Manuel Carbonell, one of the great Latin American Masters, is the last of the Cuban Master Sculptors of his generation. This generation of Cuban artists, including Wifredo Lam and Agustin Cardenas studied at the renowned Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro in Havana, Cuba. At the Academia Carbonell studied under the guidance of Jose Sicres, a former student of Bourdelle, Rodin's favorite disciple.
Upon graduation in 1945 Carbonell received the title of Professor of Drawing and Sculpture. He then traveled to France, Italy and Spain to work and study. Upon returning to Cuba, Carbonell received many national honors and awards and in 1954 he received the award for the capellana stone carving sculpture Fin De Una Raza at the Third Bienal Hispanoamericana de Arte (Barcelona, Spain).
In 1959, upon arriving in New York, Carbonell moved from his classical and religious period in Cuba in 1949 and 1950 through the commencement and development of his modern expression of the 1960's, culminating in Madison Avenue, then pinnacle of the art world. In 1961, he celebrated his first One Man Show at the renowned Schoneman Galleries in New York City. During the 15 years that the Schoneman Galleries exhibited Carbonell's work, Carbonell was the only sculptor among the artists exhibited by the gallery, which included Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin and Renoir.
In 1976, at a formal ceremony at the White House, Carbonell presented "The Bicentennial Eagle" as his gift to the United States of America. The sculpture is presently part of the Smithsonian Collection and is displayed at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor Michigan.
Following a period of self-imposed isolation, Carbonell resurges in 1986 to be represented by Beaux Arts Gallery and to be critically acclaimed as one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century and today. Carbonell's inexhaustible vision and ever changing-style are the product of a brilliant talent and academic background. Ceaselessly searching for the essence of the form and the absence of details, he struggles to provide a sense of strength, monumentality and simplicity to his work. Carbonell passed in 2011.
Many aspects of Carbonell's rich and varied oeuvre are denoted in this exhibition; from his unique personal style to the monumental feeling of his maquettes and sculptures that has led to commissions of major public works.