Manuel Mendive (1944) plays a major role within the contemporary Afro-Cuban art movement. He was born in Havana, Cuba and currently resides there today where he continues to paint and sculpt. Mendive has an extensive educational background in art achieving honors while he studied painting and sculpting in multiple schools in Cuba. Since the beginning of his career in 1964, where he showed his work at the Center of Art in Havana, Mendive has participated in many international group and solo exhibitions. Through the course of many exhibitions he has been the recipient of several important awards bestowed upon him in Cuba and throughout countries in Europe.
Mendive produces art that combines the Afro-Cuban culture with international influences which root from Africa, Europe, and Cuba. The themes that he includes in his works illustrate how African religion and African culture have shaped Cuban national identity and culture. His works in general are very powerful paintings filled with a strong ethnic pride and cultural identity. He is popular for his paintings, sculptures, and performances featuring rhythmic music. Mendive works with a combination of several mediums and genres incorporated all into one piece. He also uses many organic objects to create his subject matter which creates a primitive-like quality to his pieces. His work is deeply influenced by the Santeria religion. The intention to incorporate this religion, which stems from his Yoruba roots, is to making a reference to mythological and religious observations revolving around questions related to contemporary life and the social issues in that take place in Cuba.
Awards / To Top
José María Heredia Medal Awarding, Council of Plastic Arts, Division of Culture, Santiago de Cuba.
Hacha de Holguín (Axe from Holguin), Division of Cultural Heritage, Holguín.
Consulting Professor, Degree conferred by the Higher Institute of Arts.
National Prize of Plastic Arts 2001, Havana, Cuba. Award for Illustrious Son of the City of Havana, People´s Power from the City of Havana.
Medal from the Ville de Fort-de-France, Martinica.
Félix Varela First Degree Order, Council of State from the Republic of Cuba.
Knight of the Arts and Letters Order from the Ministry of Culture and French-speaking nations from the Republic of France.
Medal from Saint Guiliano Terme Commune, Italy.
Medal from the City of Havana.
Junior Olympics Medal, Japan.
Alejo Carpentier Medal, Council of State from the Republic of Cuba.
Collective Prize, Cuban Show at the I Biennial Jaime Guash Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.
Award: V Anniversary Order, Municipal Division e of culture, Cotorro.
Se parece a la Felicidad (It looks like happiness), VI Biennial of Havana, Wifredo Lam Center, Museum of Colonial Art, Havana, Cuba.
Museum of Modern Art from Cartagena de Indias, San Pedro Claver Plaza, Colombia.
Mention VI Festival of the Culture de Caribbean Origin, Santiago de Cuba.
Diploma IV Quadrennial, Erfurt, Germany.
International Prize of the Second Biennial of Havana, Wifredo Lam Center, National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba.
Prize from Latin American Space Gallery from Paris, I Biennial of Havana, Wifredo Lam Center, National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana Cuba.
Award 1300 years of the Bulgarian Culture, Ministry of Culture of Bulgary.
Award for the National Culture, Ministry of Culture of Cuba.
Medal from the Municipal Division of Culture from 10 de October, Havana, Cuba.
Diploma Prix National, II International Festival of Painting, Cannessur-Mer, France.
Adam Montparnasse Prize, XXIV Salón de Mayo from Paris, France.
National Salon of Plastic Arts Prize, Havana, Cuba.
First Prize, Salon of Drawing, Havana, Cuba.
Prize for Sculpture, Circle of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba.
Exhibitions / To Top
One Race, The Human Race / Una Raza, La Raza Humana, Key West, FL
Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada
Things That Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive
Latin American Masters of Today and Tomorrow, Virginia Miller Galleries, Coral Gables, FL
Exhibition and Performance: El espíritu, la naturaleza y las cabezas (Spirit, nature and heads), Orígenes Gallery, 29 de marzo – 29 de abril, 10ma Bienal de La Habana, Cuba.
Exhibition: Mendive at Saint Martin, Amahoro Gallery, West Indies Shopping Mall 97150 Saint-Martin (F.W.I.)
Surrounded by Water: Expresions of Freedom and Isolation in Contemporary Cuban Art, Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA
La Mirada Persuasiva, Galeria Estudio Artizar, La Laguna, Spain
Exhibition: “El color blanco, el azul, el verde y el color de mi piel” (The white, theblue, the green color and that of my skin, Museum of Anthropology and History Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
Feeding the Spirit, the Light, the Ancestros, Olodumare, the most beautiful thing, Gary Nader Gallery, Coral Gables , FL
Mother Africa Series, Week of the African Culture, Gallery: House of Culture of Angola, Havana, Cuba
Exhibition of Modern Cuban Art, Athens, Greece
Los Ancestros, orisha, la naturaleza y el pensamiento (The ancestros, orisha, nature and thought), Museum of the Americas, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Social, intelectual y chic (Social, intellectual and chic), Biarritz, France
Las Aguas, lo cotidiano y el pensamiento ( Waters, Daily Life and Thought), Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba
Shangó y la Vida (Shango and Life), La Recova Exhibition Hall, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Shangó y la Vida, Sa Nostra Cultural Center , Palma de Mallorca; Capitol Cultural Center, Cáceres, Spain
Santa Bárbara-Shangó en nuestras Vidas (Santa Barbara, Shango in our Lives), Gallery for Universal Art in Guines, Havana, Cuba
Las Aves y los Peces (Birds and Fishes), Latin American Gallery, Casa de las Américas, Havana, Cuba
Exhibition of Sculptures, Museum of Rhum, Havana, Cuba
Gary Nader Gallery, Coral Gables, FL
Ville de Chanteclerç, Fort-de-France, Martinique
Andy Jllich Gallery, Switzerland
Joan Guaita Art Gallery, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
The World of Art Gallery, Paris, France
Museum of Colonial Art, Havana, Cuba
Museum of Modern Art in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Nacional Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica
Present Art Gallery, Santiago de Chile, Chile
La Acacia Gallery, Havana, Cuba
Fernando Quintana Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia
The World of Art Gallery, Paris, France
Galería Expositum Ciudad México, D.F.
Le Monde de L’Art, Paris, France
Museo Boshum, Alemania
Sevilla ’92, Pabellón de las Artes, Spain
Galería le Monde de L’Art, Paris, France
21a. Bienal Internacional Sao Paulo, Brasil
Museo Arte Moderno San Diego San Diego, CA
25o. Salón Internacional de Arte de Zagreb Yugoslavia
Civic Gallery, Cavour Plaza, Padua, Italy
SEIBU Group, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Galería Nesle Paris, France
XLIII Biennial de Venice, Italy
Ethnographic Museum of Budapest, Hungary
The October Gallery, London, UK
Museum of Contemporary Art, Panama City, Panama
Para el Ojo que Mira (For the Eye which glances), Nacional Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba
Conversando con los Peces (Taliking to Fishes), Latin American Cultural Space Gallery,
Plaza Vieja Gallery, Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales (Cuban Funds of Cultural
Heritage) , Havana, Cuba
Travelling show through Zambia, Nigeria, Angola and Mozambique
Mpapa Gallery, Lusaka, Zambia
Iwalewa House, University de Bayreuth, Germany
ORTH Gallery, Nuremberg, RFA
Art Gallery, Moscow, USSR
Mendive: Un pintor de lo Real Maravilloso (A painter of the Marvelous Reality), L Gallery, Havana, Cuba
Museo Arte Contemporáneo Madrid, Spain
Museo Nacional Tanzania, Tanzania
Collections / To Top
National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana,
Cuba; Emilio Bacardí Museum, Santiago
de Cuba; Panama Museum of Modern Art,
PANARTE, Panama; Museum of Modern Art,
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; Ethnographic
Museum of Budapest, Hungary; Museum of
Modern Art from the Ville of Paris, France;
Atlantic Center of Modern Art, Las Palmas de
Gran Canaria, Spain; Sa Nostra Foundation,
Palma de Mallorca, Spain; France Liberté
Foundation, Paris, France; Joan Guaita Art
Gallery, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; National
Museum of Tanzania; The Jonh F. Kennedy
Center, Washington, USA; Gary Nader,
Art Gallery, Miami, USA; SEIBU Group,
Tokyo, Japan; Cultural Center of Manila, Philippines
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