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Los Carpinteros

Inventing the World/Inventor el mundo

May 06 through July 30, 2006

Los Carpinteros

artist(s)Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodríguez

Los Carpinteros: Inventing the World is the first mid-career survey and large-scale museum show in the United States of the artists’ collective, Los Carpinteros. The artists live and work in Havana, Cuba.

Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodríguez and, until 2003, Alexandre Arrechea began working together as students in the early 1990’s at Havana’s prestigious Superior Institute of Art (ISA). Their fellow students dubbed them Los Carpinteros—the carpenters—because they often worked in wood. Los Carpinteros use playful irony and poetic metaphor combined with superior craftsmanship to produce objects that redefine the boundaries between art and design.

Many established artists left Cuba in the late 1980’s and their departure created opportunities for young artists, including Los Carpinteros, to show in prominent venues. The Havana Bienal, one of a number of global exhibitions designed to broaden representation of artists from Latin America and soften the distinctions between center and periphery, gave them entrée to an international stage from which to participate in contemporary art discourse.

Los Carpinteros: Inventing the World includes 30 works—drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures and installations—created from the mid 1990’s to 2005. The exhibition was organized around a three-part taxonomy that reflects on the idea of ”inventing the world,” or providing basic needs for organized human existence. La plaza refers to architecture and accoutrements of the city, vital for communal, public life; el agua refers to works with water, the essence that flows between public and private; and la casa refers to domestic objects that furnish the home for private life.

This exhibition is organized and traveled by the University of South Florida, Institute for Research in Art, Contemporary Art Museum, Graphic Studio.

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