Agustin Cardenas was born on April 10, 1927 in Matanzas, a small merchant area to the north east of Havana. From 1943 until 1949 he studied in San Alejandro at the school of Juan Jose Sicre and was a former pupil of Bourdelle.
Having obtained a scholarship in 1955, he moved to Paris, where he was noted for his participation in major exhibitions: Nouveau Realités, 1957, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1965; Salon de Mai, since 1960, except 1961; Biennal de Paris, 1961; Salon des Artistes Latin Americains, 1962 and 1965, and at many other collective exhibitions abroad: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1959; Hannover Gallery, London, 1969; Biennial Sculpture Antwerp, 1965; and International Biennial of Tokyo, 1965. He joined the three international exhibitions of surrealism to D'Arcy Galleries, New York 1961; Galerie The őil, Paris 1965/66; Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris 1959/60.
In 1960 the Dragon Gallery exhibited a large group of works in marble, where the influence of African Art is made clear, a theory that was developed by Glissant in the text of the preface to the exhibition catalogue. In 1967, coinciding with the opening of the Salon de Mai in Havana, Cardenas went back to Cuba, after 12 years of absence and where he spent the whole summer.
Back in Paris in 1968, he moved to Meudon with his entire family. The artist returned to Cuba during the last years of his life, where he died in Havana in 2001.