39 East 78th Street, 2nd Floor,
New York, NY 10075
Deeply impacted by today’s profound global unrest stemming from rampant climate change, the ongoing pandemic, and social injustice, the Chilean artist’s latest body of surreal paintings and sculptures offers a poignant reflection on the present moment. Each one is marked by surreal, post-human scenes of polished gridded interiors populated by eerie faceless humanoids that lie, sit, or stand relaxedly, conveying a wide range of emotions through body language. The vigorous living forms offer a stark contrast to the decaying outdoor world depicted through large windows, rendered in an orange glow not unlike the color of the California sky during this past year’s devastating wildfires.
Guided by his own imagination with influences ranging from Surrealism to Superstudio’s Il Monumento Continuo, Cardenas meditates on “the present moment, and the choices we have to make in order to exist as a culture in a world we are destroying and which we have to start fixing.” He adds: “I feel that our survival as a species depends on an agreement among all of us, a kind of unification of ideas, a non-space wherein everything is possible. The grid, to me, is representative of that possibility.”