Agustín Cárdenas was born in Matanzas, Cuba on 10th April 1927. He entered the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Art in 1943 and studied there until 1949. He arrived in France in 1955 and settled in Montparnasse. He met André Breton, who invited him to participate in a group exhibition at the Surrealist Gallery, l’Étoile Scellée. He was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, a Knight of the Legion of Honour and received the William and Norma Copley Foundation Award. From 1968, Cárdenas lived and worked in Meudon,Bellevue and at his studio in Nogent-sur-Marne. Augustin Cárdenas, embodies his Latin American and African origins, its strong symbolism and extreme liberty frees it from their respective references. Working with wood, marble, and bronze, Cárdenas developed poetic, curved, and sensual works in which organic generosity, elongated silhouettes, and abstract forms all mix together. The abstract nature of his volumes is almost always counterbalanced by a figurative representation.
His works are included in numerous museum collections including those of the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Museo d’Arte Moderna in Rome, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Caracas, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Museo Nacional in Cuba, the Modern Art Museum in Tel Aviv, and the Hakone open-air Museum in Japan.
Agustin Cárdenas died in Havana, Cuba in 2001. Between 1956 and 2012, Cárdenas took part in hundred or so group exhibitions and was the focus of some forty monographic exhibitions