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The Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters) has created some of the most important work to emerge from Cuba in the past decade. Formed in 1991, the trio (consisting of Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodriguez, and, until his departure in June 2003, Alexandre Arrechea) adopted their name in 1994, deciding to renounce the notion of individual authorship and refer back to an older guild tradition of artisans and skilled laborers. Interested in the intersection between art and society, the group merges architecture, design, and sculpture in unexpected and often humorous ways. Their carefully crafted works use humor to exploit a visual syntax that sets up contradictions among object and function
as well as practicality and uselessness. For Los Carpinteros, drawing has played an integral role as a mock technical draft or form of a blue print that suggests not only a process of artistic elaboration but also a form of architectural or carpentry plans. Los Carpinteros's pieces are part of the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation, Vienna, Austria and the Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City. They have participated in U.S. exhibitions at the New Museum, P.S. 1, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Art in General, Artists Space and Arizona State University.