Los Carpinteros (est.1991, Cuba)

'Art is not something you do totally on your own' (Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez, Conversation / Interview with Los Carpinteros, 8th Havana Biennal, 2003).

Based between Cuba and Madrid, Los Carpinteros are at the forefront of Latin American and International art and are widely recognized for their artwork, across multiple mediums, that wittily distorts commonplace objects to address the social issues of their native Cuba and today's wider world. Presenting a range of their works that negotiate the space between the functional and the nonfunctional, the gallery will display a series of large-scale drawings that depict edifices and mappings as well as five sculptures, or ‘reading rooms’, which are prototypes for their impressive architectural constructs that have been exhibited around the world. The highly anticipated project exemplifies how Los Carpinteros create conscientious responses to places, spaces and objects, to address how they have been conceived, built, used and abandoned.

Established in 1991, Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés (b. 1971) and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez (b. 1969) came together in Havana as artists who noticed a national artistic brain drain resulting from the 1980s Pax Americana and a crumbling Soviet Union. Wishing to resurge Cuban artistic practice, they came together to discuss, observe and make works. From this initiative their ‘equipo’, or team, was born as they remarked that what they created was a collaboration, which stemmed from their shared ideas and aims. As a collective, they observed and mentally digested the forms and functions of what they saw around them and presented ordinary objects in novel forms that were intelligent and brimming with humour and wit, the idea being to displace the given and alter that which is immediately recognisable.

Their work is featured in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and The Tate Modern, London, among others. Free Basket, a site-specific work commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010, is permanently installed in the 100 Acres park on the museum’s grounds.They live and work between Havana and Madrid.

Los Carpinteros est.1991

related artists / Cuba / Latin America