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Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez (La Habana, Cuba, 1954) is one of those artists that followed Kandinski’s invitation to disregard the demands of their times and cater to the call of their interior need. This does not mean to say there are no role models in his formation. He mentions David Smith, a great pioneer in abstract sculpture within the US, the Barcelonan Julio Gonzalez, with whom he shares his interest in the forms of life, his connection with crafts and the predilection for some industrial materials, or Anthony Caro, whose sculptures can refer, as his own do, to archetypal forms of elongated members that call to our memory the initiation of civilizations or stellar passages. But beyond those lessons learnt from sculpture, such as the needless character of pedestals, his sculptures - and the paintings before them or complimentary to them - respond to an archaeology of human imagination.

Gonzalez shares the anxiety for flying, that magnificent form of fleeing. But instead of creating wax wings, such as those Dedalus built for his son Icarus, he creates metallic artifacts, unique machines which allow for the transit between times and which bear the speed of dreams and reach the heights of poetic spaces where things may remain incandescent. Building upon the investigations initiated by Leonardo da Vinci, and as if ignoring the invention of aviation, he deals on the idea of creating new aerodynamic apparatus which he draws or sculpts, They are embedded with that rare quality of seeming simultaneously machines or fantastic creatures, reinvented coleoptera or other sort of specimens which very well could feed those inventories of fantastic classifications which so fascinated Jorge Luis Borges.

The weightlessness, which is one of the outstanding qualities of his sculptures, is derived from that impulse towards flight and has an essential implication: It’s not just about extending in volume above the ground, but to contend with air, of rising form and looks, upwards, imagining forms that suggest the possibility of unbounding oneself from earth or twisting over themselves. A numerous number of his artworks defy the look that incredulously does not think it’s possible to hold such huge volumes on shapes ending in pointed vortexes which merely seem to touch the ground. And to this floating quality, we need to add up the nature imbued by Gonzalez. Even though we are dealing with abstract three-dimensional bodies, these offer associations to rare specimens. A mythology of his own, a hybrid between the industrial and a fantastic animal kingdom, is present in most of his series.

Some of his stainless steel works, coated with colored patinas, reveal in their titles their belonging to species such as birds or crustaceans. Others, reveal themselves as the incarnation of natural phenomena such as hurricanes. But, above all, every aerial creature, every growing form, is endowed with a strategy to hold foot of its being in space. Gonzalez says that “these creatures, in as diverse a way as in nature, try to adapt to their environment - to space - in a particular form. They seek for their own way to settle in a niche”. The names with which he baptizes his pieces with coding systems that resemble fictional taxonomy offer a hint about their nature. Rightfully so, the philosopher Alfredo Triff highlights “the original morphological and stylistic complexity” in Gonzalez.

A recent series of sculptures explores the weightlessness of the inorganic floating bodies, which are the remnants of human attempts to conquer space. Such sculptures do not extend the kingdom of flying apparatus, nor of fantastic zoologies, but echo on the cosmic trash, the trace left behind by mankind contaminating the space. Under this point of view, they are the most factual sculptural demonstration that the flight of imagination is not devoid from its abysses. Carlos Gonzalez knows how to translate these into volumes that explore the infinite regions of consciousness.

Adriana Herrera Tellez, Ph.D.

EDUCATION
1978 – National School of Art (ENA). Havana, Cuba.
1974 – “San Alejandro” School of Fine Arts. Havana, Cuba.

INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITIONS
2010 – “Carlos Gonzalez. About Life”. Panamerican Art Projects. Miami, USA.
2009 – “Carlos Gonzalez. Flight of Fancy”. Panamerican Art Projects. Miami, USA.
2007 – “Carlos Gonzalez. Forms”. Chelsea Gallery. Miami, USA.
2005 – “Carlos Gonzalez. Recent sculptures”, Botello Gallery. Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
2003 – “Sculptures of Carlos Gonzalez”. Botello Gallery. Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
1985 – “4artists” (Eduardo Ruben/Carlos Gonzalez/Gelabert Soto/TONEL). Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba.
1983 – “Format 3. Sculptures” (Carlos González/TONEL/Florencio Gelabert). Art Center 23 & 12. Havana, Cuba.

COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS
2009 – “Only one island”. Qbava Gallery. Union City, USA.
2009 – “Primary Colors”. Pan American Art Projects. Miami, USA.
2008 – “Off the wall”. Pan American Art Projects. Miami, USA.
2005 – “Cuban Art In New York”. Dactyl Foundation. New York, USA.
2004 – “Collective Show”. The Americas Collection. Miami, USA.
2004 – “The Tondo”. Botello Gallery. Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
2004 – “Collective Show”. Lyle O. Reitzel Contemporary Art. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
2003 – “The landscape”. Botello Gallery. San Juan, Puerto Rico.
2003 – “The seasons”. Botello Gallery. San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1994 – “Collective Show”. Diaz Mancini Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
1993 – “San Alejandro”. 175th Anniversary. National Museum of Fine Arts. Havana,Cuba.
1991 – “Aesthetic”. Bass Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
1989 – “Havana in Madrid”. Cultural Center of the Villa. Madrid, Spain.
1987 – National Small Plaster Sculpture Meeting. Gallery-Workshop. Las Tunas, Cuba.
1987 – “Collective Sculpture Exhibition”. Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba.
1986 – Awarded Hall. Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba.
1986 – Havana Second Biennial. National Museum of Fine Arts. Havana, Cuba.
1985 – City's Hall. Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba.
1985 – 1985 UNEAC Fine Arts Hall. National Museum of Fine Arts. Havana, Cuba.
1984 – “Environmental Sculpture”. Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba.
1984 – Small sculpture International Exhibition. Budapest, Hungary.
1983 – “Three dimensions adventures”. Habana Gallery. Havana, Cuba.
1983 – 2nd International Miniature Textile Show. Morelia, Mexico.
1983 – City's Hall. Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba.
1983 – “5 Visual Artists”. Galiano & Concordia Art Gallery. Havana, Cuba.
1983 – “Collective Sculpture Exhibition”. Grenada/ Surinam/ Trinidad and Tobago.
1982 – Landscape Hall. National Museum of Fine Arts. Havana, Cuba.
1981 – First National Small Format Exhibition. Lalo Carrasco Hall, Habana Libre Hotel. Havana, Cuba.
1981 – “Young artists. Retrospective”. Lalo Carrasco Hall, Habana Libre Hotel. Havana, Cuba.
1980 – “I Carlos Enriquez National Painting and Sculpture Show”. International Art Center. Havana, Cuba.
1980 – V National Sculptors Meeting. Small Sculpture Permanent Hall. Sculptures Gallery. Las Tunas, Cuba.

HONOURS & AWARDS
2005 - Winner Call to the Artists. Sculpture for Bascom Palmer Aye Institute in Palm Beach Garden, USA.
1988 – Prize. Second International Sculpture Symposium. Baconao, Cuba.
1985 – Mention. City's Hall. Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba. 1985 – Mention. UNEAC's National Fine Arts Hall. National Museum of Fine Arts. Havana, Cuba.
1981 – Mention. First National Small Format Exhibition. Lalo Carrasco Hall, Habana Libre Hotel. Havana, Cuba.
1980 – Mention in Sculpture. I “Carlos Enriquez” National Painting and Sculpture Show. International Art Center. Havana, Cuba.
1980 – Mention. FAR 26th of July Hall. National Museum of Fine Arts. Havana, Cuba.

PERMANENT COLLECTIONS
Contemporary Art Museum. San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Sculpture Museum. Buñol Castle. Buñol, Spain.
Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design. Havana, Cuba.
National Museum of Fine Arts. Havana, Cuba.
Small Sculpture Museum. Las Tunas, Cuba.

PUBLIC WORKS
2005 - "From the shadow to the light". Stainless steel enamelled. 9x8x6ft. Bascom Palmer Hospital, Palm Beach Garden, USA.
1997 - "Jungle´s Sky". Painted steel. 300x310x280cms. Avila Building, Caracas, Venezuela.
1997 - "Hug". Painted steel. 230x210x200cms. Students Square, Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela.
1996 - "Four winds door". Painted steel. 700x350x400cms. Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela.
1995 - "The Visitor". Painted steel. 215x200x180cms. Casanova Ave. & Pichincha Ave., Caracas, Venezuela.
1992 - "Rotation". Painted steel. 190x190x160cms. Imanta Building, Caracas, Venezuela.
1992 - "Dance". Painted steel. 150x150x150cms. VENALUM, Guyana City, Venezuela.
1989 - "Spikes". Bronze. 200x300x100cms. Frank País Hospital, Havana, Cuba.
1989 - "Germinal". Painted steel. 200x200x100cms. Palm Square, Buñol, Spain.
1989 - "Door". Painted steel. 250x200x100cms. Buñol Castle, Buñol, Spain.
1988 - "Meeting Arch". Painted steel. 350x700x200cms. Sculpture Meadow, Baconao, Cuba.
1988 - "Chip" (mural). Wood. 300x450x100cms. Electronics and Communications Pavilion, EXPOCUBA, Havana, Cuba.
1988 - "Doves" (mural). Wood. 700x300x100cms. Electronics and Communications Pavilion, EXPOCUBA, Havana, Cuba.
1987 - "Fountain". Stainless steel. 400x400x180cms. Immunoassay Research Center, Havana, Cuba.
1986 - "Seed". Painted steel. 150x100x150cms. Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design, Havana, Cuba.
1984 - "Flights". Painted steel. 600x100x150cms. Airport, Las Tunas, Cuba.
1983 - "Slide". Painted steel. 700x300x500cms. Central Palace of Pioneers, Havana, Cuba.

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Carlos Gonzalez

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