Manuel Carbonell – 2018
Manuel Carbonell is one of the most highly regarded contemporary Cuban sculptors. Born in Cuba in 1918, he died in Florida in 2011 at the age of 93. Carbonell belonged to a generation of artists who studied at the San Alejandro School of Fine Arts in Havana, during which time he met Mario Carreno, Amelia Pelaez, Victor Manuel and Fidelio Ponce. His greatest influence, however, would be his teacher and mentor, José Sicre. Carbonell travelled to France, Italy and Spain where he continued to study. He developed a classical style and many of his early sculptures had a religious theme. This would change when Carbonell fled Cuba for New York, where he began to experiment with more modern forms. His work began to attract the attention of prominent collectors. By 1963 he was exhibiting at the influential Schoneman Gallery on Madison Avenue (and would have a further seven solo shows there). In 1976, at a ceremony at the White House, Carbonell gifted his “Bicentennial Eagle” to the United States. The following year he sculpted the “Madonna of Fatima” , his first bronze monument. Standing eight metres high, it is one of the largest bronzes ever cast in the United States in the twentieth century.
Manuel Carbonell’s sculptures demonstrate immense sensitivity and technique. His sensual, powerful works are held at museums, in private collections and exhibited in public spaces.
His “Mother and Child” sculpture in the gardens of Château de Vullierens is the first of his works ever shown in Switzerland.