Agustín Cárdenas

Agustín Cárdenas Almine Rech Gallery

1955 saw France enter a new age. The SNCF set a new world record for electric train speed (331km/h) and the Citroën DS was launched at the Paris motor show. That year marked the end of the allied occupation of West Germany and the restoration of Austrian sovereignty. In the arts, Vladimir Nabakov’s Lolita was published in Paris by the Olympia Press and Notre Dame du Haut, a masterpiece of Le Corbusier’s late style, was dedicated in Ronchamp. And, towards the year’s end, the twenty-eight-year-old Cuban sculptor Agustín Cárdenas arrived in France on a scholarship, settling in Montparnasse, which had made itself the headquarters of the artistic avant-garde during the 1920s and 30s.

Cárdenas was born in 1927 in the port town of Mantanzas, on Cuba’s northern shoreline. He arrived in France not as some unformed, marginal or alien other (albeit his work was absolutely unknown in Europe at the time of his arrival in Paris), but as an artist who had already absorbed the influences of a wide-ranging collection of indigenous, colonial and colonised cultures: he was the prototype of today’s global citizen. And in this sense he was as modern as Notre Dame du Haut or the fastest elecectric train.

His sculpture offers a clear formal dialogue with generation of European sculptors that includes Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp and Henry Moore and various American traditions.

Duration 05 June 2018 - 28 July 2018
Venue Almine Rech Gallery
Address Grosvenor Hill, Broadbent House, London, W1K 3JH
Contact 4402072873644 / /