Albarrán Bourdais is pleased to present the first exhibition of Cuban artist Marco A. Castillo in Mexico City, curated by Dorothée Dupuis.
The exhibition La Revolución de la vida diaria by Cuban artist Marco A. Castillo, presents recent works by the artist, produced in his studio in Mérida, Yucatán, where he has lived for the past few years, and which extend in his personal practice some of the themes that Castillo successfully developed through the Los Carpinteros art collective that brought international recognition to its members since the 1990s.
The exhibition is presented in an atypical venue never before open to the public, a private modernist house in the Roma Sur neighborhood in Mexico City that is currently under renovation, signed by the legendary architect Francisco Artigas and built, oddly enough, in 1959, the year of the Cuban revolution.
This selection of works, many of them unpublished and produced specifically for the exhibition and its peculiar space, is Castillo Valdés’ research on industrial and graphic design in Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s and its formal, conceptual and political links to the revolutionary project that framed its production in those decades. It is a little known story, but in the early years of the revolution, the Cuban government, in collaboration with a whole new generation of designers, pursued an ambitious policy of furniture production designed to promote Cuban ideals of accessibility, comfort and innovation, combining industrial materials with vernacular materials indigenous to the island, such as mahogany wood and forms derived from the indigenous Taino heritage. In the late 1970s, the latent conflict among intellectuals who had supported the revolution intensified, and the government stopped supporting this production, so these designers were leaving the island in exile, while most of these radical creations were destroyed, lost or fell into oblivion. Likewise, the title of the exhibition alludes to The Art of Everyday Life. An exhibition of good design objects made in Mexico curated in 1952 by Cuban designer Clara Porset, who was exiled in Mexico and was instrumental in the development of Latin American thinking on contemporary design in the 20th century.