Kadir López: 212
3 W. 57th Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10019
June 9th - July 1st, 2022
Cavalier Gallery is pleased to present “212,” an exhibition of works by Kadir López set to open at our New York City gallery on June 9th.
This solo exhibition features new works by the artist in various mediums and celebrates the glory, complexity, and rich history of New York City. The city, identified here by its coveted telephone area code “212” is brought to life in Lopez’s innovative works.
Cuban-born multimedia artist Kadir López received a very traditional fine arts education, but soon began to mature as an artist and explore other mediums beyond oil on canvas. Lopez is known for his use of non-traditional mediums like the vintage enamel signs and neon glass sculptures seen in the exhibition. His work grapples with themes of time, politics, memory, cultural consumption, and personal histories. In his own words, Lopez’s works are at once “critical and hopeful.”
“212” will include several brand-new works relating to New York City, including an “Island” series, featuring oil on canvas compositions of New York’s celebrated islands: Manhattan, Long Island, Ellis Island, and Staten Island. These canvases will also include López’s featured illuminated neon details. López says of the series, “I am also working on a collection of islands in neon, because I was born on an island, and when you are isolated, you must try to find how to flourish in an interconnected fashion. Therein lies the paradox and therein I try to tease out art that forces one to think and be seduced by both beauty and ideas.”
In addition, López continues to work with his hallmark medium of vintage enamel signs in “212,” creating portraits of some of the biggest players in NYC organized crime. As seen in his previous series, López is known for his use of vintage enamel signs from pre-revolutionary Cuba and other countries as the base of his works, onto which he superimposes vintage images of leaders, gangsters, and celebrities. He is keen on recycling not only the material but also its history to express new ideas and fuse the past, present and future together in one object. In this exhibition, he continues to work in this medium and shows a darker side of New York City history by featuring the five families and other key individuals that controlled the 1960s and 1970s organized crime landscape across New York. These works aim to tell a new story about our obsession with consumption, power, and grappling with the past.
Kadir López has been awarded several first-place prizes in Cuba throughout his career. His work is featured in public and private collections around the world, including museums in Austria, Colombia, and the United States. He has a rich set of auction records from the United States, Spain, and Cuba and has been exhibited in solo shows, group exhibitions, and art fairs around the world since the 1990.
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