"Cárdenas belongs to a group of kindred spirits who during the XX century have made sculpture a “mental thing”… but without cutting off contact with its primitive and subconscious roots"
Josè Pierre, art critic


While attending the "San Alejandro" National School of Fine Arts in Havana (1953-1955), he became a member of “Los Once", a group of eleven artists in open contrast with the official academic art. He won his first national competition in 1954 and held his first solo exhibition in 1955 at the National Museum of Havana. Then he immediately moved to Paris, where he joined the French surrealist movement in 1957. In addition to many galleries in Paris (such as Galerie de la Cour d'Ingres, 1959), he held solo exhibitions at: Richard Felgen Gallery, Chicago 1962; Galleria Schwarz, Milan 1962; Arcanes Gallery, Brussels 1968; Galerie de France et du Benelux, Brussels 1977; Museum of Fine Arts, Caracas 1982; Galerie de Coreè, Seoul 1987.

He took part in a wide range of group exhibitions, including: "IV Exposición Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado", Centro Asturiano, Havana 1950; "Plastica Cubana Contemporanea", Lyceum, Havana 1954; "Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme Eros", Daniel Cordier Gallery, Paris 1960; "Etoile scellée", Paris 1956; several editions of the "Salon de la Jeune Sculpture", "Salon delle Realitès Nouvelle" and "Salon de Mai" in Paris (from 1956); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1959; "Exposition de l'Art Latino-Americain", National Museum of Modern Art, Paris 1962-1965; "Tokyo Biennial", Japan 1965; a number of editions of the "Middelheimpark Biennial", Antwerp (from 1965); "Surrealisme?", Modern Art Museum, Stockholm 1970; "II International Sculpture Biennial ", Budapest 1973. From 1961 he participated in many symposiums in Austria, Israel, Japan and Canada. His works are part of leading public collections, including museums in Caracas, Algiers, Montreal, Tel Aviv, Paris and Havana, while the majority of his monumental sculptures are placed in public spaces of French cities.

He moved to Carrara in 1966, creating his works at the Studi Nicoli, AMA and Carusi laboratories, at the Laboratorio Augusto Angeli in Massa and at the Giannoni, Giovannini, Mariani and Pellegrinetti laboratories and the Del Chiaro, Mariani and Tesconi foundries in Pietrasanta. He took part in a number of group exhibitions in the Apuan-Versilian area, including: the V, VI, VII and VIII editions of the "Biennale Internazionale di Scultura" in Carrara (from 1967 onwards); "Il passato e la presenza", Centro Culturale "L. Russo", Pietrasanta 1982, 1983; "Scolpire tra Carrara e Pietrasanta", Marina di Carrara 1989; "Pietrasanta. La veste del vuoto", Pietrasanta 1993.

The photographs published in the TimeLine were taken from the Museo dei Bozzetti website www.museodeibozzetti.it