“It was all still so fresh, during that phase of realisation and coming to terms with it all – that it really is open, you really are free for the first time.”

Interview 2021

Teresa Casanueva was born in Havana (Cuba) in 1963. She moved to East Germany in 1985 to study art and later moved to Berlin. After the fall of the Wall, she saw the international East Side Gallery project as a symbol of Berlin becoming open to the world. Her untitled painting is about overcoming boundaries, space, time, or any kind of restriction.

Teresa Casanueva in the interview

On her painting

Who is Teresa Casanueva?

Painting action in 1990: International symbol of the fall of the Wall

What makes the East Side Gallery unique?

Communist dictatorship in Cuba

A Cuban in the GDR

How did you get involved in the East Side Gallery?

How did the fall of the Wall affect your residence status in the GDR?

"The East Side Gallery is…"

Casanueva did not give a title to her painting on the Wall. It shows a detail of several irregular columns resembling branches. Each one looks different and seems to grow upwards and downwards beyond the picture plane. With her Wall painting, the artist aimed to portray the overcoming not only of the Wall but also of space, time, and any kind of restriction.

Teresa Casanueva, 2021
Teresa Casanueva, 2021

Casanueva enrolled to study in Havana in 1983 before gaining the opportunity to study art in Europe. In 1985 she was offered a place on an art course in Burg in Halle (DDR). She was on vacation in Cuba on 9 November 1989, when the Wall fell. Fearing she would not be able to leave Cuba anymore, she returned to Halle and decided to stay in Germany and complete her studies. Since 2010 she has lived in Berlin, where she works as a visual artist.

all artworks