Skip to content
Carlos Alfonzo Source of Light
Carlos Alfonzo Maternity #2
Carlos Alfonzo Head I
Carlos Alfonzo Head II
Carlos Alfonzo Head III
Carlos Alfonzo Head IV
Carlos Alfonzo Jim at the Gym
Carlos Alfonzo Circolo #8
Carlos Alfonzo Chairs and Figures
Carlos Alfonzo God (Turned) Backwards
Carlos Alfonzo Untitled
Carlos Alfonzo Sculpture with Gun and Knife
Carlos Alfonzo Olive Head
Carlos Alfonzo Untitled
Carlos Alfonzo Untitled

Press Release

Paintings and Works on Paper,
May 18 - Jun 30, 1999

During May and June, the George Adams Gallery will show paintings, works on paper and two scultpures by Carlos Alfonzo. Alfonzo, who was born in Cuba in 1950 and came to the U.S. in 1980, lived and worked in Miami until his death in 1991. During his lifetime, Carlos Alfonzo  was included in "Hispanic Art in the United States: Thirty Contemporary Painters and Sculptors" 1987-1988 (his painting appeared on the cover of the catalogue) and the 1989 Corcoran Bienial, both of which travelled extensively throughout the U.S.  He was also included in "The Decade Show" organized jointly in 1990 by the New Museum, the Studio Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art in New York City, and in the 1991 Whitney Biennial. Most recently he was the subject of a major retrospective organized by the Miami Art Museum which traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum in 1998.

The present exhibition is the first one-man show of Carlos Alfonzo's work since 1993, and the first in New York since 1988. The exhibition will feature work in different medias from 1987 to 1991, the period which begins with the lively and  intensely colored, cubistic canvasses dealing with his life and religion (Santeria), and ends with the darkly somber works that foretell his death from AIDS. 

Included in the exhibition are, for example, Jim at the Gym, 1987, a warmly colored canvas crowded with abstracted images refering to Santeria. In stark contrast is Circulo #8, 1990, one of a series of dark - and stark - paintings made just before his death; where the earlier work suggests youthful vitality and passion, the later work's austere palette and black tones convey the full range of emotions of a young man confronting death.

Other works in the exhibition include a major large-scale painting God Backwards, 1987, a studio scene titled Chairs and Figure (God in the Studio) 1989, and an eleven foot long acrylic on paper from 1987. For an insight into the way Alfonzo worked, there are also a series four large acrylic on paper sketches, four monotypes and two steel sculpture all of which echo motifs that appear in Circulo #8.

Exhibition Checklist

Clockwise from the right:

1.  Sculpture with Gun and Knife, c. 1988
gouache on paper
30 1/2 x 21 inches
CALd 15

2. Untitled, 1990
welded metal with paint
21 1/2 x 14 x 21 inches
CALs 1

3. God (Turned) Backwards, 1987
oil on canvas
120 x 120 inches
CALp 4

4. Untitled, 1987
acrylic, pencil onpaper
24 x 131 1/4  inches
CALd 1

5. Jim at the Gym, 1986
acrylic on canvas
91 x 87 inches
CALp 1

6.  Head IV, 1990
monotype, ink on paper
31 x 22 1/2 inches
CALd 9

7. Head I, 1990
monotype, ink on paper
31 x 22 1/2 inches
CALd 6

8.  Chairs and Figure, 1989
oil on canvas
65 x 61  inches
CALp 3

9. Source of Light, 1989
gouache on paper
30 x 43 1/2 inches
CALd 5

10. Circulo #8, 1990
oil on canvas
72 x 72 inches
CALp 2

11. Head III, 1990
monotype, ink on paper
29 1/2 x 22 1/4 inches
CALd 8

12. Head II, 1990
monotype, ink on paper
29 1/2 x 22 1/4 inches
CALd 7

13. Olive Head, 1990
gouache on paper
31 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches
CALd 14

14. Untitled, 1987
ink, tempra, gouache on paper
48 x 31 inches
CALd 16