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Twisted horizon: solo exhibition of Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea

Alexandre Arrechea
Alexandre Arrechea (Photo credit: C-Monster)

Twisted Horizon
Location: NYC
MagnanMetz Gallery
March 2nd - April 7th 201

Twisted Horizon presents a new series of work that explores Arrechea’s interest in making unlikely connections between places and/or objects that have conventionally been perceived as unrelated, or opposed.  Employing utilitarian structures such as bridges, roads and buildings as a point of departure these elements appear suspended in hands like trophies, floating in the air or simply in motion varying in their intensity and gesture.  They represent possession, triumph of power, history and progress, but can also signal care, preservation and love.  Through these gestures one ultimately discovers the possibility of transformation - changing the original take on the object.

Arrechea’s work has always been imbued with architectural references steeped in history and personal experience.  In this body of work, the artist takes himself a step further and out of his own comfort zone to put a twist on places and objects that bear no personal reference to him directly.  He explains, "I have conceived this new exhibition as a metaphor to the potential difficulty we experience when we relinquish certain stances or attitudes.  By losing the security that comes with holding onto all we know and the way in which we know it, we are propelled into emotional vertigo that can bring about an inevitable change in our attitudes toward the unknown." One such example is the Ouaquaga Bridge, a 19th century historic treasure in New York State known for its lenticular trusses.  Arrechea converts this sound structure into a “rolling bridge” atop a rail of road tracks removing all sense of security or stability it was meant to represent.  The Champlain Bridge, built in the early 1930s, was demolished after being pronounced unsafe, but its removal brought along economic hardships to the community.  Arrechea also includes the Zollamtssteg Bridge in Vienna– a survivor of Wars.  They are all embedded in a history of triumph and failure. These structures are themselves subjected to their own past and present history.  Any effort to subvert or change them becomes a struggle.

Alexandre Arrechea was born in Trinidad, Cuba and graduated from the prestigious Superior Art Institute of Havana in 1994. He was a founding member of the collective Los Carpinteros (1994-2003).  As a solo artist Arrechea has exhibited extensively in the US and abroad.  In the spring of 2013 he will have monumental sculptures along the Park Avenue Malls as well as an upcoming book on his work through the gallery.  Arrechea represented his homeland in the first ever Cuban Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011) and will participate in the 11th Havana Biennial in May 2012. Since his 2010 exhibition at Magnan Metz, Arrechea has been the Spring BAMbill cover artist as well as featured in “Hola Havana”, Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of the ¡Si Cuba! Festival (2011).  Recent exhibitions include “The Global Africa Project”, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; “Orange Tree” at the Bronx Museum also used for a Pepsi campaign in the borough.  He has participated in Portugal Arte 2010, Bienal del Pontevedra, Spain (2010),  the Moscow Biennial (2009); Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art, Greece and the Havana Biennial (2009).

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