Mai 36 Galerie presents new works by Cuban artist Flavio Garciandía. Having previously included this artist in the 2012 group exhibition IB 6621 alongside Michel Peréz Pollo and Raúl Cordero, the gallery is now hosting a solo exhibition of his work for the first time.
Flavio Garciandía (born 1954 in Caibarién, Cuba) is one of Cuba’s leading and most influential artists and is regarded as one of the fathers of Central and South American conceptual art. Garciandía, who lives and works in Mexico City, was a key figure on the vibrant Cuban art scene of the late 1970s and 1980s. In 1984 he was a co-founder of the Havana Biennal and in 1986 he was a participating artist at the Biennale di Venezia. In his capacity as a professor at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana, Garciandía became a teacher and mentor to a new generation of Cuban artists.
In his works, Garciandía cites the history of modern art: his colourful compositions adapt a variety of stylistic directions, from cubism to conceptualism and abstract expressionism. The resulting artistic signature is one that the artist himself describes, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as New Tropical Abstraction – playing on the meteorological term Tropical Depression, which refers to a group of thunderstorms under a closed cloud cover.
In his paintings, Garciandía makes a profound connection with his native Cuba: through the way his works unite a range of postmodern styles, his creative output indirectly adapts and reflects Cuban culture as a fusion of diverse influences and terms of references.
The latest works by Garciandía, presented at Mai 36 Galerie, combine colours and forms in compositions of great complexity. The two-part LULALIAS (2016), for instance, opens up a multi- facetted realm of discovery in which forms and organic patterns in gentle pastel hues flow together harmoniously. The large-format TRASTALIA (and-sweet-dreams) (2016), by contrast, is more surrealistic, with strong colours and dynamic brushwork conveying an expressionist effect. Such diversity bears witness to the broad creative spectrum of the artist Flavio Garciandía.