Yoan Capote

Cuba 1977

Installation, Sculpture


Yoan Capote
Yoan Capote
January 12, 2015

Yoan Capote is a Cuban sculptor of great talent, and one of his country’s most promising contemporary artists. He was born in 1977 in Pinar del Río and studied at the Superior Institute of Art from 1991 to 1995. He also received the UNESCO prize during the 7th Havana Biennial with the artists collective DUPP (Desde Una Pragmática Pedagógica).

Capote’s work is known to be “solid”, “irreverent”, “provocative”, “non-conformist”, and deals principally with interactions between individuals and their psychological experiences. His pieces often merge human organs with inanimate objects, rearranging the human body and reinventing the purpose of everyday life objects. Example for this practice is one of his works entitled Open Mind (2006). It is a labyrinth based on the drawing of the human brain where people can walk. People become metaphors for neurons transmitting information as they walk around the maze. From his first exhibition, Yoan Capote has shown a peculiar sensitivity toward everyday objects. He could be said strives to reveal the metaphorical facets of objects and to make certain interpretations about the people who consume or modify them through use. In that sense, the use of everyday objects as a self-imposed choice makes Capote a peculiar type of sculptor, one who remains alien to the traditional methods of art. His method of creating pieces is extremely intellectual, a sort of ping-pong game between an abstract concept and the different ways in which it can be expressed. Consequently, his pieces assume a variety of appearances, engravings, sculptures, assemblages, and drawings.

Matrimonio (Matrimony) is Capote’s ironic take on one of the unresolved enigmas in the history of humanity, the conjugal union. The spouses will have a close relationship, but will never be able to consummate the marriage. The disposition of the shoes condemns them to circle eternally around each other. As a member of DUPP, Yoan Capote presented 1… 2… 3… Probando at the Seventh Havana Biennial. The title refers to the first words that are generally spoken when testing audio equipment or microphones, as is the case here. Capote’s proposal consisted of an installation in a public space, namely, the placement of multiple microphones along the wall of the Malecón, Havana’s seaside promenade. The devices would face not only inward from the shoreline but also out toward the sea, the open space. This piece implicitly paid homage to one of Havana’s main thoroughfares, which runs along the city’s northern border. Completed after 1…2…3… Probando, Protocolo (Protocol) was created as part of an installation consisting of two similar chairs, a long aluminum-and-glass table placed between them, and a soundtrack of mumbled, unintelligible phrases. It was not the first time that Capote had built furniture. He had previously made metal and wood park benches infused with a strange, expressionistic quality, but this time, the piece of furniture loses all suggestion of functionality to venture into the field of the purely symbolic. Moving from 1… 2… 3… Probando to Protocolo, Capote’s meaning became more allusive and obscure, and infused with a deeper ambiguity. In this piece, the metaphor is nurtured or even generated by a contradiction between the function of the object being portrayed and its structure, or the materials from which it has been made. It is a proposal that does not want to be classified by local cultural contexts, but rather by the universal scope of its mise-en-scène.

Yoan Capote held many exhibitions all over the world and he is currently living and working in Havana.

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2014Emotional ObjectsBen Brown Fine Arts, London, UKSolo
2013Rerum Alter NaturaLong House Reserve, East Hampton, NY, USASolo
2013Cuban ForeverPizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH, USAGroup
2012Fonemas y Morfemas II, with Iván CapoteGalería Habana, Havana, CubaSolo
2012Momentum, XI Havana BiennialEl Nukleo + El Bunker Studio, Havana, CubaSolo
2012Entre TrópicosCaixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilGroup
2012HB, XI Havana BiennialPabexpo Exhibition Complex, Havana, CubaGroup
2012CaosGalería Havana, Havana, CubaGroup
2012Construir, Deconstruir y DestruirCarlos Garaicoa Studio, Madrid, SpainGroup
2012CírculosGalería Elba Benítez, Madrid, SpainGroup
2011In Tran-sit21c Museum, Louisville, KY, USASolo
2011Fonemas y Morfemas, with Iván CapoteGalería Habana, Havana, CubaSolo
201154th Venice BiennaleVenice, ItalyGroup
2011Adjoining Islands: The Cuban Pavilion in ManhattanSRDR Enterprises, NY, USAGroup
2011L’Insoutenable l’égèreté de l’êtreYvon Lambert, NY, USAGroup
2011Cuba Now21c Museum, Louisville, KY, USAGroup
2010Mental StatesJack Shainman Gallery, NY, USASolo
2010StressisimoGalería Habana, Havana, CubaGroup
2010Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from Farber CollectionLowe Art Museum, Miami, FL, USAGroup
2010Portugal Arte 10, First Portugal BiennialLisbon, PortugalGroup
2010Without MaskJohannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg, SouthafricaGroup
2010En Otra DimensiónGalería Habana, Havana, CubaGroup
2010Los ImpolíticosNAP, Naples, ItalyGroup
2010Polaridades ComplementariasNew Orleans Art Museum, New Orleans, USAGroup
2010PanamericanoKurimanzutto, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2009Las Américas Latinas – Las fatigas del quererSpazio Oberdan, Milan, ItalyGroup
2009Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary ArtThessaloniki, GreeceGroup
2009Confluencias II: Inside Arte Cubano ContemporáneoThe National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, USAGroup
2009X Havana BiennialLa Cabaña Fortress, Havana, CubaGroup
2009HB, X Havana BiennialPabexpo exhibition Complex, Havana, CubaGroup
2008PsicomorfosisGalería Habana, Havana, CubaSolo
2008EróticaNational Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, CubaGroup
2008State of ExchangeInstitute of International Visual Art (INIVA), London, UKGroup
2008Surrounded by WaterBoston University Art Gallery, Boston, USAGroup
2007Killing TimeExit Art, NYGroup
2007Inside-OutsideGeorge Adams Gallery, NYGroup
2007Waiting List: Time and Transition in Contemporary Cuban ArtCity Art Museum of Ljubljana (MGML), Tiskovina, Slovenia.Group
2007CeroWhite Hall of the San Francisco de Asís Convent, Havana, CubaGroup
2006Pensamientos ParalelosHavana Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland.Solo
2006Case Studies: Art in a ValiseKatonah Museum of Art, NY, USAGroup
2006Contemporary Cuban DrawingPaul Sharpe Contemporary Art, NY, USAGroup
2006Pacemaker: Contemporary Cuban ArtEdward Day Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2006ObsessionsEdward Day Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2006Group ShowGeorge Adams Gallery, NY, USAGroup
2006Inner CitiesGalería Luz y Oficio, Havana, CubaGroup
2006Doble BlancoGalería Villa Manuela, Havana, CubaGroup
2006In the Nature of ThingsGeorge Adams Gallery, NY, USAGroup
2005Body LanguageGeorge Adams Gallery, NY, USAGroup
2005Wunderkammer IGalería Nina Menocal, DF., MexicoGroup
2004AnimicaGeorge Adams Gallery, NY, USASolo
2004Between the LinesPaul Sharpe Contemporary Art, NY, USASolo
2004Preparations: Studies for Sculpture on PaperAndre Zarre Gallery, NY, USASolo
2004Cuba from the Inside Looking Out IWayne State University, Detroit, USAGroup
2004New Installations, Artists in Residence: CubaMattrees Factory, Pittsburgh, USAGroup
2004Benchmark Longhouse Reserve, East Hampton, NY, USAGroup
2004Just on timeGalería Habana, Havana, CubaGroup
2004The Future is NowPaul Sharpe Contemporary Art, NY, USAGroup
2004Collector’s ShowArkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, USAGroup
2004Bush-WackGeorge Adams Gallery, NY, USAGroup
2003Drawings and ProjectsBrownstone Foundation, Paris, FranceSolo
2003VIII Havana BiennialLa Cabaña Fortress, Havana, CubaGroup
2003Ciudad MúltipleInternational Exhibition in Public Spaces, Panama City, PanamaGroup
2003Sentido ComúnGalería Habana, Havana, CubaGroup
2002International ShowVermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, USAGroup
2002La Huella MúltipleCDAV, Havana, CUBAGroup
2002La Huella MúltipleHavana Galerie, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2002100 years of Art in Pinar del RíoPinar del Río Art Museum (MAPRI), CubaGroup
2002ISA GraduatedHavana Galerie, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2001El Diseño de lo HíbridoGalería Habana, Havana, CubaSolo
2000VII Havana BiennialHavana, CubaGroup
2000ZoomGalería Convenio Andrés Bello, Bogotá, ColombiaGroup
2000Con un Pensar Abstraído, DUPP ProjectGalería Habana, Havana, CubaGroup
1999ULM (Huéleme)Galería Carmelo González, Havana, CubaSolo
1999A Ras de TierraArchitects College, Havana, CubaGroup
1999Los Desvelos del CíclopeEspacio Abierto, Havana, CubaGroup
1999The Performatical ConditionWifredo Lam Center, Havana, CubaGroup
1999Con un Pensar Abstraído (Public Intervention), DUPP ProjectLa Rampa, Havana, CubaGroup
1999La Época (Public intervention)Comercial Center La Época, Havana, CubaGroup
1999VII Salon of Erotic ArtGalería Mariano Rodríguez, Havana, CubaGroup
1998Tracc Bakk TrackGalería 23 y 12, Havana, CubaSolo
1998Pizza Pizza, PostimposibilityCDAV, Cuba and Fine Arts University, FranceGroup
1998Building Cultural Bridges, CornellAtlantic and William Patterson Universities, USAGroup
1998II Sculpture BiennialGalería Teodoro Ramos Blanco, Havana, CubaGroup
1998I Performance Festival Ana MendietaGalería UNEAC, Havana, CubaGroup
1997Antes de la lluviaGalería del ISA, VI Havana Biennial, Havana, CubaGroup
1996Se Mandaron pa’ homeCDAV, Havana, CubaGroup
1995El Molino RojoCasa del Joven Creador, Havana, CubaGroup
1994ENA Una VezGalería ENA, V Havana Biennial, Havana, CubaGroup