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Carlos Alfonzo

 

Carlos Alfonzo, Havana, Cuba, 1950 – Miami, USA, 1991. He studied at the San Alejandro Academy in Havana, and from 1974 to 1977, History of Art at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Havana. Three years later he left the country during the exodus of El Mariel.

 

During the first half of the 80s the work of this artist was characterized by the appropriation of related signs of Cuban popular culture. His later work is informed by the impressionistic style. Alfonzo borrowed forms from Cuban Santería, medieval Catholic mysticism, and tarot cards. Many of his works holds subtle clues that evoke Alfonzo’s homosexuality and the fear and anger generated by the AIDS epidemic.

 

He was awarded a Cintas Fellowship in the visual arts in 1983 and a visual artist fellowship in Painting from the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C. in 1984. His work has been exhibited in the 1991 Whitney Biennial, the exhibition Hispanic Art in the United States, and the 41st Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at Corcoran Gallery. He was the subject of several solo exhibitions in institutions including the Miami Art Museum, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in North Carolina, the Hal Bromm Gallery in New York and Miami Art Museum.

 

His work has been collected by Whitney Museum of American Art and Smithsonian Institution and are in the permanent collection of the Miami-Dade Public Library and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana. His work also forms part of private collections, including that of Peter Menendez, Rodríguez Collection and De la Cruz Collection.

Carlos Alfonzo, Untitled, 1983, Gouache on Cardboard, 18 X 24”