About Manuel Carbonell

Manuel Carbonell - Cuban Sculpture

Carbonell, considered among the most important Latin America Master Sculptors, graduated in 1945 from the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes “San Alejandro”, Havana, Cuba with the title of Professor of Modeling and Drawing. At the Academia his Professor Jose Sicre (a former student of Bourdelle) greatly influenced his work.

His chronological and stylistic trajectory commenced after graduation, when he traveled throughout Europe to study first hand the works of the European Masters. Upon returning to Cuba, his work during the 1940’ and 1950’s was religious and classical. After excelling and winning many national awards and recognitions, in 1953, he won his first international award at The III Bienal Hispanoamericana de Arte, Barcelona, Spain, with the life-size sculpture “Fin de Una Raza”.

In 1959, he departed for New York to commence the development of his intensively modern and contemporary work in the 1960’s, culminating on Madison Avenue, then pinnacle of the art world. He exhibited and had biannual One Man Show for over 15 years at the renowned Schoneman Galleries. Other artists exhibited at the gallery were Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Degas, Chagall, Gauguin, Braque and many others.

Many aspects of his rich and varied oeuvre, from his unique ever-transforming personal style and spectacular drawings to the monumental feeling he imparted to his maquettes and sculptures, led to commissions of major public monuments.

Carbonell's commissioned works, as in the 53-foot bronze monument "Tequesta Family" at the Brickell Avenue Bridge, Miami, Florida, was more figurative and the anatomical accuracy was more subject to the artist's internalized sensations, but in his contemporary critically acclaimed personal style, Carbonell searched for the essence of the form and the absence of detail while empowering a feeling of monumentality to his sculptures.

The uniqueness of his sculptures and variety of his interpretations provide a compelling evidence of his exceptional artistic talent. A brilliant combination of creativity and technique, a consistent originality and a “universal beauty” that the artist imparted to his work, has made his oeuvre permanent and transcendent to be recognized, appreciated and admired by present and future generations.

Undoubtedly, as Dr. Fred Schoneman, Director of New York's former Madison Avenue Schoneman Gallleries expressed in 1974, Carbonell is one of the “Masters of Sculpture of our Times”.