Cardinal Motifs

for a meeting with the painting of Carlos García de la Nuez

/ 1 September, 2016

Carlos García de la Nuez does not need to write his memories… His work creates a notebook in which he gives expression to his biography through symbols allowing us to understand, half finished, its meanings. In this way, he reveals to those approaching his paintings part of his private universe, through figures, words, abstract images that only he can completely decode. He shares flashes of intimacy mixed with philosophical, ethical, existential reflections…

He left Havana in the 1990s, but did not say goodbye. It was not his intention to cut the ties that linked him with his family, his friends, his culture, his island. Many places have welcomed him and some of them he has called Home, but returning to Havana always supposes a motif of rejoicing and satisfaction for him. The invitation to exhibit in the National Museum of Fine Arts amplified his emotions because of everything that place meant in his training as an artist: “…it was there where I learned what painting is, in the halls of this Museum I discovered what entails that wonderful secret painting is…”[1] On March 26, the opening of Cardinales (Cardinals), the most recent exhibition by Carlos García in Havana, in the Building of Cuban Art of the National Museum of Fine Arts, takes places.

(…) Cardinales is an exhibition with immense formats. The artist suggested enjoying in a big way. Wide canvases served as support of works where the expressionist stroke says all; where the colors are symbols per se and the transition one to another, although at times abrupt, is pure, making the contrast more dramatic; where the extensive areas of pigments are frequently interrupted by Carlos García’s intelligent calligraphy, which reveals us what he thought when he painted and indicates us how far can we go before his work. Undoubtedly, this is the result of worthy doing, of the delight to create, of satisfaction.

In front of these works you can only feel the provocation of that strange mixture between respect to tradition and transgressor vocation. García de la Nuez is not only a great painter; he is studious and art is his passion. Because of that he has developed a very personal work and has defended his position, even in moments in which the artistic trends and the context have marched in another direction. Today, with a fully mature    work, he hands the spectator an exhibition as Cardinales, where each work is an exclamation, a truth that should be listened with clarity and interpreted  with  autonomy.


[1] Words by Carlos García de la Nuez in an interview by Hortensia Montero, curator of Cardinales in the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana.

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