Artists: Alexander Apóstol, Mely Barragán, Beatriz Cortez, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Regina José Galindo, Luis G. Hernández, Camilo Ontiveros, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Gala Porras-Kim, and Clarissa Tossin.
Curated by Idurre Alonso and Selene Preciado
January 7 – February 14, 2016
LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Customizing Language critically examines how language reflects geopolitical realities. The project approaches language as a tool to reflect power relations, hierarchies, social differences, and historical problems, as well as a cultural system of belonging that can indicate the loss or reconfiguration of certain kinds of identities. The participating artists engage local and historical issues by using experimental language to create a dialogue with the audience, exploring issues of “custom” as cultural tradition, U.S. Customs as an immigration agency, and lowrider customization in popular culture.
Curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill
October 24, 2015 – April 1, 2016
SPACE, Irvine, CA
Artists: Ricardo Alcaide, Alejandra Barreda, Andrés Bedoya*, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Danilo Dueñas, Magdalena Fernández, Valentina Liernur, Marco Maggi, Manuel Mérida, Gabriel de la Mora, Miguel Angel Ríos, Lester Rodríguez, Eduardo Santiere, Emilia Azcárate, Marta Chilindrón, Bruno Dubner, Rubén Ortíz-Torres, Fidel Sclavo, Renata Tassinari, Georgina Bringas, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Thomas Glassford, José Luis Landet, Jorge de León, Bernardo Ortiz, Martin Pelenur, Teresa Pereda, Pablo Rasgado, Ricardo Rendón, Santiago Reyes Villaveces, Mariela Scafati, Gabriel Sierra, Jaime Tarazona, Adán Vallecillo, Horacio Zabala.
The monochrome as a focus in the SPACE Collection began in a spontaneous form and soon became a systematic field of research. This exhibition is about the contemporary monochrome in Latin America. The monochrome is one of the most elusive and complex art forms of modern and contemporary art. If we think about its origins or meaning, we find that the monochrome is many contradictory things. The monochrome is neither a movement nor a category; it is not an “ism” or a thing. It may be painting as object, the material surface of the work itself, the denial of perspective or narrative, or anything representational. The monochrome may be a readymade, a found object, or an environment—anything in which a single color dominates. The monochrome can be critical and unstable, especially when it dialogues critically or in tension with modernism. This exhibition is organized into four different themes: The Everyday Monochrome, The White Monochrome, The Elusive Monochrome and The Transparent Monochrome. These themes have been conceived to create context and suggest interpretations that otherwise might be illegible. These may overlap at times, pointing to the multiplicity of content in many of the works. The unclassifiable and variable nature of the monochrome in Latin America today is borne of self-criticality and from unique Latin contexts, to exist within its own specificity and conceptual urgency.
To purchase the catalogue click here.
El monocromo, como enfoque de SPACE Collection, comenzó de forma espontánea y a poco se convirtió en un campo de investigación sistemático. Esta exposición trata sobre el monocromo contemporáneo en América latina. El monocromo es una de las formas de arte más elusivas y complejas del arte moderno y contemporáneo. Si reflexionamos acerca de sus orígenes o su significado, nos encontramos con que puede albergar muchas cosas contradictorias. El monocromo no es un movimiento ni una categoría; no es un “ismo” ni una cosa. Puede ser la pintura como objeto, la superficie material de la obra, la negación de la perspectiva o de todo lo representativo o narrativo. El monocromo puede ser un readymade, un objeto encontrado, un cuadro o un ambiente: cualquier cosa definida como una superficie cromáticamente uniforme donde un solo color predomina. El monocromo puede ser crítico e inestable, especialmente cuando se dialoga críticamente o en tensión con el modernismo. Esta exposición está organizada en cuatro temas: el monocromo cotidiano, el monocromo blanco, el monocromo elusivo y el monocromo transparente. Estos temas han sido concebidos a fin de crear un contexto y sugerir interpretaciones que de otra manera podrían ser ilegibles. Éstos pueden superponerse a veces, apuntando a la multiplicidad de contenidos en muchas de las obras. La naturaleza indeterminada, inclasificable y variable del monocromo en Latinoamérica hoy en día es producto de la autocrítica y de los contextos propios, para existir dentro de su propia especificidad y urgencia conceptual.
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Artist: Lucia Koch
Lucia Koch, let there be a set X
July 10 – September 4, 2015
Christopher Grimes Gallery
Santa Monica, CA, USA
Throughout her career Lucia Koch has become known for her interventions within existing architecture, either through her use of sculpture, photography, video or colored filters. In this, her second exhibition with the gallery, she will intersect the entire space with a gradient printed on fabric — something that moves in space but is constant, subtle, transformative and never repeating. In addition, ordinary windows will be replaced with colored panels disrupting one’s expectation, and images of small, empty containers enlarged to architectural scale disassociate the photographs from their references and challenge how we relate to space. Through all of these strategies, Koch elevates basic elements of architecture to effect change in one’s immediate atmosphere and physical surroundings.
Lucia Koch (b. 1966, Porto Alegre, Brazil) lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. She has recently participated inProspect 3, New Orleans, LA (2015), curated by Franklin Sirmans; Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (2014); A Sense of Place, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, CA (2014); and Re-emerge: Towards a New Cultural Cartography, 11th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2013). She has been included in the 11th Biennale de Lyon, France (2011); 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006); 2nd, 5th and 8th editions of the Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil (1999, 2005 and 2011); and the 8th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2003). Her work has been included in such exhibitions as, Another Place, Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, Brazil (2011), andWhen Lives Become Form, Yerba Buena Center for Arts, San Francisco, CA (2009), which was also on view at Contemporary Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2008). Koch’s work is in the collections of such institutions as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil and Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil, among others. In 2016 she will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Artist: Clarissa Tossin
Unmapping the World -Book release & Conversation with Michael Ned Holte
June 13, 2014
Samuel Freeman Gallery
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Unmapping the World is organized around a set of works produced by Clarissa Tossin over a period of five years during artist residencies, and commissioned by Brazilian and North American art institutions. These works manifest the development of a poetics that employs a wide range of strategies in order to address contemporary issues. Tossin’s objects, videos, and installations explore a broad and intricate spectrum of desires, impasses, and utopias, while also establishing their own expressive logic, above and beyond these topics.
Driven by the curiosity of the artist-anthropologist, Tossin’s works are formed through analysis of the politics of space and urban spaces, as well as interrogations into the mappings and discourses of power, relationships of consumption and identity, circulations of symbols and ideas, and the role of architecture—particularly that of Brasília, a modernist monument that she has come to call ‘home.’
The book is bilingual, in English and Portuguese, and includes texts by Moacir dos Anjos, Michael Ned Holte, and Guilherme Wisnik. The publication has been made possible by a fellowship from the California Community Foundation.
Ana Belén Cantoni
The Soft Gesture
The Wooden Floor
Santa Ana, California
The Soft Gesture, a commission by the Sayago & Pardon collection, is the title of a large-scale installation by Colombian artist Ana Belén Cantoni, created specifically for The Wooden Floor, Santa Ana, CA. Inspired by the students’ testimonies of how art and dance empower their everyday lives, Cantoni evokes the human body and its potential for individual growth within communal coexistence by the usage of simple materials that remind the cycles and processes of transformation through movement (cloth and wooden clothespins, as well as ink and graphite on cotton). The Soft Gesture is a vision towards the awakening of primal associations and the creation through physical connections.
Download the catalogue here.
El gesto suave, una comisión de arte de la colección Sayago & Pardon, es el título de la instalación a gran escala de la artista colombiana Ana Belén Cantoni, creada específicamente para The Wooden Floor, una organización sin fines de lucro que capacita a jóvenes de bajos ingresos a través del baile y programas académicos y familiares en Santa Ana, California. Inspirada por los testimonios de los estudiantes sobre cómo el arte y la danza estimulan sus vidas diarias, Cantoni evoca el cuerpo humano y el potencial de crecimiento individual dentro de un entorno comunitario a través de la utilización de materiales comunes (tela y pinzas de madera, así como tinta y grafito sobre papel de algodón) que nos recuerdan los ciclos y procesos de transformación a través del movimiento. El gesto suave sugiere asociaciones primarias por medio del color (rojo y negro) al tiempo de invocar las fuerzas creativas de conexión física y social.
Descarga el catálogo aquí.
Artist: Clarissa Tossin
How does it travel?
May 29, 2015
Samuel Freeman Gallery
Los Angeles, CA, USA
How does it travel? brings together photographs, sculptures, prints, and site-specific works that analyze movements and their resulting displacements and transformations. She tracks materials, ideologies, and bodies that travel by foot, by car, by plane, and by her own hand. Using two primary nodes, Brazil and the United States, Tossin finds generative ground in transpositions that yield compelling misregistrations.
Artists: Magdalena Atria, Ricardo Rendón, Mariángeles Soto-Díaz, Rubén Ortiz Torres, and Antonio Muñiz.
Curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill
June 20 – July 25, 2015
Fabien Castanier Gallery
Culver City, CA, USA
Multifarious Abstraction is an exhibition that questions traditional understanding of the nature of abstraction as a modern field separate from reality. The five artists participating in Multifarious Abstraction present conceptually challenging, loaded and sometimes political explorations of abstract vocabularies in art, which point to unique ways to experience and think on contemporary culture. The five artists are from Latin America, where the division between high and low culture is not as central or as marked as in The United States and Europe. The abstraction proposed here moves away from modernist utopian ideals and pure aesthetics, to dialogue with industrial and popular culture, daily life, inner struggle, politics and gender.
Magdalena Atria is exhibiting free abstract compositions entirely made with plasticine. The artist, who has developed an extensive oeuvre with this material, addresses painting through a material which is malleable, fragile, common and familiar, to produce slowly complicated surfaces that embody “tension between the rational and the emotional, between the personal and the collective, between the existential and the banal, the formal and the symbolic.” Atria attempts to connect the ideal, manifested through abstraction, with the daily and existential dimensions of concrete reality.
Antonio Muñiz is an artist who explores by an intuitive method ways to free the mind and perception from predetermined responses. He employs fumage, a technique for producing organic forms with a burning candle at varying angles and distance from the canvas, thus creating an uncontrolled compositional structure. Muñiz pursues the “gray area”, a multidimensional space that is both symbolic and psychological and deconstructs conditioning dualities such as black/white, outsider/insider, and right/wrong. The artist states: “The gray area is a non-judgmental, non-linear space where we allow ourselves to interact with our environment, breaking free of duality and of conditioned responses.”
Ricardo Rendón’s work is informed by his interest in traditional trades and materials, which are for the artist places of “creative learning”. He states: “My work is presented as a system of questioning of the creative practice, of the execution, productive realization and notion of work.” His mediums range from industrial materials, to sand paper, felt and leather; and his techniques from perforating, cutting, nailing, grinding, sanding, gluing, to welding. For Multifarious Abstraction, the artist exhibits work from the two series: Work Area and Lighting Circuits, with materials such as copper and industrial felt. He transforms a plumber’s purposeful and precise procedure for joining copper tubes into the method for creating free standing sculptures which reflect both on traditional knowledge and on contemporary art’s expansive possibilities.
Mariángeles Soto-Díaz uses the language of abstraction as a way to materialize and connect ideas. Her work explores critically the legacies of modernism, echoing the particular modern historical traditions of Venezuela in dialogue with modernity and abstraction in contemporary culture. For this exhibition she will be showing the site-specific installation The Pink Elephant in the Room, to insert into the White Cube the discussion of gender and racial inequality in the art world. As the artist explains: “The Pink Elephant in the Room addresses the ‘invisibility’ of these issues through indulging in the color pink as a feminist statement while also re-signifying upon the language of abstract painting.”
Rubén Ortiz-Torres is a multidisciplinary artist who goes back to the late 1980s. His work, whether it be photographs, paintings, movies or sculptures, is informed by a hybrid and original combination of popular and mass culture. One of the key references in his work is the low rider and car industry cultures. In his recent work, he experiments with the auto industry’s most recent advances in car paint. For example, his piece Womb Envy (2014), is made with urethane and thermochromic paint and high-density foam. This orange piece in the shape of a pregnant tummy, when touched with your fingers, becomes marked temporarily in yellow on the work’s surface. His black Mexican and American flags made with urethane and chromo-luminescent paint, exhibited in the show, refer on the one hand to modern issues of anarchist ideology, and on the other, to how these national symbols, especially in the context of recent events in Mexico and the USA (The Baltimore riots), may allow the political minority standpoints in contemporary society to be embodied.
Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is a British/Venezuelan art historian and curator. Fajardo-Hill specializes in modern and contemporary art with a focus in Latin American art. She has a PhD in Art History from the University of Essex, England, and an MA in 20th Century Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England. From 2005- 2008, Fajardo-Hill served as Director and Chief Curator for CIFO and the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, and from 2009-2012 served as Chief Curator at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, CA. Presently, Fajardo-Hill is guest curator at the Hammer Museum, the Chief Curator of the Sayago & Pardon Collection and Abstraction in Action, and a visiting scholar at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. She is currently based in Los Angeles, CA.
Artist: Pablo Rasgado
May 9 – June 6, 2015
Steve Turner Contemporary
Los Angeles, CA, USA
The show features five bodies of work from the last seven years. Rasgado’s works deal with such natural phenomena as gravity, light and energy along with their attendant results—time and ephemerality. He uses a variety of familiar materials—drywall, glass, tape, florescent bulbs, dirt, spiderwebs—to focus on that which is just beyond ordinary perception. In a sense, each work is a clock, recording decay and change over time. Deceptively simple, the works constitute a compendium of phenomena just beyond the grasp of material experience.
Pablo Rasgado (b. Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, 1984) has had solo exhibitions at Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2011, 2012 & 2014); Arratia Beer, Berlin (2012 & 2014); OMR, Mexico City (2013); and Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City (2011). He has also had work in group exhibitions at CAM Raleigh (2014); The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2013); Ex Magazzini di San Cassian, Art Collateral Events, 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Herzlya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel (2013); Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2012); and Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City (2010). His work is owned by public collections including Wattis Foundation, San Francisco; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Jumex Collection, Mexico City; and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He lives and works in Mexico City.
Artist: G.T. Pellizzi
January 10 – February 14, 2015
Harmony Murphy Gallery
Los Angeles, CA, USA
The works in this exhibition are inspired by Hexagram 64 of the I Ching (Book of Changes), colloquially referred to as Before Completion. This section of the ancient augury Chinese text addresses the moment of clarity and illumination in the creative process that exists after a work is resolved, but before it is finished.
This exhibition will feature site specific wall drawings, sculptures, as well as interior and exterior light pieces. These works utilize the materials and vocabulary of buildings-in progress and construction sites, such as snap lines, plaster, plywood, etc., as metaphorical representations of the construction of any work of art. Referencing Flaubert, who famously said: “Books are not made like children but like pyramids.
G.T. Pellizzi was born in 1978 in Tlayacapan, Mexico. He studied philosophy at St. Johns College and graduated from The Channin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union. From 2001-2011, Pellizzi co-founded and has been involved in various art collectives, including The Bruce High Quality Foundation, with whom he has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art, PS1 MoMA, Centre Pompidou, PAC Murcia, and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and various art galleries in New York, Zurich, Berlin and London. In the past year he has participated in exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Museo del Barrio in New York, the Biennial of the Americas in Denver, and at L&M. Gallery in Los Angeles. Pellizzi lives between New York and Mexico.
Artists: Basma Alsharif, Jordi Colomer, Patricia Esquivias, Emiliano Rocha Minter, Barbara T. Smith, Sergio De La Torre, and Clarissa Tossin.
In Search of an Exit
April 7 – May 3, 2105
Curated by the MA class of 2015: Lucia Fabio, Samantha Greggs, Daniela Lieja, Selene Preciado, Heber Rodriguez
Heritage Square Museum
Los Angeles, CA, USA
The works in the exhibition present situations where individuals or groups of people find themselves in a space and have to negotiate their existence within pre-established and external conditions. Inspired by Jean Paul Sartre’s 1944 play No Exit, the exhibition considers themes of time, existence, freedom, and collectivity through time-based work. The structure of a given environment is a pervasive yet ever-evolving stimulus of human behavior capable of catalyzing a spectrum of reactions, from cultural resistance to immersion. The works in this exhibition, a selection of video installations, sound works, and performances, address the adaptability of the human condition in response to external circumstances.
The exhibition will take place at the Heritage Square Museum—a living history museum featuring nineteenth-century buildings from Southern California—a choice of location that highlights the human impulse to preserve artifacts. As the characters in No Exit questioned the peculiarity of their surroundings (a Second Empire-style parlor room), the twenty-first-century artworks stimulate a similar assessment of the three Victorian-era houses into which they are placed. The unique setting additionally highlights the prevalence of the built environment and the effects of architecture as preoccupations for many of the artists in the exhibition.
Artist: Clarissa Tossin
Streamlined: Belterra, Amazônia / Alberta, Michigan
January 16 – April 26, 2015
MOLAA Project Room
Long Beach, CA, USA
In a video installation, Clarissa Tossin brings together two Ford Motor Company towns: Belterra, a rubber plantation village in the Brazilian Amazon Forest, and Alberta, a sawmill town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Built concurrently in 1935, each town provided, respectively, rubber and wood for the manufacturing of the Model T in the United States. The installation establishes a sense of place, highlighting how specific cultural characteristics inhabited and changed these equivalent, pre-planned towns.
Most of my work has implicit connections to my native country, Venezuela, where oil production made the promise of modernism more tangible, and its failure more poignant, than elsewhere in Latin America. I ruminate on the future of abstraction while glancing back at Venezuela’s collapsed modernist project – its chromatic remains – through the fracturing prism of contemporary conditions. I use the language of abstraction as a way to materialize and connect ideas. Conceiving abstraction as the critical and poetic language of potential allows me to pierce the detached geometries of ordering structures, making them responsive and more pliable. I work with paint, paper, ink, slides, spices, felt and vinyl. But my favored material is paradox: the promise and perils of utopian abstraction, political formalisms, universal specificities, and the underlying order of chaos.
La mayor parte de mi trabajo tiene conexiones implícitas con mi país natal, Venezuela, donde la producción de petróleo hizo la promesa de la modernidad más tangible, y su fracaso más doloroso, que en otras partes de América Latina. Yo exploro el futuro a través de la abstracción, a su vez miro el pasado, estudiando el colapsado proyecto modernista de Venezuela – sus restos cromáticos – a través del prisma de la fractura de las condiciones contemporáneas. Uso el lenguaje de la abstracción como una forma de materializar y conectar ideas. Concebir la abstracción como lenguaje de crítica y poética de un potencial me permite perforar las geometrías de las estructuras adosadas y llevarlas hacia algo más sensible y más flexible. Trabajo con la pintura, el papel, la tinta, las diapositivas, las especias, el fieltro y vinilo. Pero mi materia favorita es la paradoja: la promesa y los peligros de la abstracción utópica, formalismos políticos, las especificidades universales, y el orden que ya subyace al caos.
Selected Biographical Information
Education / Training
- 2009: MA, Aesthetics and Politics, School of Critical Studies, CalArts, CA, USA.
- 1999: MFA, Painting, Claremont Graduate University, CA, USA.
- 1996: BA, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA.
- 1989-1990: Instituto de Arte Federico Brandt, Caracas, Venezuela.
Prizes / Fellowships
- Obermann Grant Wood Fellowship, University of Iowa, IA, USA.
- Ahmanson Scholarship, California Institute of the Arts, CA, USA.
- Five College Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Americas Fellowship, Five Colleges, MA, USA.
- Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Grant, MA, USA.
- Claremont Graduate University Fellowship, CA, USA.
- 2013: “Color Felt”, Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, NY, USA.
- 2013: Los Angeles, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, CA, USA.
- 2012-2013: “Never Underestimate a Monochrome”, University of Iowa Museum, Iowa City, IA, USA.
- 2012: Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, CA, USA.
- 2012: “Color’s Ordinates and Affinities: Instructions for Chromatic Living”, University of Iowa ABW Gallery, IA, USA.
- 2011: “Abstract Numbers of a Revolution”, University of Iowa, IA, USA.
- 2010-2011: “The Utopian Tense of Green”, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
- 2010: Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, NY, USA.
- 2013: “Lines of Poetry”, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT, USA.
- 2012: “Pink Assignment”, Soho20 Gallery, NYC, NY, USA.
- 2011: “An Exchange with Sol Lewitt”, MASS MoCA, USA.
- 2011: “Gifting Abstraction”, Soho20 Gallery, NYC, NY, USA.
- 2010: “Muse/Reuse”, Doug Adams Gallery at the Badé Museum, Berkeley, CA, USA.
- 2013: Goodrich, John, “Only Engage,” City Arts: New York’s Review of Arts and Culture.
- 2013: Prugh, Brian,”Revolt Against the City and Never Underestimate a Monochrome,” Iowa City Arts Review, 1, Vol. 7.
- 2013: Berry, Amy,” Artists on the same page in Old Lyme exhibit,” The Day.
- 2007: Benko, Susana, “Extra-pictórico,” Art Nexus, 66, Vol. 6.
- 2007: Miguel, Miguel “Mariángeles Soto-Díaz,” Arte al Día.
- 2007: Carreño, Freddy, “Fia 2007,” Art Nexus, 66, Vol. 6.
- 2007: Yáñez, Ondina “Mariángeles Soto-Díaz en un Laboratorio de Chocolate,” Revista GP.
- 2006: Méndez, María Gabriela “El Chocolate y sus Divinas Proporciones” El Universal.
- 2005: Carr, Carlin “Gallery: Mariángeles Soto-Díaz” New England Watershed.
- 2002: Monsalve, Jasmín “Mariángeles Soto-Díaz Muestra Abstracción con Olor a Canela” El Universal.
- 2002: Feely, Erik “Mariángeles Soto-Díaz at the Galería Alternativa” The Daily Journal.
- 2001: Cun, Lan “Exhibitions at the Sweeney” Radar.
- 2001: Knaff, Devorah “Revelatory Art” The Press Enterprise.
- 2000: Ollman, Leah “Blood Oaths” Los Angeles Times.
- 2000: Letran, Vivian “Grave Events” Los Angeles Times.