Alejandro Cardenas

Alejandro Cardenas

Alejandro Cardenas‘ paintings present surreal myths woven partly from the artist’s personal memories. The title of his show, “Calusa Garden,” refers to a park near his childhood home on Key Biscayne, Florida. The periwinkle blue skies and green forests in paintings such as Facing the Final Secluded (pictured above, all works 2019) seem vaguely Floridian; but in the distance are mountains, a natural feature nonexistent in the Sunshine State. Perhaps the hazy peaks betoken Cardenas’ birthplace of Santiago, Chile; yet worldly geography hardly seems to matter, for little in these paintings belongs to reality’s realm. Glyphic mangrove-root figures with angular bodies, no faces and reedy limbs dance before ultramarine lattices and interact with patterns resembling painted china. The nature of these subjects’ identities and activities are intriguingly unclear, as though one were spying on scenes from another dimension of inscrutable era and locale. Suggestions of contemporary Florida are enigmatically tied in with tenuous historical references and fantasia. For instance, the title of The Interchanging of Golden Glades seems referential to a confluence of major roadways north of Miami; but there are no roads in this painting, which instead depicts two striped silhouettes embracing before a flowery scrim. Cardenas’ work exemplifies the vivid fantasies that distinctively beautiful landscapes as those of south Florida often kindle in susceptible imaginations.

 

 

AE2 (Anat Ebgi) 
2680 S. La Cienega Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA   90034
Show runs through Jul. 13