Alexandre Arrechea

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Alexandre Arrechea in 2014

Alexandre Arrechea (born 1970) is a Cuban artist whose work involves concepts of power and its network of hierarchies, surveillance, control, prohibitions, and subjection. For twelve years he was a member of the art collective Los Carpinteros, until he left the group in July 2003 to continue his career as a solo artist. His public art The spectator’s participation in the work adds to his contemplation. The work arises out of human actions and reactions in the face of contemporary versions of the worldview already described by Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century. The eye of power watches everything and everyone, and everyone watches everyone else and themselves.

The interdisciplinary quality of Arrechea’s work reveals a profound interest in the exploration of both public and domestic spaces. This quest has led him to produce several monumental projects like “Ciudad Transportable” (2000), “The Garden of Mistrust” (2003-2005) and “Perpetual Free Entrance” (2006).


Arrechea was born in Trinidad, Cuba in 1970. Arrechea graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) of Havana in 1994. He lives in Miami, Florida with his wife, Cuban art historian Madeline Arrechea and their two children, Dalia and Arturo.


Arrechea made his name thanks to the art collective Los Carpinteros, composed of Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez. The three artists began working behind their collective moniker back in 1994, and they became rapidly successful. The New York Museum of Modern Art acquired several of their drawings for the museum’s permanent collection.

Arrechea decided to leave Los Carpinteros in July 2003, to begin a solo career. His first individual project was El Jardin de la Desconfianza (The Garden of Mistrust), an epic installation in Los Angeles that required two years of work (2003-2005). The central piece of the work was a whitewashed aluminum tree whose branches were outfitted with video cameras which recorded spectators and broadcast them on the Internet. His public art often involves concepts of power and its network of hierarchies, surveillance, control, prohibitions and subjection. The spectator’s participation in the work adds to its contemplation.

For the 10th Havana Biennial (March 27 – April 30, 2009), Arrechea worked on a project named La habitación de todos (The Room of All), which is a sculpture of a house that expands or contracts according to, respectively, the rise or fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. More recently he has worked on a public art project in New York City, involving video projections on buildings. His work will be showcased in the upcoming Venice Bienale.

Solo shows[edit]


  • NOLIMITS, Park Avenue Project, New York, NY


  • Skyline Adrift: Cuban Art and Architecture, Architecture OMI, Ghent, NY
  • Twisted Horizon, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY


  • The Sacrifice Object, Casado Santapau Gallery, Madrid, Spain


  • Orange Tree, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, New York
  • Evasive, Galarie Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris, France
  • Elasticity, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY
  • The Rules of Play, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah and Atlanta, GA
  • Ideational Architecture, Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, CA
  • Alexander Arrechea @ Ice Box Project Space in conjunction with Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia, PA
  • ENERO10, Casao-Santa-Pau Gallery, Madrid, Spain
  • Black Sun, NASDAQ Billboard, Times Square Arts, Times Square, NY


  • A Day after the Future, Galeria Villa Manuela, LaHabana, Cuba
  • Everything, Something, Nothing, CAB de Burgos, Burgos, Spain



  • Espacio Derrotado”, [January 30] Casado-Santa Pau Gallery, Madrid, Spain
  • Sweet Fear”, [February 15] Alonso Art, Miami, Florida. U.S.A.
  • Contemporary Links” [June 30] San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, U.S.A.


  • Perpetual Free Entrance, Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid, Spain.
  • The Limit, Mary Goldman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA - CAC de Malaga, Spain.


  • Dust, Magnan Projects, New York, USA


  • “Dos nuevos espacios”, Espacio Aglutinador, La Habana, Cuba.
  • Arte público, Mark Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • Sudor, Proyecto de arte público, La Havana, Cuba


  • Novos Desenho, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil.


  • Artist in residence, The Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, New Castle, England.
  • Ciudad Transportable, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (now the Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House), Honolulu, Hawaii.


Collective exhibitions[edit]

-2013 :I do not like politics, but it likes me, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, Poland Against the Grain: Wood in COntemporary Art, Craft & Design, Museum of Arts and Design, NY

-2012 :Message from La Habana: Seven COntemporary Cuban Artists, Zane Bennett Gallery, Santa Fe, NM Who More Sci-Fi than Us?, Kunsthal KAdE, The Netherlands

-2011 :Dublin Contemporary, Main Exhibition Venue: Earlsfort Terrace, Ireland 54 Biennial de Venezia, Venice, Italy Hola Havana, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

-2010 :Global Africa Project, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY No Longer Empty, The Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY PortugalArte 10, Lisbon, Portugal Does the Angle Between Two Walls Have a Happy Ending?, Galleria Federica Schiavo, Rome XXXI Biennial de Pontevedra, Spain Changing the focus: Latin American photography, MOOLA, LA

-2009 : Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Russia Thessaloniki Biennnial of Contemporary Art, Greece 10th Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba

-2008 : Prospect.1 New Orleans, New Orleans, LA MIART 2008, Milano, Italy Elefante Negro, Museo Diego Rivera, Anahuacalli, Mexico D.F.

- 2007 : We are Your Future, 2 Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, curated by Ethan Cohen and Juan Puntes, Art Center Winzavod, Moscow. Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY.

- 2006 : Taipei Biennial Dirty Yoga, curated by Dan Cameron, Taiwan. Fatamorgana: Illusion and Deception in Contemporary Art, curated by Tami Katz-Frieman, Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Israel. Open House Exhibition, Ellipse Foundation Contemporary Art Collection, Centro Cultural de Cascais, Cascais, Portugal. Moving Image: Video, Animation and Software Art, Alonso Art, Miami, FL. Impakt 2006, Centraal Museum, Louis Hartlooper Complex, Tivoli/De Helling and other venues, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA.

- 2005 : Form Follows Dysfunction, Michael Steinberg Fine Arts, NY. Group Show, Magnan Projects Gallery, New York, NY. Out of Place, Mary Goldman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Salon de arte contemporaneo, Centro de Desarollo de Las Artes Visuals, La Habana, Cuba.

- 2004 : Ay, Mami! Program of Cuban video at the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, England. Festival of Independent Film & Video, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Awards, fellowship, recognition[edit]


  • Braziers International. Oxfordshire, England.


  • Artist in residence, The Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, New Castle, England.


  • Prize. Fomento de las Artes, UNESCO, 7ma Bienal de la Habana, Havana, Cuba.


  • First Prize, Contemporary Art-People’s Award, El Mundo Magazine, Argentaria Foundation. ARCO Fair.


External links[edit]