Alfredo Castañeda

The concentric circles of art and mysticism are one in the work of Alfredo Castañeda, creator of one of the most authentic and original bodies of work in contemporary Mexican art. A major oeuvre, no doubt, and one that continues to grow. His works are doors to houses and temples whose walls are fields and oceans which are bodies, which are also words, which are also images. No one in Mexico has done quite this before. No one has walked where he takes us, astounded, filled with his mystery and his smile.

– Alberto Ruy Sanchez, 1989

Alfredo Castañeda was born in Mexico City in 1938. He received a degree in architecture from the University of Mexico in 1964 and in 1969 he had his first one-man show at the Galería de Arte Mexicano, the gallery which represents him worldwide outside of the U.S. His surrealist imagery intrigues viewers and his works are included in private collections in Mexico and Latin America, the United States, Europe and Japan.

In 1983 he had his first individual show in the United States at Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art and has been represented by MAM/FA in the U.S. since then. A retrospective of his work was held at the Monterrey (Mexico) Museum in 1990 and a monograph celebrating twenty years of work was published in the same year. Since then he has had a number of exhibitions in the U.S. and Latin America which are detailed below.

Castañeda lived in Madrid, where he died in 2010.

Solo Exhibitions

  • 1999 Nuestro yo y mi nosotros (Our I and My We), Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York
  • 1997 En busca del corazón (In Search of the Heart), Galería GAM, Mexico City
  • 1997 ARCO ’97, Galería GAM, Madrid, Spain
  • 1996 Dibujos Recientes (Recent Drawings), El Guardián de lo Pequeño, Madrid, Spain
  • 1996 Retrospective, 1969-1996, Instituto de Mexico, Madrid, Spain
  • 1996 ARCO ’96, Galería GAM, Madrid, Spain
  • 1996 El propio abismo (His Own Abyss), Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, Art Miami 96, Miami, Florida
  • 1995 El secreto del secreto (The Secret of the Secret), Galería de Arte Mexicano, ARCO 95, Madrid, Spain
  • 1994 La busqueda (The Search), Galería Espacio, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • 1993 Los pasos comunicantes, Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York
  • 1993 Los pasos comunicantes (The Communicating Steps), Galería de Arte Mexicano and Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, ARCO 93, Madrid, Spain
  • 1992 En cierto sentido (In a Certain Sense), Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1990 Que veinte años no son nada… (Twenty Years is Nothing…), Museo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • 1989 From the Circular Eden (Remembrances), Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York
  • 1986 ¡Si tú y yo lo supiéramo! (If You and I Only Knew It!), Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York
  • 1984 Introducción a la Guerra Santa (Introduction to the Holy War), Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1983 Private Heavens, Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York
  • 1982 Ilustraciones, Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1980 Acercamientos, Colegio de México, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1978 Días de visita (Visiting Days), Promoción de las Artes A.C., Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
  • 1978 Del purgatorio: Recordatorios, visiones y testimonios (From Purgatory: Reminders, Visions and Testmonies), Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1976 Del Común de los Santos (On the Commonness of Saints), Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1975 De Esta y de la Otra Orilla (Of This Shore and That), Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1973 Oraciones, retratos y adivinanzas (Prayers, Portraits and Puzzles), Centro Universitario Cultural, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1972 Museum of Modern Art, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1971 Lambert Gallery, Los Angeles, California
  • 1971 Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1969 Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F.

Group Exhibitions

  • 1988-1999 Muestra Anual de Pintura Latinoamericana, Galería Espacio, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • 1996 Espíritu, California Center for the Arts Museum, Escondido, California
  • 1991 Mexico: Figures of the Eighties, Instituto Cultural Mexicano, San Antonio, Texas and Washington, D.C.
  • 1990 The Heart of Mexico, Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • 1990 Forces of History, Symbols of Desire, Parallel Project, New York
  • 1988 Mexico Nine Suite, a traveling exhibition organized by the Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 1986 Surrealists in Mexico, Museo Nacional de Arte del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico, D.F., El Museo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Nueva León, Mexico
  • 1986 The Sacrifice at Confrontation 86, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1986 Modern Mexican Masters and their Contemporary Heirs, The Art Council, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1985 Mexican Art of the 20th Century, Bacardi Art Gallery, Miami, Florida
  • 1985 The New Generation, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Texas
  • 1985 50 Años de dibujo en México (50 Years of Drawing in Mexico), Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F. This exhibition was part of the gallery’s 50th anniversary celebration.
  • 1985 Homenaje a los artistas de la tercera época (Homage to the Artist of the Third Generation), Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico, D.F. This exhibition was part of the gallery’s 50th anniversary celebration.
  • 1985 Antiguo Testamento, nueva visión (Old Testament, New Vision), San Carlos Museum and the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1984 Art Mexico: Pre-Columbian to 20th Century, De Pree Art Center and Gallery, Hope College, Holland, Michigan
  • 1984 New Figure Drawing: Twelve Latin American Artists, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, Florida
  • 1984 Contemporary Latin American Graphics, Centro Cultural Vanguardia, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
  • 1984 Master of Drawing, Chopo Museum of the National University, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1983 Contemporary Painters of Mexico, Gallery of the Plaza Security Pacific National Bank, Los Angeles, California
  • 1983 Ten Artists from the Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York
  • 1982 Mexican Image, Rossi Gallery, Morristown, New Jersey
  • 1981 Mexican Masters: the Young Generation, Signs Gallery, New York
  • 1981 Iberoamerican Art, Delaware State Arts Council, Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1980 Mexican Masters: the Second Generation, DeGraaf-Forsythe Galleries, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1980 Twenty Mexican Painters, Casa de las Américas, Havana, Cuba
  • 1978 Marco Cultural Arquitectura, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1977 Jeune Peinture Mexicaine, Galerie Saint-Germain, Paris, France
  • 1973 Fifteen of Mexico’s Artists, Society of Friends of Mexican Art, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Arizona
  • 1973 Pan-American Graphic Arts Show, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico, D.F.
  • 1971 Mexico Now, Forsythe Gallery, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1971 Der Geist des Surrealismus (The Spirit of Surrealism), Baukunst Köln, Cologne,
  • 1969 Mexican Mystique, Gallery of the J. Walter Thompson Company, New York

Literature

  • Sayers Peden, Margaret, Altered States, Alfredo Castañeda, Latin American Art, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 24-27
  • Suárez, Gonzalo, Alfredo Castañeda el Señor, una entrevista, Artes de Mexico, no. 38, 1997 suplemento, pp. 82-85
  • Ruy Sánchez, Alberto, Alfredo Castañeda: la casa del misterio y de la sonrisa, Artes de Mexico, no. 38, 1997 suplemento, pp. 82-87
  • Ruy Sánchez, Alberto and Edward J. Sullivan, Alfredo Castañeda, Mexico, D.F. and New York, Galería de Arte Mexicano and Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, 1989