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.
Para comprae el libro haz clic aquí.
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.