January 20 – March 9
Alva Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition, Two of a Kind: Carlos Estevez and Maureen McCabe.The title refers to a unique pair of artists who grew up worlds apart, one of Irish background, the other wholly Cuban, but who have come together in the creative ways they explore their personal cultures and the world at large. The oil and watercolor paintings and assemblages on view showcase the similarities as well as the differences between these “two of a kind.”
Carlos Estevez was born and educated in Havana, Cuba. He graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in 1992 and had his first artist residency in London, England in 1997. Since then he has led the nomadic life with yearly residencies in cities from New York to Boston to Dale, Norway to Paris, France. It is no wonder that his new work falls under the heading of “Self-Navigation.” With all of the moving from city to city, Estevez says “there is one place we must keep safe at the very bottom of our self, the inner city of the soul.” The soul is very much present in Estevez’s work, but in this body of work it seems to have become freer. In the past, many of the figures in Estevez’s paintings were tethered by stings like marionettes being held by some mysterious force that existed beyond the frame of the viewer. There was a consistent theme of who was in control? Estevez has entered a new stage in his work where he has taken “the metaphor of life as an ocean and our transit on it as a navigation.” Though the forms that Estevez paints, the figures, the heads, the mapped body parts are still present in their ethereal settings and colors, their navigation is no longer in question.
The artist has taken control. Carlos Estevez has had numerous international solo and group exhibitions, most recently in Puerto Rico, Paris, Havana, Cuba as well as multiple venues in the U.S. His is represented in public collections in Brazil, the U.S., France, Mexico and Cuba, as well as private collections throughout the world.
Maureen McCabe’s work in Two of a Kind has been inspired by Monumenti Antichi inediti, a book on the history of art written by the German archaeologist and art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768). Many of the prints in the book are visual representations of events based on Homer’s writings. McCabe became intrigued by their narrative content and developed a new series of work using the images to inspire visual narratives of her own invention. The resultant assemblages depict vignettes of past cultures juxtaposed with aspects of contemporary society. In McCabe’s Greek and Roman Series, she renders the “stars” of the period including Hercules, Paris and Helen, and Diogenes and Alexander the Great, among others, in full golden regalia with 3-dimensional details worked into the grounds of the pieces. The story, process and collage components are meticulously documented on the back of each assemblage.
Maureen McCabe is currently the Joanne Toor Cummings ’50 Professor of Studio Art at Connecticut College where she has taught since 1971 and received the John S. King Faculty Teaching Award in recognition of teaching excellence in 1998. She is represented in many public and private collections. She has been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation as a Bellagio Study Center artist-in-resident, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and others. She was a participant in the 9th International Exhibition of Contemporary Collage in Paris/Sergines, France in 2002.