Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters) was founded in Havana in 1992 by Marco Antonio Castillo Valdes, Dagoberto Rodriguez Sanchez, and Alexandre Arrechea (who departed the group in 2003). One of their guiding principles was the renunciation of the “notion of individual authorship” and related adoption of “an older guild tradition of artisans and skilled laborers” which emphasized their belief in what they see as the inherently collaborative nature of art. Since the group’s inception they have created some of the most important art ever to emerge from Cuba. Their work incorporates elements from sculpture, architecture, and design, creating installations and drawings that explore the dichotomy between object and function, practicality and uselessness. At turns unexpected and humorous, Los Carpinteros’ oeuvre encourages the viewer to ponder the intersectionality of art and society in new, meaningful ways, and can be found in countless permanent collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation, Vienna, Austria and the Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City.
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