Carlos Garaicoa
B. 1967 Havana, Cuba

Carlos Garaicoa was born in Havana, Cuba where he studied thermodynamics and later painting at the Instituto Superior de Arte de Havana (1989 - 1994). He currently lives and works between Havana and Madrid. Garaicoa has had numerous solo exhibitions, including Lunds Konsthall and Skissernass Museum, Lund (2019); Parasol Unit Foundation, London (2018); Fondazione Merz, Torino (2017); MAAT, Lisbon (2017); Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao (2017); Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2016); Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2015); CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles, Madrid (2014); Fundación Botín, Santander (2014); NC-Arte and FLORA ars + natura, Bogotá (2014); Kunsthaus Baselland Muttenz, Basel (2012); Kunstverein Braunschweig, Brunswick, Germany (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Research Institute, Tampa (2007); H. F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2011); Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA), Amsterdam (2010); Centre d'Art la Panera, Lleida (2011); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Caja de Burgos (CAB), Burgos (2011); National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens (2011); Inhotim Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo, Brumadinho (2012); Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro (2008); Museo ICO (2012) and Matadero (2010), Madrid; IMMA, Dublin (2010); Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art (M. O.C.A), Los Angeles (2005); Luis Ángel Arango Library, Bogotá (2000). He has been part of prestigious international events such as the Biennials of Havana (1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2015), Shanghai (2010), São Paulo (1998, 2004), Venice (2009, 2005), Johannesburg (1995), Liverpool (2006) and Moscow (2005), the Triennials of Auckland (2007), San Juan (2004), Yokohama (2001) and Echigo-Tsumari (2012); Documenta 11 (2003) and 14 (2017) and PhotoEspaña 12 (2012). In 2005, Garaicoa received the Foundation XXXIX International Contemporary Art Prize "Pierre de Monaco" in Monte Carlo, and the Katherine S. Marmor Prize in Los Angeles.

Garaicoa has developed a multidisciplinary approach to address issues of culture and politics, particularly Cuban, through the study of architecture, urbanism, and history. He focuses on a dialogue between art and urban space through which he investigates the social structure of our cities. Through a wide variety of materials and media, Garaicoa critiques utopian modernist architecture and the collapse of 20th century ideologies. Since the early 1990s, Garaicoa has varied between photography, performance, drawing, sculpture, installation, text and video to comment on the reflection and effect of architecture on the political, economic and cultural reality of cities. Although he references other international metropolises, much of his work critiques the architectural policies enacted in Havana following the 1959 revolution, which curbed new projects and neglected older buildings in desperate need of preservation. In early works such as 1991's "39" and 1992's "Homage to the Six," Garaicoa photographed his interventions in the urban environment, capturing the changes and subsequent human reactions. The 1993 photograph "Untitled (Decapitated Angel) " reveals a headless statue of an angel at the foot of what was once a large railing, but now lies abandoned within a dust-covered corridor; the fall of this utopia is clearly attributed by bold letters indicating "FIDEL" in the center of the photograph. Garaicoa also created large architectural model complexes between 1998 and 2002, using varied materials such as crystal house decoration, Japanese lanterns, and lit candles. At Documenta 11 in 2002, Garaicoa presented a series of architectural models with corresponding black and white photographs; the optimism and potential implied by the bright, clean models contrasted cruelly with the photographs revealing the actual dilapidated state of the sites themselves. In his most recent practice, Garaicoa has created diptychs juxtaposing a black and white photograph of a building with another in which that building has been extracted; in the latter, the artist implies the ghostly presence of the structure with a rendering of the building in string and pins. E In 2018, he began his Puzzles Series. Garaicoa uses images of an Urban Cuba, and over it builds his puzzle, which eventually destroys it and never ends. From an organic destruction, to a metaphysical destruction, to an authentic destruction. In this dichotomy of construction/destruction lies Carlos Garaicoa, who assaults our senses with his exquisite narratives.


Selected Works

Some of the best


Carlos Garaicoa | Contrapeso

24.Set.2022 | 12.Nov.2022
Galeria Filomena Soares is pleased to present the exhibition CONTRAPESO by Carlos Garaicoa.


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