Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters), the Havana-based collective responsible for some of the most important work to emerge from Latin America in the past decades, was formed in 1992 by Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodriguez and Alexandre Arrechea (who left the group in 2003). Eschewing individual authorship, as might be expected in socialist Cuba, the group’s political philosophy foregrounds the consequential traditions of artisans and skilled labourers that are everywhere being undermined, undercut and undervalued.
Strongly underpinned conceptually and often with a playful edge, the group explores, with tremendous craft, the area between apparent dualities: sculpture / building; large-scale drawings in paint / blueprints; concepts / realisation. These exercises, at a range of scales, constitute the twenty five years’ labour of Los Carpinteros. Sometimes realising enormous structural feats or, in the case of the 2002 work presented here, monumentalising basic and small-scale household building materials, Los Carpinteros maintain a rigorous vigour to their work.
Collected by important Museums including MCA and LACMA, Los Angeles; MoMA, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; TATE, London; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, the now-duo have also been the subject of significant museum commissions and projects.