Kadir Lopez Nieves ‘Gangster Series’ makes U.S Debut at Cavalier Galleries
Internationally Renowned Artist Returns to Palm Beach after nearly a Decade
Internationally renowned and Palm Beach beloved Cuban artist returns to the island after a decade long sabbatical. “I’m so excited to be back in Palm Beach where I’m always so warmly welcomed,” says Kadir. “And I’m thrilled to be partnering with one of the most respected art galleries in the country. I can’t wait to show this new Signs’ Series and spend quality time with my collectors whom I’ve been addressing remotely for too many years.”
Kadir’s solo exhibition of select works from his ‘Gangster Series’ will be displayed at Cavalier’s South County Road location, 292 S. County Road, from February 23 to March 7.
A selection of Kadir’s works will be displayed at 235 Worth Avenue on a permanent basis. The artist will also be on hand to address requests for commissioned works.
About Signs Series
In his Signs Series Kadir López utilizes vintage, 1950`s marketing signs from American companies that were part of the prerevolutionary Cuban cityscape. They evidence the close ties that existed between Cuba and United States during this era. Most of the signs recovered were burned or shot at by the rebels upon their arrival to Havana in 1959.
Several years ago, the artist began purchasing the discarded signs from scrap yards and independent sellers throughout Cuba. After researching the background history of these remaining signs, Kadir collaged them with archival photo-images from this era. Many of the photographic images are of the time-period and location from which the signs were taken. Others provide a snapshot of Havana which often foreshadow the tumultuous events which at the time, were about to take place.
Manufactured with serigraphic engraving, instead of traditional pigments for painting the signs, the techniques of porcelain baking were used. The colors were baked separately after being applied over steel, in different consecutive layers, until the desired design was achieved. It is upon these aging supports that the artist paints, draws and creates his own interpretations with ceramic pigments, resins, enamels and other materials that naturally allow for transparency in order to let these photographic images of Old Havana, selected by the artist, to reveal the original signage beneath. These are one-of-a-kind pieces that depict the last days of pre-revolutionary, Cuban-American history.
Much of his work is inspired by a meditation on time: blurring past, present, and future, he critiques the effects of progress, or lack thereof, and its spiritual, economic, and political effects on society. In mining Cuba’s rich and complicated history as well as personal events, he creates a multilayered reality that combines space and time into a unified visual universe. His exploration on the theme of continuity has led him to traverse the finite limitations of both his own geographical surroundings and the pictorial plane. Kadir embraces the idea of a present whereby differing histories coexist and inform each other. The amalgamation of ready-made materials and intervention allows him to be observer and participant, author and audience. As a result, the world he creates is at once complex and beautiful, ambiguous and revealing, critical and hopeful.
He has exhibited his work consistently since 1990 in over 90 solo and group shows in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He has participated in several of the art world’s d prominent international art fairs including the Havana Biennale, the Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF), ArtMadrid, Miami International Art Fair, Art Palm Beach, Pinta New York, Houston Fine Arte Fair, Hamptons Art Fair and many others. Among his many outstanding solo exhibitions, Signs series, brought him critical attention and he was named one of the top ten artists to watch in 2011 by The Huffington Post.
In addition to creating art, Kadir has lectured at conferences at universities and museums worldwide, and has served as a juror at a number of national art contests in his country. His work can be found in several major museums collections, as well as a large number of private collections all over the world.