Agustin Cárdenas

Cuba, 1927


Agustín Cárdenas was born in Matanzas City, Cuba in 1927. Graduated in 1949 from San Alejandro Fine Arts Academy. Cárdenas studied at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Havana where he worked with the sculptor Sicre from 1943 to 1949, who had been a disciple of Bourdelle. He was a member of the “Grupo de los 11,” which was opposed to official academic teaching. In 1954, Cárdenas won the national prize for sculpture. He continued his studies in Paris, around 1955, creating his works mainly at European countries, such as France and Italy. André Breton knighted Cárdenas as a Surrealist upon his arrival in Paris in 1957. Precursor of the Abstract Art in Sculpture, he has been acknowledged as one of the most outstanding contemporary sculptors leaning towards surrealism. His works on wood, brass and marble has been exhibited at the most important galleries of Europe, Asia, United States and Latin America. During his artistic formation, he received a strong influence of the tailor occupation learned in his childhood plus the practicing of weight lifting and some other sports, giving him the required physical strength for his profession. In his work three main periods can be appreciated, the first one endowed with totem morphology, from 1951 to 1964, the second stage runs from 1965 to1982, where is present marble application and other hard solids such as granite, along this third and last stage since 1983 he added brass to his art works. He made monumental sculptures in Cuba, Israel, Canada, Seul and Canarias Islands. His pieces take part of numerous private collections, at universities, museums and squares as Pietrasanta, Toscana and Jean Gabriel Mitterand from Paris, Durban Gallery from Venezuela, National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuba and other centers and spaces in United States. Cárdenas was to spend the remainder of his life in Paris. Cardenas was considered one of the last artists to join the Surrealist group. His far-reaching work had a wide representation until to the regrettable appearance of Alzheimer disease.

Artworks by Agustin Cárdenas