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Focus on: Sandú Darié

“This is concrete painting because each painting is a new reality.” – Sandú Darié


Miami— August 3rd, 2020— This summer, we are pleased to highlight a selection of works by Cuban Concrete artists with our exhibition “A New Reality, Concrete Cuban Artworks” on view at our Wynwood loft space.

As we celebrate Cuban Concrete art, we focus on Sandú Darié (1908-1991), considered one of the foremost revolutionary Concrete artists of his generation and an integral part of Cuba’s Concrete art scene. He was one of the most enthusiastic endorsers of modernism and non-figurative abstraction in the Caribbean island and a founding member of the Diez Pintores Concretos group. He was also a close collaborator of the internationally acclaimed Madí Group, who championed geometric abstraction as a way to break from traditional painting and explore the concrete and physical reality of art.

Born in Romania, Darié studied law in Paris, where he worked as a cartoonist for periodicals and formed close ties with the Surrealist and Abstract art circles. During World War II Darié moved to Cuba and in 1945, four years after relocating, he became a Cuban citizen. He gave up being a lawyer and devoted himself to his artistic career, surrounding himself with like-minded artists and intellectuals.

Darié’s early artworks were characterized by lyrical abstraction, and his first solo exhibition Composiciones 1949 at the Lyceum in Havana was a groundbreaking exhibition, the earliest display of nonobjective art in Cuba. Shortly after, stimulated by Piet Mondrian’s Neoplasticism and the discovery of the Madí movement, Darié veered toward pure geometric abstraction. His works represent the basic principles of Concrete art, where planes, primary colors, and form are presented with geometric rigor. He would create unorthodoxly shaped canvases and structures
with moving parts that blurred the difference between painting and sculpture. From then on, Daríe’s work was a constant exploration of space, light and color as well as viewer participation in the motion, perspective and movement.

An influential figure in Cuba, Darié co-founded Noticias de Arte, an art magazine that embodied the interests and activities of Havana’s modernist movement in the early 1950s. The magazine, edited by Darié, was a collaborative effort with two other artists: Mario Carreño (1913-1999) and Luis Martínez Pedro (1910–1989), and would run for 11 issues.

Darié was a founding member of the short-lived group of artists known as the Diez Pintores Concretos (Ten Concrete Painters) (Havana 1958-1961). Los Diez was formalized as a group in 1959 through an eponymous exhibition at the Galería Color-Luz, founded by artists Loló Soldevilla (1901–1971) and Pedro de Oraá (b.1931).

A multifaceted artist, Darié embraced several expressive fields simultaneously. He created ceramics, set and costume designs, and also undertook film and light installations. In the 1960s, he created fully immersive kinetic installations, pondering on the effect and relationship between color, space, light, and movement, while he continued creating monumental environments and public artworks for the rest of his life.

During his lifetime, this extraordinary and prolific artist participated in important international exhibitions like the XXVI Biennale di Venezia (1952), the III Bienal de Sao Paulo (1954), Art Madi International at the Galerie Denise René in Paris (1958), Kunst Licht Kunst at the Stedelijk Van Abbemusseum, in Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1967), among many others. More recently, his works have been featured in exhibitions in Madrid, London, New York, and Miami, and he is also included in important international collections.

A selection of works by Darié is included in our exhibition “A New Reality, Concrete Cuban Artworks” on view until August 31st. in our Wynwood loft. To inquire about available works or schedule an appointment click here.