ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Galerie Ron Mandos is happy to present In pursuit of a life without regret, a new solo exhibition by Cuban artist Inti Hernandez (1976). Two decades ago, Hernandez made the decision to relocate to the Netherlands, drawn to the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. This exhibition commemorates that pivotal moment and showcases his unique interpretation of the Dutch landscape, both in its physical form and as a profound metaphor.
Inspired by philosopher Baruch Spinoza, who coincidentally also called Amsterdam home, Hernandez navigates contemporary challenges such as balancing progress with sustainability. Just as Spinoza elucidated the tension between rationality and emotion, Hernández explores this struggle and its implications on human conduct. He uses mundane tools; carves them into wooden sculptures devoid of their practical function and makes them into symbols of discovery and art. These sculptures, along with his paintings that critique unnatural abundances, illustrate the need for a more sensible, thoughtful approach to sustainable progress.
Spinoza conceived nature as one’s true home, a complex web of interconnection. Similarly, Hernandez depicts nature as intimate and personal, creating scenes imbued with temperance, equilibrium, and individual accountability. He views the landscape as an extension of home, a means to comprehend and articulate the world in its primordial state. His paintings, which range from bucolic landscapes to tables laden with food, both celebrate nature’s abundance and critique our consumption patterns and estrangement from naturalness.
In his sculptures, Hernández reimagines mundane domestic items like typewriters and gloves, encapsulating his artistic journey and philosophy: the crafted wooden whistle (In Pursuit of My Ability to Get Lost) is emblematic of this process, symbolizing his transition from losing himself in art to trusting his instincts. The whistle’s transformation from a tool to a piece of wooden art removes its traditional guiding function. It emphasizes the belief that any place can be home, reflecting Hernández’s poetic perspective:
“In pursuit of my ability to get lost, I turn away from my whistle. I leave it behind so that my walk teaches me to trust and enjoy what it finds in its path. In pursuit of my ability to get lost, I am willing to believe that any place can become my home.” – Inti Hernandez
In pursuit of a life without regret draws inspiration from Hernández’s formative years at different art institutions in Cuba during the 1990s, where he developed his craft by incorporating elements of traditional romantic styles, both in painting and sculpture. During this period, painting played a significant role in his artistic expression. Now, after focusing predominantly on sculptures for a time, Hernández is rediscovering and reintegrating painting into his practice. Today, Hernández’s works transcend aesthetics, commenting on societal roles and advocating for a balance between individual aspirations and broader sustainability. This aligns with the Latin American concept of ‘buen vivir’ – living in harmony with oneself, society, and nature.
The exhibition juxtaposes the excess and vibrancy of paintings with the simplicity of sculptures, exploring ethics from abundance to minimalism and from recovery to waste. At its essence, Hernández’s art is a testament to empathy, memory, and a sustainable approach to life.
In this exploration, Abundance (part 1) stands out as a critical reflection on our choices and values. “A table overflowing with abundance. How much goes to waste? How much is truly necessary? Strawberries and oranges – fruits from vastly different climates – intermingle on the Dutch table, available year-round. What wealth has made this possible, and what are its consequences?” – Inti Hernandez.