Cuerpo: Carlos Martiel At El Museo del Barrio In East Harlem

March 13, 2024

El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem is proud to present the first solo exhibition in a New York City museum of Carlos Martiel, the inaugural recipient of the Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize.

This groundbreaking survey, on view from May 2 to September 1, 2024, encapsulates Martiel’s performance-based practice of nearly two decades. Employing his body as a primary medium, Martiel utilizes endurance performances in both public and gallery spaces to delve into the complex legacies of colonialism on race, labor, and migration.

The exhibition features a selection of the artist’s most significant projects to date, bringing together different spaces and temporalities through preparatory drawings, photographs, and videos, as well as the remains of past sculptural performances, in dialog with East Harlem’s El Museo’s multidisciplinary project space, Room 110.

Carlos Martiel has been a prominent figure in the New York art scene for the past decade. However, his practice transcends strict geographic limits, responding to different political and cultural contexts. His approach pushes the limits of self-expression to explore the impact of systems of oppression on BIPOC and Latinx communities.

This survey exhibition marks his return to the institution since his debut in La Trienal, in which Martiel presented the first version of his acclaimed Monuments series. Since then, additional iterations of this ongoing work have been performed in New York, Dakar, and Mexico City, all of which will be included as part of the El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem presentation.

This exhibition is accompanied by a new fully illustrated, bilingual (Spanish/English) publication that will serve as the first comprehensive monograph of the artist, highlighting approximately 40 performances from across Martiel’s career.

The publication will include an introduction from El Museo’s curators and a specially commissioned essay by guest author and scholar Genevieve Hyacinthe.

Carlos Martiel

Carlos Martiel (born 1989, Havana), lives and works in New York. He graduated in 2009 from the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro in Havana. Between the years 2008-2010, he studied in the Cátedra Arte de Conducta, directed by the artist Tania Bruguera. 

Martiel’s works have been included in the 11th Lanzarote Biennial, Spain; Biennial of the Americas, USA; 4th Vancouver Biennale, Canada; 14th Sharjah Biennial, UAE; 14th Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador; 57th Venice Biennale, Italy; Casablanca Biennale, Morocco; Biennial “La Otra”, Colombia; Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom; Pontevedra Biennial, Spain; Havana Biennial, Cuba. He has had performances at The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; La Tertulia Museum, Cali, Colombia; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito, Ecuador; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Zulia (MACZUL), Maracaibo, Venezuela; Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan; and Nitsch Museum, Naples. He has received several awards, including the Franklin Furnace Fund in New York, 2016; “CIFOS Grants & Commissions Program Award” in Miami, 2014; “Arte Laguna” in Venice, 2013. His work has been exhibited at The São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), São Paulo; The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach; Zisa Zona Arti Contemporanee (ZAC), Palermo; Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami; Benaki Museum, Athens; National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; and El Museo del Barrio, New York, among others. 

His works are in public and private collections such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); and Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro.

El Museo del Barrio, 1230 5th Avenue at 104th Street, East Harlem, NY 10029, 212-831-7272,

Photo credit: 1-4) El Museo del Barrio

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