Los Carpinteros

Aug 18 – Sep 13, 2003

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present an exhibition of drawings by the Cuban duo Los Carpinteros. Dagoberto Sanchez and Marco Valdéz are showing nine new drawings that mix politics, architecture, and humor. Used as a space in which to develop ideas, for Los Carpinteros the drawing is more than just a step in the creative process. It is the key to their jigsaw puzzles of forms, materials, language, and symbols.

In these new drawings, groups of tiles and bricks in piles create new architectural and urbanistic forms. There are “skyscrapers” that mix references to existing buildings with imaginary spaces. Made from the raw materials of construction work, these buildings reinterpret functions, proposing other possible organizations for public spaces. In other works Los Carpinteros investigate fragments and details of interiors, they are closets and bookcases that appear ordered in a form analogous to that of the buildings.

Many of Los Carpinteros’ drawings later become sculptures or installations. The “skyscrapers” in this exhibition will be shown as sculptures in the next Mercosul Biennial. There is also a plan for a major installation, without a date for its creation, and there are other drawings not intended to become sculptures or installations. In these last works, Los Carpinteros develop a formal investigation into holes or empty spaces.

“The drawings function like letters, or as a way to present things that cannot be decribed with words. This traffic in images gives us a database for many future projects. There are also drawings that we aren’t thinking of turning into other works”

The everyday forms and images – many times heavy with symbolism – create a universe simultaneously familiar and fantastic, where these artists subvert notions of use, function, and scale. Their work gains political resonance when it takes urban space as its theme, but it also has psychological and social implications in its exploration of domestic interiors.

Starting in 1991, Los Carpinteros worked as a trio. Alexandre Arrechea, the third Carpintero, decided to leave the group to devote himself to his work with video. Los Carpinteros have shown extensively in the U.S. and Europe. At this moment, they are completing the final details of a work to be shown in the next Mercosul Biennial. Past exhibition spaces include the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Biennials of São Paulo, Havana, and Shangai.