, while still a student, Novoa won a national honor in a competition among well-known professional artists. In 1984 he obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts’ degree as engraver and draftsman at the National School of Art in Havana. In 1987 he held his first solo exhibition at the legendary Galería Habana and also exhibited the first kinetic and sonorous engraving in the history of Cuban art. By the second half of the 1980s, Novoa had developed an articulated professional career, becoming one of the most radical influences on the vibrant local art scene known as “The 1980s Cuban Art Revival.” He was invited to the III Havana Biennial in 1989 with a conceptual pictorial installation. He was one of the founders of the Provisional group, pioneers of performance, political activism and collectivist strategies.
After experiencing a period of institutional tensions during the first half of the 1990s, Novoa began to extend periods in Mexico. In 1995 he moved with his family to Miami, where he currently lives and works. He has been sharing his time working in Havana and Miami since 2013, as well as producing site-specific wall drawings and ephemeral projects around the world that exist on the border between ephemeral art and architecture. Recurrently focusing on architecture of power and social politics as the main subject.
Novoa has had solo shows at, Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables; Cheekwood Museum, Nashville; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester; Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Indiana; National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, among others. His works have been included in group exhibitions at the Today Art Museum, Beijing; Queens Museum, New York; Art Museum of the Americas, Washington; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Ludwig Forum für International Kunst, Aachen; Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Trento; Reina Sofía National Museum, Madrid; Perez Art Museum in Miami; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City; Center for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona; Center d’art Contemporary Passerelle, Brest; Musée des Beaux-arts de Rennes among many others. Novoa has been honored with awards including Creator Award Winner, Oolite Arts, Miami; Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, New York; Grant from the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami; Cintas Fellowship Award, New York among others. He has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Unlimited Residency, New York; McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, among others. Novoa’s work has been acquired by prestigious collections, including: Adrastus, Arévalo; American Express, Minneapolis; Wilfredo Lam Center, Havana; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami; Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Atlanta; Lehigh University Art Galleries, Bethlehem; Lowe Museum, Coral Gables; Ludwig Forum Fur Internationale Kunst, Aachen; National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Nassau County Museum of Art, Long Island; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York, among many others.