The works of Manuel Mendive (La Habana, 1944), capture the breath of the manifestations and the ritual expression that have been a distinguishing trait of modern Cuban art since W. Lam.
As an almost telluric emanation from his studio-shelter in Monte Blanco, his work has always been the voice of nature pierced by time in the form of primal reminiscences, viewings of a metamorphic, transubstantiated universe where beings, animals, plants, objects, landscapes… have turned into a wholeness of interdependent geneses that give shape to his unquestionable, personal poetics.
It has now been more than eight years since Galería Artizar began collaborating with Manuel Mendive―for more than eight years now we have been acting as agents for his work across the Atlantic, and in this time we have inevitably been carried away by the master’s worlds.
Many projects have been carried out during this time, individual and collective exhibitions or fairs that have sealed a close collaboration which is made manifest once again by this new exhibition, a selection of works that serve as a review of the path that the artist and the Gallery have walked together so far.
MENDIVE, as a tribute title, is an exhibition that encompasses works of the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, which praises this multidisciplinary artist just as what he is―one of the most relevant Cuban plastic-art masters at present.
2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the long artistic career of Manuel Mendive, and for this reason we held the exhibition “Pequeñas Fugas”, which turned out to be a new success and an enticement for all the friends and followers of both Galería Artizar and the master.
In these last three years, Mendive has made a leap―not only has he broken his own records in the art market, reaching new highs at the Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips Latin American Art Auctions in New York, but he has also produced many exhibition, installation and performance projects, such as for instance his usual participation in the Havana Biennial, in which he deployed his magic with dancers representing his own characters and turning the streets of Havana into an immense, tangible ‘Mendivian’ painting.
Certainly, this prolific connection between the Canary Islands and Cuba will continue to provide us with wonderful projects and bring us closer, if possible, to the mystical, natural, passionate worlds of the Cuban art master Manuel Mendive Hoyo.