UTA Artist Space is pleased to present The Decorator’s Home, a solo exhibition by Marco Castillo, curated by Neville Wakefield. This is Castillo’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. after 26 years of collaboration within the world-renowned Los Carpinteros collective.
Inspired by Cuban Modernism, The Decorator’s Home personifies the vision of a fictional interior designer, tracing their style evolution from the commercial, North American-influenced Modernist design of the 1950s to the revolutionary, Soviet-influenced style of the 1960s and 1970s. Through sculptural installations, watercolors, drawings and a video, The Decorator’s Home is an attempt to capture the work of a generation that was cut short.
The exhibition’s central metaphor belongs to a series of mobiles. Literally hanging in the balance, they are measuring instruments produced as part of a black market economy responding to a failure to create the sophisticated measuring equipment common to advanced systems of distribution. Here the physics of pressure and counterbalance speak to the precarious equilibrium of individual freedom and state intervention.
Juxtaposed with the mobiles are a series of works inspired by Soviet-era designs and materials, mixed with traditional elements such as caning, rattan and latticework. The artwork titles bear the names of important, utopian Cuban architects and designers from the 1960s and 1970s whose aspirations were founded on the economic hardship of the communist regime and the associated stigma of bourgeois taste: María Victoria, Reinaldo, Galván, and more.
Generation, a short film made in collaboration with Cuban filmmaker Carlos Lechuga, completes the fictional decorator-designer’s path through the unrealized dream. Languid and melancholic, it suggests a state of mind as much as of place. Here the architects, designers and decorators of the Modernist movement are played by the generation of artists and designers shaping Cuba today, offering perhaps the hope that history does not repeat itself.
The Decorator’s Home is a continuation of a project launched at the Havana Biennial 2019 at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam, from April 12 - May 12. The opening reception will be held at UTA Artist Space on Friday, May 31, from 6-8PM, with a special performance by Seu Jorge at 7PM.