June 15th, 2024

Two Beautiful Exhibitions Launched Yesterday in Collaboration with the University of Miami

By MoCA-Americas Team

Last evening, the exhibitions Stubborn, a solo show by sculptor Carlos Enrique Prado, and Converging Plateaus, a group exhibition by MFA students from the University of Miami, were inaugurated. The event drew a large crowd, including professors from the university’s Art Department, artists, and the students' families. The opening of both exhibitions reaffirms the sustained and fruitful relationship between MoCA-Americas and the University of Miami.

These collaborations have a precedent in the opening of two similar exhibitions on May 13, 2022: Tautologies, also by the sculptor and Professor of Art at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, Carlos Enrique Prado, and Circle of Influence, a group show featuring his then-students Kim Bauldree, Sepideh Kalani, Elizabeth Guignino, and Anthony Magnetti, who was present last night. Both exhibitions were organized by the Kendall Art Center.

From that moment, the Center recognized the importance of collaborations with prestigious educational institutions like the University of Miami, particularly its Art Department, and the commitment to supporting art education in our communities. This led to the creation of the biannual SOFLO New Art program, which, following the KAC's conversion into a museum, was renamed ArtEd Connect. The program focuses on providing MFA students with opportunities to exhibit their work and gain early experiences in the art world. Both Circle of Influence and Converging Plateaus showcase the students' varied approaches and individual explorations. It is noteworthy that Carlos Enrique Prado is the organizer, producer, and curator of Converging Plateaus.

Stubborn, Prado's second solo exhibition, presents a collection of works inspired by classical statuary, particularly torsos and heads, transformed with the unexpected incorporation of industrial objects. Through this juxtaposition, the exhibition invites viewers to reconsider the legacy of Western values and our perceptions of various aspects of life.

Unlike his previous series, this time Prado intentionally relinquishes control over the creative process, allowing it to unfold with fewer constraints. Although he continues to use classical sculptures as his primary reference point, he explores diverse associations that emerge organically during creation. Prado generally perceives this series as a struggle to define his own identity. He was educated as a Western artist, deeply immersed in the traditions of classical art from the Greco-Roman era and Catholic pictorial imagery. While these influences have been present throughout his career, in Stubborn, they converge, establishing an unsettling dialogue.

Possibly, the cultural fascination with suffering, exemplified by the visual narratives of martyrdom in the Catholic tradition, plays a significant role in his work. While he references the martyrdom depicted in historical representations of specific saints' lives, Stubborn captures a broader sense of enduring extreme suffering as a prerequisite for existence.

Having been raised in a Catholic environment, the sculptor carries subconscious echoes of the belief in the redemptive power of suffering. This influence subtly infiltrates his artistic process, prompting him to engage with it on a visceral level. Each sculpture in this series embodies violent gestures that ultimately give rise to a new object, encapsulating both the original form, the traces of suffering, and the implements of torture. In a sense, these sculptures freeze moments of pain and anguish, mirroring the historical depictions of the Via Crucis and the martyrdom of saints.

Stubborn and Converging Plateaus will be open to the public until July 6, Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Americas. This is an exceptional opportunity to appreciate the work of this intriguing sculptor and ceramic artist, as well as the potential future figures in the art world.

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