Artists: Ricardo Alcaide, Abdulaziz Ashour, Ernesto Caivano, Darío Escobar, Fernanda Fragateiro, Simryn Gill, Anne Lindberg, Yuri Masnyj, Julianne Swartz, Yuken Teruya, Rirkrit Tiravanija & Tomas Vu, Adam Winner.
July 28 – August 29, 2016
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
New York, USA
good news., an exhibition of international artists working on and off paper to deconstruct and reconfigure information. With the daily deluge of bad news at our fingertips, we become disoriented in our distanced yet simultaneously intimate sense of connectedness to the world.
Artists: Esvin Alarcón Lam, tepeu choc, Diana de Solares, Darío Escobar, Patrick Hamilton.
Opens June 1, 2016
The 9.99 Gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Three dialogues are established with three different processes that relate to the idea of overlapping and superimposing elements, time, generations, and actions:
The first dialogue is a interaction in relation to mostly urban landscape in combination with the materials used.
Alejandro Almanza Pereda presents “Horror Vacui (Escena invernal No.1)” [Winter Scene No.1] (2014). From a snowy landscape, Almanza Pereda builds a cement structure that extends beyond the work’s frame to cover the entire wall. The seemingly accidental look of the quasi-action-painting-type dripping acquires a new connotation due to the material and the space extending beyond the painting.
In the same manner, Esvin Alarcón Lam’s “Desplazamiento No.9” [Displacement No.9] (2016) also plays with the space outside the frame. Like a passageway leading to another dimension, the work created out of bus parts establishes an association between the urban landscape and public transportation.
This dialogue ends with tepeu choc’s “Registration No.1” (2016) made out of the plastic material utilized in the informal economy. In it, a series of cut outs call to mind construction tool silhouettes.
The second dialogue is established by the works’s geometric elements such as line, figure, and volume.
Darío Escobar’s “Quetzalcoatl IV” (2004) plays with notions of stability between the undulating bicycle tires, as they surrender their circular shape to gravity laws, and the bronze counterweights.
The piece by Luis Diaz, “The Gukumatz in person” (1971), like Escobar’s work, references the (serpent) deity’s undulating movement: this time in its Quiché appellation, and in a more stable manner derived from flexible wooden sections that adapt to different crawling movements. These sharp forms make a return to verticality in “Chuzo” (2012-2016), a construction-tool-like work by Patrick Hamilton.
In “Sin título” (Untitled) (2015), a drawing by Diana de Solares, assorted color layers generate movement related to air and the kind found in children’s pinwheels. Thus, varying elements of nature come together and overlap in this work.
Finally, the third overlapping dialogue emerges between a spiritual perspective and the physical body. The indigo and turquoise of Sandra Monterroso’s cotton yarn, “Expoliada III” (Despoiled III) (2016) series, colors associated with water, represent the varying tonalities of rainfall through time.
Meanwhile, in Isabel Ruiz’s “Vuelo de las Mariposas” (Flight of Butterflies) (2016 ), the set of opposing crutches reminds us of the body’s fragility: The before-and-after of a transition between what is natural and what the fire has consumed.
In Diego Sagastume’s photographs, we return to the urban landscape of painted walls and open skies whose tonalities show the passage of time, also found in Christian Lord’s “(Mira)anda IV” ((Look)go IV) (2015), a work that through wordplay, invites us to contemplation and to walk, suggested by the circle’s forward movement.
Artist: Dario Escobar
April 6, 2016 – May 7, 2016
São Paulo, Brazil
Dario Escobar’s artistic research develops from sculptural and installation acts started with the appropriation of industrial objects. Throughout a path of over fifteen years, the artist has already worked in dialogue with visual traditions as diverse as the Guatemalan baroque, the skin of broken cars and objects seen as symbols of consumerism. His operation as an artist happens from the selection of those pieces and their reconfiguration through actions like juxtaposition and repetition, fragmentation and cut of materials, and a reflection on how to install them inside the exhibition space.
In “Composition”, continuing this investigation, the artist presents new works in Brazil, which propose multiple possibilities of composition through the appropriation and approximation of dissimilar elements. In the series “Geometric construction” and “Modular construction”, Escobar recodes the tradition of painting the back of trucks in Guatemala, creating new patterns that invite the spectator to open them up and enjoy their distinct configurations. The formal research starting with the two-dimensional is also perceptible in his “Motor oil compositions”, in which also using a non-conventional material the artist explores the possibilities of paper and drawing.
Regarding the three-dimensional, in the series “Still-life” the artist explores ways of presenting objects from the sports industry, like basketballs, still aseptic and distant from its use by the human body. In “Balance” there is a tension of the material as well as of the elements mentioned by the artist: on one hand the metal sheets recall the minimalist sculptures of Carl Andre, on the other hand, sustaining its weight, the glass is present in the famous American glasses commercialized in Sao Paulo since 1940 and already elevated to symbols of Brazilian design.
Besides those works, in dialogue with this sculptural thought that composes through the geometry inherent to ordinary objects, there will be presented new works which will be developed through the meeting between Dario Escobar and the commodities from the popular markets in Sao Paulo. Therefore, these compositions aim to establish other direct conversations with the Brazilian visual culture, in the same way the artist replies everyday to the industrialized objects used in Guatemala.
Artists: Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Darío Escobar, Alexandra Grant, Patrick Hamilton, Sandra Monterroso, Gabriel Orozco, Sebastián Preece, Richard Prince, Isabel Ruíz, Inés Verdugo.
Pero no soy fotógrafo / But I am not a photographer
November 5, 2015
The 9.99 Gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala
In Roland Barthes’s book La Chambre Claire (1980), he explains that the critical part of photography focuses on the mechanical moment. The moment in which the brain decides and the finger clicks is the moment in which the “[t]he obstinacy of the referent in being there, always there” is present. Currently, that moment continues to be the most important; it is the one that makes the difference between points of view. Photography as a technique has rapidly shifted from the dark room into digitalization. When it started in the nineteenth century, it was a contraption. The expertise one needed to have in physics for the light aperture, along with the chemistry knowledge required to reveal the images have all but faded away. Technological advances allow many of us to carry a camera in our pocket.
Photography’s goal is to capture a moment that takes place only once, whether it is in the various classifications borrowed from academic painting: still-life, landscapes, people and historical moments. The way in which we approach them, and the stories that these images tell us, are not from a specific moment; but rather from the combination of several moments: to click, to develop, to manipulate, and finally, to single that moment and to make its invisibility present.
The exhibition consists of 27 pieces, which presentation starts from a photographic aspect challenging its more orthodox definition as it returns to an academic classification. Installed in a “cabinet of curiosities” style, we see a small compilation of works that goes from landscape to photographs of historical moments, in different formats and presentations, highlighting its rareness or its single imperfection as “impure” photography.
The exhibit starts with the hesitation and manipulation of the countryside landscapes Paisajes Perforados I y II (Perforated Landscapes I and II, 2009) by Patrick Hamilton (Chile, 1974), whose dalliances venture into his well-known photographic shots and manipulations of building materials in the series Proyectos de arquitecturas revestidas para la Ciudad de Santiago (Architectural projects re-covered for the City of Santiago, 2008) or Posters (2008), and returns to the landscapes, not only to manipulate them but to turn them into three-dimensional objects, based on repetition and reflection, as in the case of his most recent piece Escape al Paraíso (Escape to Paradise, 2014) and Spatula #1 (2015).
Playing with repetition, The less things change, the less stay the same (2013) by Alejandro Almanza Pereda (Mexico, 1977), a work that obtained an honorific mention at the XVI Bienal de Fotografía in 2014 at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, here we see a series of moments in an exercise of constructive transformation of materials, tinged with nostalgia, which will be reactivated in Geometría Imperfecta(Imperfect Geometry, 2012) of Darío Escobar (Guatemala, 1971), but where instants are even more ephemeral as light is the main composition and appeal, or in the case of Untitled (2002) where memory is contained in the oil stains.
At first sight, the photography Dot Ball (1992/1996) of Gabriel Orozco (Mexico, 1962) could be a ready-made of a balloon in the middle of nature. In reality the manipulation of an object within its context gives it a particular placement, which is one of the more evident features of portraiture. Although we usually refer to a portrait as the likeness of a person, the truth is that a person’s own objects also speak about their specific characteristics; they show us the “observing subject,” as is the case of the series Equilibrio (Equilibrium) by Patrick Hamilton and Volume XIV (2008) of Sebastián Preece (Chile, 1972).
The human figure is revisited in the gestures of Alexandra Grant (United States, 1973). In her series Shadows, a collaboration with the actor and writer Keanu Reeves, the technical manipulation creates a game of colors, shadows, and movement. This, on the other hand, is hidden in the work by Richard Prince (United States, 1949) where the manipulation is referred to as a physical object—Bill Powers’s novel What we lose in flowers (2012). The pin-up style female nude, behind a strip that reminds us of DVD titles, gives a new meaning to the idea of mixed media. compare hotel prices The human figure is also the protagonist in Sandra Monterroso’s performance documentation (Guatemala, 1974), Tu Ashé Yemaya(2015), presented in the 12 Bienal de La Habana, and in the light boxes of Isabel Ruiz (Guatemala, 1945) in the series Río Negro (1988), where photography is on the verge of gesture. Finally, the exhibition closes with a gaze looking at another gaze, that of Inés Verdugo (Guatemala, 1983) in her work Continuidad (Continuity, 2015).
While at the beginning of photography the end of painting was predicted, today the photographic image has become such a generalized practice that “we are all photographers.” However, photography is still a specialized field where questions of light, focus, and perspective are endless challenges to overcome.
Artists: Ana Bidart, Linus Bill + Adrien Horni, Jonathan Callan, Jacob El Hanani, Dario Escobar, and Julianne Swartz.
Through August 12, 2015
New York, USA
Ana Bidart explores the possibilities and more so, the impossibilities of drawing. She brings found objects together in space and across time, and her works establish a tangible record of ephemeral relationships encountered. With Disappointme
Swiss artists Linus Bill and Adrien Horni create collages and paintings with powerful aesthetics, bold gestures and brave dimensions. Bill and Horni produce work by assembling smaller collages, which later become part of a larger collage. They only determine a final result after countless trials and manipulations to the images (physically and digitally). With NY P.5 TL, the pair continues their ongoing explorations of process, form, and presentational strategy by combining inkjet printing, silkscreen, painting, drawing, and assemblage.
Jonathan Callan explores the relationship of disembodied knowledge to embodied experience and materiality, working with publications – books, maps, and photographs – as a source material.Entertaining is made up of 72 separate pages from a cookbook, isolating a single dish or ingredient on each page and removing everything else with sandpaper. Together the dishes (though legible as food when close up) appear as strange planets or discs in space. Some of the dishes are isolated and then completely removed, leaving a ghostly blank. Along with all the pieces where a single aspect of a page is highlighted, Entertaining explores the illustrative notion of the self, the removal of context and the substitution of a painterly space. In fact the background can often seem rendered with pastel or even fresco, and Callan likes to think of Entertaining as a composition of drawings.
Jacob El Hanani’s work draws upon the tradition of micrography in Judaism, a technique utilized in decoration and transcribing holy texts. El Hanani creates highly intricate works, like Circle and Line, through the painstaking repetition of minuscule marks repeated thousands of times using ink on paper or canvas. He draws these images without magnification; in order to reduce eyestrain, he rests every ten minutes. The end result is a work of extraordinary detail that appears to be a pattern from a distance, and speaks of the passage of time and the link between the microscopic and the infinite.
Dario Escobar is renowned for his sculptural re-contextualization of everyday objects. His work explores concepts of cultural and historical hybridity ultimately attempting to reexamine Western art history from a Guatemalan perspective. Reticula, part of Dario Escobar’s “ultramoderno” project commenting on the failed utopia of modernism in Central America, 50 pool triangles made in Taiwan becomes a relief, and its composition follows a modern grid. Escobar’s work, characterized by the use of materials charged with historical and symbolic meaning, is articulated in a minimalist language like in Yellow Composition, a linseed oil drawing, and the wall sculpture.
Julianne Swartz’s sound works explore the entanglement of subjectivities and sensations through multilayered arrangements. In Alma’s Blanket Israel, sounds are harvested from the everyday: fragments of recordings from people, nature, instruments and environments. Some are intimate, some generic, some identifiable, and some obscure. These sounds, entwined together, weave in and out of aural focus to make a symphonic collage. The dense textile of woven and knotted, colored electrical wires, forms a series of functional circuits that distribute four channels of sound to the numerous speakers interleaved in the weaving.
Artist: Dario Escobar
En otro orden / Another Order
June 25, 2015
The 9.99 Gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala
“En otro orden” consists of nine sculptures, four paintings and ten drawings. The sculptures are presented in dialogue with American minimalist sculpture, not as a continuation of it, but as an exploration of its aesthetics and its socio-economic structure from an artistic and intellectual space. Escobar sculptures contrast with the austere minimalist works by inserting the industrial object, which had a fairly significant presence in contemporary sculpture in the 1990s
Minimalism was born in the sixties and is geographically focused on the island of Manhattan, New York. A purely American movement, Minimalism refers primarily to a type of sculpture or three-dimensional works made beginning in the1960, which emphasize the abstract and downplay the expressive, avoiding any embellishment or decoration. Among the most renowned exponents are Donald Judd, Ron Bladen, and Tony Smith who exploited industrial mass production and Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, and Robert Morris who chose to present the objects, as they were indistinguishable from found objects, generating an art that could be classified as non-art because of its aesthetic ambiguity.(1) Both currents show a preference for the object’s lack of content.
The sculptures in “En otro orden” identify with both developments and especially with the work of Donald Judd and Carl Andre. Still Life No. 4, Still Life No. 7, and Equilibrio No. 1, made from fabricated materials such as steel, plywood, and rubber, identify with the current represented by Judd. Judd’s preference for putting distance between him and the object by refusing to produce them himself was initially strongly criticized.(2) However, this position is now quite common and is inherent in the works of Escobar mentioned herein. For Judd it was a way of maintaining control over the material(3) and so it is for Escobar. But Escobar contaminates the minimalist spirit of his work with the addition of industrially manufactured objects that are easily recognizable as basketballs and baseballs. Escobar does not show the material in a “pure” state as would Judd but introduces a Duchampian gesture: the easily identifiable found object.
The Duchampian readymade is also evident in the works that have a closer relationship with the austere sculpture of Andre. Equilibrio No. 2, Untitled No. 1, Untitled No. 2, and Untitled No. 3 are made of wood beams and thick wood pieces in different sizes that rest directly on the floor, as is characteristic of Andre’s work. They are examples of a type of unadulterated sculpture. Their genesis is wood that Escobar found in a local sawmill and used as is, changing its configuration by rigging beams and square blocks in a vertical or horizontal orientation. The presence of basketballs and soccer balls balancing precariously on a fairly sophisticated play of balance is amusing and contrasts with the severity and lack of expressiveness of the wood. The spherical shapes temper the rigidity of the straight lines.
The same applies to Balance No. 3, the only work that is made of square steel plates. The 25 steel plates form a grid measuring 98 7/16 x 98 7/16 inches in the style of Andre, but unlike Andre’s grids, which tend to rest flush with the floor and were meant to be walked on, Escobar fragmented the grid by placing tennis balls under it. The balls subvert the geometry of the work by allowing a glimpse of the negative spaces beneath it; its hard surface is turned into a kind of false floor that precludes a direct physical relationship with the work because one cannot stand firmly on it.
Untitled No. 1 is an atypical work within the exhibition because its forms lack the exactness of the other works. The irregularity of the hoe handles reveal their hand-made origin: a found object used by Escobar to create a work which, despite its uniqueness, it has a relationship with Minimalism in the use of the repetition of forms. The incorporation of a baseball at the base of each vertical element accentuates its physical imperfection, makes it unstable, and adds to its anthropomorphic appearance because it resembles an animal’s leg. Untitled # 1 leans against the wall with the top of the hoe handles forming a straight horizontal line that contrasts with the bottom, which seems undulating and disorderly. While for Andre the transformation of the materials was unnecessary and the use of raw unadulterated materials essential in his questioning of what and who makes a work of art, Escobar is determined to destabilize again and again these and other principles of Minimalism from a non-hegemonic perspective and in relation to more recent artistic trends.
The exhibition is completed by ten drawings made with cinnabar pigment and graphite on paper and four small paintings on wood. The series entitled Dibujo que no obedece al contorno No. 1-10 (Drawing that does not obey the contour No. 1-10) shows solid geometries that do not fit into similar forms that are barely glimpsed due to the delicacy of the graphite line. Their solidity and forms have a certain kinship with certain sculptures by Tony Smith, as they do not easily reveal themselves but require time and attention as any work that is based on visual perception. The use of cinnabar pigment, employed by the Maya in ceramic painting, bestows them a unique and valuable attribute for the rarity of the material and its use in contemporary art. As their titles indicate Construcción Modular No.1-4 (Modular Construction No. 1-4) are geometric paintings that reflect the interest Escobar has for abstraction, usually expressed in his drawings, but continued in a series of paintings with movable panels begun in 2010. Close to Frank Stella’s objective paintings of the sixties, these works embrace geometry in order to eliminate the potential narrative of painting.(4)
The works in “En otro orden” openly converse with the American Minimalist movement and especially with its two pillars—Donald Judd and Carl Andre. With this Escobar attempts to open a dialogue that is pending in Central America, and certainly in Guatemala since the cultural disruption caused by the armed conflict that began in the sixties. It also tries responding with humor and perhaps a dose of boldness to an artistic expression that is characterized by a severe and plain aesthetic and to rethink, half a century later, the relationship that exists between the artist and the subject from Escobar´s own perspective.
(1) Kenneth Baker, Minimalism: Art of Circumstance (Abeville Modern Art Movements). New York: Abeville Press, 1988. p9.
(2) Ibid. p58.
(3) Ibid. p58.
(4) Ibid. p34.
Artists: Esvin Alarcón Lam, Ricardo Alcaide, Darío Escobar, Gianfranco Foschino, Juan Fernando Herrán, Harold Mendez, Gabriel de la Mora, Ronny Quevedo, and Ana Maria Tavares.
Líneas de la Mano
May 12 – July 3, 2015
Houston, TX, USA
Featuring artists from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela, Líneas de la mano (lines of the hand, lifelines) takes as its premise the idea that geometries connect the quotidian moments of our daily lives. Indeed, a line connects two points, A and B, start and finish, end and beginning; lines are defined by this function of connection, even as they continue to move past the points they connect
The artists in the exhibition use the languages and conceptual frameworks of modernism and abstraction to suggest poetic connections: between people, between historical referents, between political experiences, and between places. The line as connector becomes a way of skillfully addressing fraught histories, and of weaving a set of relationships. Líneas de la mano also considers the tactility of each object. The works exhibited demonstrate a strong relationship to materials and their histories, from the scrap metal of Guatemalan buses, to the thick, sooty texture of an archival photograph transferred to aluminum, to the fabric retrieved from vintage radio speakers.
The exhibition title playfully alludes to palmistry; the connection is meant to highlight the actions of the hand, implicit in the creation of the work. Astrologer, numerologist, clairvoyant, and palm-reader Cheiro (William John Warner, 1866-1936) writes, “the hand… denotes the change going on in the brain, even years before the action of the individual becomes the result of such a change.” Read in a different context, it is a compelling statement about the artistic process.
Artists: Luis Díaz, Diana de Solares, Darío Escobar, Sandra Monterroso, and Esvin Alarcón Lam.
January 29 – March 21, 2015
The 9.99 Gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Artists: Patrick Hamilton and Alejandro Almanza Pereda.
January 29 – March 21, 2015
The 9.99 Gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala
“5 / RPM”. RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) is a unit related to a machine’s power and speed; in this case we have taken the concept to create an analogy, where the innovative vigor of the artists has been transformed into creative energy and whose works are the manifestation of that power and the movement of different generations of Guatemalans contemporary artists.
The temporal shift becomes real and the artists express it differently. Such that the RPM concept functions as a double bind. The works on display are based on various media that refer to the effect, the imprint, and the meaning of actual movement in reference to transportation or working machines, as well as the industrial materials with which they are built.
The gallery is pleased to invite for the first time the artist Luís Díaz, who has a long history with and a great influence on the Guatemalan artistic production. With “Documento” (Document) (1972), Díaz was a pioneer of conceptual art in Guatemala, placing a piece of cardboard on a manhole cover on which a spontaneous colography was performed within the street context in which it was found. Through colography, Díaz managed to capture the traces of passing cars, whose evidence is displayed in the exhibition in a circular composition inside a rectangle, tending to abstraction. With this gesture, Díaz documented an action whose testimony has managed to remain and transcend for over 40 years.
In “La demoledora” (Demolition woman) (2010) Sandra Monterroso documents an action using various modes of representation. The videoperformance shows the artist driving an industrial steamroller over tin pots of the kind used to cook tamales -objects associated with stereotypical domestic femininity. Violent, yet oddly liberating, Monterroso’s act equally rethinks and abolishes female roles. The installation is composed of the video documenting the action, the flattened pots, and several colographies made using a process akin to the one employed by Díaz in “Documento.” The colographies become an abstract representation of the action while affirming the dispossession of the pots’s original function.
In “ Construcción Geométrica # 5” (Geometric construction #5) (2014), one of the main interests of the artist Darío Escobar is brought into question. The wooden bodies of Guatemalan rural transport vehicles are the found objects that Escobar uses to pose questions regarding the Latin American geometric awareness. Through this aesthetic resource, the artist reflects on a modernity unconsciously acquired in nations that by definition do not meet the Western standard of having achieved homogeneous progress.
“Construcción Geométrica # 5” subtly critiques such national condition, yet it is not far from its industrial origin. As it hangs on the wall, the sculpture moves by means of hinges attached to its structure, allowing for the reconfiguration of the panels while adding some dynamism to the work.
Similarly, Lam Esvin Alarcón is known for resignifying objects within a national context, in this case, addressing public transportation, such as city buses. In “Desplazamiento No. 2” (Displacement No.2) (2014), the pieces achieve both chromatic and calculated harmony, turning into spontaneous geometric compositions as a result of careful formal conclusions.
The selection of materials chosen by the artist is motivated by his interest in evidencing the passage of time and the physical erosion caused by lived spaces. With this piece Alarcón Lam was invited to participate in the exhibition “Spatial Acts” at the Americas Society in New York last year.
Like Escobar, Diana de Solares recontextualizes the found object. In this instance an object that moves away from modernity and refers back to the pre-industrialization period. In “Existir en un estado de peligrosa distracción “ (Exist in a state of dangerous distraction) (2010-2014) Solares covers the plow with automotive paint, stripping it off of its agricultural functionality so that it can be perceived as a new object, a work of art suspended in time and space. As part of the composition, the artist added dried branches treated with curative wax to provide contrast between the materials; the juxtaposition between the organic and the industrial creates tension and highlights the fragility of the plow’s elements, alluding to the object’s temporality.
Due to her intuitive processes and attention to material combinations, Solares seeks to preserve a dose of mystery and enigma allowing the viewer to openly interpret her works. Such works become meaningful to talk about the human condition, related to the evolutionary and industrial development, physical and conceptual movement, and different ways to approach it, which proves the strength of the national creative power.
“5 / RPM” RPM. (Revoluciones por minuto) es una unidad que se relaciona con la potencia y velocidad del desplazamiento de una máquina; en este caso se ha retomado el concepto para hacer una analogía, donde la energía innovadora de los artistas se ha trasformado en energía creadora y cuyas obras se vuelven la manifestación de la potencia y el desplazamiento de diferentes generaciones de artistas contemporáneos guatemaltecos.
Este desplazamiento temporal se convierte en desplazamiento real y los artistas la representan de diferentes formas. De manera que el concepto de RPM funciona doblemente como aglutinante. Las obras en la exhibición se basan en medios heterogéneos para referirse al efecto, a la huella y al significado de desplazamiento real, en este caso aludiendo a los efectos de las máquinas de transporte o trabajo, al igual que a los materiales de los que son construidos industrialmente.
La galería tiene el placer de invitar por primera vez al artista Luis Díaz, quien goza de una extensa trayectoria y de gran influencia en la producción artística guatemalteca. Con “Documento” (1972), Díaz fue un pionero del arte conceptual en Guatemala, al colocar un pedazo de cartón sobre una tapa de alcantarilla, sobre la cual realizó una colografía espontánea, a la merced del contexto vial en que se encontró. Por medio de la colografía, Díaz logró captar la huella de la fuerza y del paso de los automóviles, cuya evidencia es representada en una composición circular adentro de un rectángulo, tendiendo a la abstracción. Con este gesto, Díaz documentó una acción cuyo testimonio ha logrado permanecer y trascender por más de 40 años.
En “La Demoledora” (2010) Sandra Monterroso documenta una acción utilizando diferentes representaciones. El gesto de Monterroso de repensar y abolir los roles femeninos de una manera violenta pero al mismo tiempo liberadora, al accionar contra ollas de hojalata para hacer tamales, objetos asociados al estereotipo de la feminidad doméstica, es presentado en diversos medios. El videoperformance muestra a la artista conduciendo una aplanadora industrial sobre las ollas, la instalación es conformada por las ollas aplanadas que luego las transfiere gráficamente en colografías, dónde la huella del objeto agredido es plasmado sobre papel, al igual que Diaz en “Documento” (1972), convirtiéndose en una representación abstracta de la acción y afirmando el despojo de su significado original.
En “Construcción Geométrica # 5” (2014), uno de los intereses principales del artista Darío Escobar se pone en cuestión. Las carrocerías de madera de vehículos de transporte rural guatemaltecos son el objeto encontrado en el que Escobar se basa para poner en cuestión la concientización geométrica latinoamericana. Por medio de este recurso estético, el artista reflexiona acerca de una modernidad adquirida desapercibidamente en naciones que por definición no cumplen con los estándares occidentales de haber alcanzado un progreso homogéneo, de tal manera que la obra tiene connotaciones críticas sobre una condición nacional. Al mismo tiempo la obra no se aleja de su origen industrial y conserva movimiento, ya que aunque se adhiera a la pared, las bisagras colocadas en la estructura permiten la reconfiguración de los paneles, lo cuál la vuelve dinámica.
De modo similar, Esvin Alarcón Lam se caracteriza por reconfigurar objetos pertenecientes al contexto nacional, en este caso, ligados al transporte público, como lo son los autobuses urbanos. En “Desplazamiento No. 2” (2014), como producto de un cuidado juicio formal, las piezas demuestran una gran armonía cromática y calculada, volviéndose composiciones geométricas espontáneas. La decisión del material elegido por el artista se origina por su interés en mostrar el paso del tiempo y las erosiones físicas causadas por el espacio habitado. Con esta pieza Alarcón Lam fue invitado a participar en la exhibición “Spatial Acts” en Americas Society en Nueva York el año pasado.
Diana de Solares, al igual que Escobar, recontextualiza el objeto encontrado, en este caso un objeto que se aleja de la modernidad y alude a la pre-industrialización. En “Existir en un estado de peligrosa distracción”
(2010-2014) al pintarlo con pintura automotriz, de Solares despoja al arado de su funcionalidad agrícola para que pueda ser percibido como un nuevo objeto, una obra de arte suspendida en tiempo y espacio.
Tales obras se vuelven significativas por hablar de una condición humana, relacionada con el desarrollo evolutivo e industrial, el desplazamiento físico y conceptual y las diferentes maneras de abordarlo, lo cual viene a probar la fuerza-potencia creadora nacional.
As part of the gallery’s agenda in 2015, the first Project Room opens with a dialogue between Patrick Hamilton and Alejandro Almanza Pereda, along with the exhibition “5 RPM” on Thursday January 29.
Hamilton ‘s work focuses on the processes of urban “cosmetization” that took place in Santiago de Chile after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), during which many Modernist buildings were constructed. Using the technique of collage, Hamilton intervenes images of several buildings in the city’s new financial district with adhesive paper that imitates marble and precious woods textures, to cover up and give new meaning to the local architecture. “Proyectos de arquitecturas revestidas para la Ciudad de Santiago” (Architectural projects re-covered for the City of Santiago, 2008-2009) the artist proposes a social critique that denounces the deception caused by the powerful economic sector to the Chilean people.
In the piece “Balance No. 3, Ruca” (2013) Hamilton presents a picture of a still life—a pictorial composition of inanimate objects—, which appears to be real when reproduced photographically at actual scale. The decision to use specific objects like a postcard, two chains, and a rectangle of red acetate, comes from the story that each object holds but that the artist does not reveal. Hamilton implements multiple planes with objects to build a contemporary still life to add to its fragile balance.
In contrast, the sculpture of Alejandro Almanza “Sticks & Stones No. 4” (Palos y piedras, 2014) takes up objects in diverse make up and meaning and places them in a tense and unorthodox composition. Almanza relates a wooden table and a resin bust, acquired in the flea markets, with fluorescent light tubes, tubes, stones, and what appears to be a burnt stick—objects found in the country where he creates the work. The sculpture becomes a constellation of places, memories, and stories that talk of a temporal and spatial condition. “Sticks & Stones” is the title of several popular songs; however, its origin comes from a nursery rhyme that expresses the desire not to be hurt by insults even when sticks and stones may cause one physical pain.
Winning an honorable mention at the XVI Biennial of Photography in 2014 at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, “The Less Things Change, the Less They Stay the Same” (Entre menos cambian las cosas, menos siguen iguales, 2014) documents the deconstruction of a metal bookshelf. A formal exercise that begins when a shelf is placed vertically resulting in endless variations, the shelf, no longer a utilitarian object, becomes a sculpture. The title of the work is a reversal of the well-known French epigram plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same) implying that at a deep level, changes do not affect reality
Almanza, like Hamilton, focuses on the object, the material, and their inherent history and in the way they are intervened by the artist so that they retain their original meaning while adding a new one.
Como parte de la agenda de la galería para el 2015, se inaugura el primer Project Room con un diálogo entre Patrick Hamilton y Alejandro Almanza Pereda, junto con la exhibición “5 RPM” el día jueves 29 de enero.
La obra de Hamilton se centra en los procesos de “cosmetización” urbana que ocurrieron en Santiago de Chile después de la dictadura de Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), periodo durante el cual se construyeron muchos edificios de estilo modernista. Empleando la técnica del collage, Hamilton interviene las imágenes de varios edificios del nuevo barrio financiero citadino con papel adhesivo que simula texturas de mármol y maderas preciosas, recubriendo, o maquillando por decir así, la arquitectura local para conferirle un nuevo significado. En “Proyectos de arquitecturas revestidas para la Ciudad de Santiago” (2008-2009), el artista propone una crítica social que denuncia el engaño efectuado por el poderoso sector económico al pueblo chileno
En la pieza “Equilibrio No. 3, Ruca” (2013) Hamilton presenta la fotografía de un bodegón—composición pictórica de objetos inanimados—que simula ser real al reproducirlo en escala natural. La decisión de utilizar objetos específicos como una postal, dos cadenas y un rectángulo de acetato rojo, proviene de la historia que retiene cada uno de ellos y que el artista no revela. Hamilton implementa múltiples planos con los objetos que construyen el bodegón contemporáneo en sí sumándose a su frágil equilibrio
En contraste, la escultura de Alejandro Almanza “Sticks & Stones No. 4” (Palos y piedras, 2014) retoma objetos variados en construcción y significado y los coloca en una composición heterodoxa en tensión. Almanza relaciona una mesa de madera y un busto de resina, adquiridos en los mercados de segunda mano, con tubos de luz flourecente, tubos, piedras y lo que parece ser un palo quemado, objetos que incorpora a la obra generalmente del país dónde la realiza. La escultura se vuelve una constelación de lugares, memorias e historias que habla de una condición temporal y espacial. “Sticks & Stones” es el título de varias canciones populares pero su origen proviene de una rima infantil que expresa el deseo de no dejarse herir por los insultos aun cuando los palos y las piedras le puedan causar dolor físico.
Ganadora de una mención honorífica en la XVI Bienal de Fotografía del 2014 en el Centro de la Imagen en México D.F., “The Less Things Change, the Less They Stay the Same” (Entre menos cambian las cosas, menos siguen iguales) documenta la deconstrucción de una estantería metálica. Ejercicio formal que empieza cuando un entrepaño se coloca verticalmente dando lugar a sin fin de variaciones, la estantería deja de ser objeto utilitario para convertirse en una escultura. El título de la obra es una inversión del popular epigrama francés plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (entre más cambian las cosas, más siguen iguales) dando a entender que a un nivel profundo los cambios no afectan la realidad.
Almanza, al igual que Hamilton, se centra en el objeto, el material y su historia inherente y en la manera que al intervenir en ellos, retienen su significado original pero también adquieren otro.
Images: Exhibition view, Courtesy of The 9.99 Gallery, Guatemala.
Artists: Kader Attia, Francis Alÿs, Darío Escobar, Alberto Baraya, Albano Afonso, Matías Duville, Patrick Hamilton, Carlos Garaicoa, Cinthia Marcelle e Tiago Mata Machado, Moris, Pedro Alonso & Hugo Palmarola, Sandra Cinto, and Santiago Sierra.
January 24 – March 29, 2015
Curated by Pamela Prado
Centro Cultural Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Beleza? – com sinal de interrogação – é uma expressão brasileira que pergunta se por acaso tudo está bem. Assim, parece relançar a beleza – conceito extinto no discurso da arte – para outro lado, para o da preocupação dos artistas com o estado do mundo contemporâneo, a globalização e a crise do modelo econômico imperante. Beleza? reúne obras que parecem formular esta mesma pergunta: está tudo bem? Em distintos formatos e estratégias, dão visibilidade e reagem às transformações e contradições próprias do desgaste dos sistemas políticos e econômicos que se chocam contra as pessoas (e suas relações sociais), as paisagens (e as definições territoriais) e os países (e suas demarcações geopolíticas).
Artist: Darío Escobar
Unions and Intersections
November 11 – December 12, 2014
The title of the exhibition Unions and Intersections underlines a general theme in Escobar’s work. The chosen objects, which make up Escobar’s sculptures become markers and signs of both unions and intersections through the way they are arranged and their conversion into art.
Most of the works presented in the exhibition are sculptures made partially or entirely out of sporting goods such as footballs, basketballs, or billiard cues. Sports have been a recurring theme in Escobar’s work in recent years. However, one is not looking at the work of a sports-obsessed artist; someone who cannot get enough of the life-affirming thrills sports can offer. For Escobar these sporting effects are, to a much larger degree, signs of multinational brands and movements, which in the last decades have swept across the world and made any distinction between the local and the global impossible.
To Escobar sports and the culture that surrounds it is inseparable from a worldwide consumerism that offers itself as a ticket to an international community if one is prepared to pay the price. By using effects from this culture Escobar calls attention to this particular situation, though without pointing fingers at sports fans. His work is also not to be understood as a sarcastic comment on the global art world or art market because of its ability to absorb such commercial elements. The works are a sincere investigation of complex power structures, including the relationship between art and consumerism.
Darío Escobar lives and works in Guatemala City. He has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, among them, Gold, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, and Fútbol: The Beautiful Game, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (all 2014); Confusion in the Vault, Museo Jumex, México D.F. (2013); 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; Darío Escobar/La experiencia del objeto, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago, Santiago, Chile, Singular/Plural, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, and The Island: A Game of Life, Gallery One, Manarat al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (all 2012); Los impolíticos, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy, Périfériks, Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and Mundus Novus, 53 Biennale di Venezia, Venice (all 2009); and Poetics of the Handmade, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007). Escobar’s monograph A Singular Plurality: The Works of Darío Escobar was published by Harvard University Press in 2013.
Artists: Saâdane Afif, Mahmoud Akram, art & language, François Azambourg, Katinka Bock, Rebecca Bournigault, César, Pierre Henri Chauveau, Claude Closky, Nicolas Delprat, Guillaume Delvigne, Judith Deschamps, Florence Doléac, Stéphane Ducatteau, Joakim Eneroth, Dario Escobar, Antoine Espinasseau, Didier Faustino, Samuel Gassmann, Miriam Gassmann, Shilpa Gupta, Zaha Hadid, Jakob+ MacFarlane, Patrick Jouin, Studio Katra, Itvan Kebadian, Nandita Kumar, Li Lihong, Valentin Loellmann, Marco Maggi, Piotr Makowski, Cecilie Manz, Philippe Mayaux, Mathieu Mercier, François Morellet, Sarngsan Na Soontorn, Nøne Futbol Club, Navid Nuur, Melik Ohanian, ORLAN, David Pergier, Olivier Peyricot, Benoit Pype, Bruno Romeda, Olve Sande, Laetitia Sellier, Olivier Sidet, Augustin Steyer, Sebastiaan Straastma, Studio Minale Maeda, Jeanne Susplugas, Hitomi Uchikura, Felice Varini, Florian Viel, Sacha Walckhoff, Andy Warhol, Victoria Wilmotte, Jens Wolf.
October 18 – 23, 2014
An imaginary and ephemeral collection of contemporary art works and design inhabits for its second edition a new historical space. At the birthplace of famous filmmaker George Méliès, is a beautiful opportunity to acquire art and design pieces composing this universe. This adventure is possible thanks to the loan of art works from galleries and partners. It is here that upon the invitation of homeowners and collectors, Pierre-Henri and Marie Chauveau, that project designer, Nadia Candet has chosen to present Private Choice n°2.
Ascending the Staircase
Upon crossing the threshold, the house invites you ascend the staircase where you are met by three tapered toucan beaks by young artist Florian Viel. At the top of the stairs sits Pavillion nomade II by architects Jakob + MacFarlane. Digital drawings, moving structures, imaginary and preparatory sketches for a project of mobile architecture on brain research spreads rightfully in this house. Facing it is Super Ghost Mirror by designer Olivier Sidet, a mirror reflecting everything but the person looking in it, preferring, besides self-contemplation, attention to environment. Throughout the home are site specific works by Felice Varini connecting each room.
The intimate architecture is reflected in works by Zaha Hadid, who has designed two vases and crafted by event partner, Lalique, Manifesto and Visio are slender crystal towers created specifically for Private Choice. Didier Faustino presents a domestic vanitas Dead Domesticity Zone, wall to wall carpet sewn as an emptied skull to be walked on, and an installation: Threesome where, an ensemble of three double armchairs, not far from the staircase designed by Le Corbusier.
Under the sky of the living room, with the survival blanket and Dario Escobar
The living room, the central space of the house, is visited by artists from all over the world with the linking language, English, is imbedded in the mural installation of Iranian artist Navid Nuur. On an isothermal blanket, an aluminum drawing form the words: Not like a piece of pie but like rope in a net. On both sides of the entrance to the dining room, two paintings by Polish artist Piotr Makowski. Near the windows are hung motor oil compositions by Guatemalan artist, Dario Escobar and his installation Observe & Reverse. On a pillar, are paintings by Norwegian Olve Sande, and on the table, the powerfully discreet universe of Marco Maggi who will represent the Uruguayan pavilion during the 2015 Venice Biennale. Dividing the territory, using everyday material as universal binder: engine oil, football balls, survival blanket, or rug.
It must be mentioned that more than 100 works, 55 artists, 24 participating galleries and editors, and over 10 brand partners fill the space. But like any house, this house reveals itself fully during the visit, exposing mysteries of the space that holds the collection: it shelters as in any living place, a second ghost, (with the one of Olivier Sidet, an apparition from Melik Ohanian), and a pharmacy (Jeanne Susplugas), a penne necklace (François Azambourg), a coveted piece of jewelry (Laetitia Sellier), cufflinks (Samuel Gassmann), a kitchen knife (Shilpa Gupta), a carpet (Cecilie Manz, collection 2014 Chevalier édition, partner of Private Choice), Brillo (Andy Warhol), footprints (César), a mask (Mathieu Mercier), a wedding video (Nøne Futbol Club) and the peculiar story of collector Dorith Galuz (Judith Deschamps).
« That’s life ».
Artists: Lourdes de la Riva, Erica Muralles Hazbun, Aníbal López A-1 53167, Darío Escobar, Pablo Boneu, Hellen Ascoli, Luis González Palma, Mauricio Contreras-Paredes, Paola Beverini and Douglas Witmer.
September 2 -30, 2014
Sol del Río Galería
Artists: Ana Bidart, Martí Cormand, Elena del Rivero, Darío Escobar, Sérgio Sister, and Adam Winner.
August 7 – September 6, 2014
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
The title refers to a term coined by Raphael Rubinstein* in 2009 to describe an ongoing trend: Provisional paintings, “look casual, dashed-off, tentative, unfinished, self-canceling”. They “demolish their own iconic status before they ever attain such a thing.” Their genealogy includes Robert Rauschenberg’s “cardboards” of the 1970s, Raoul de Keyser, Christopher Wools, Mary Heilman and extends to a younger generation of artists who have been working across the map from Berlin to Bushwick and Mexico City, qualified as “the new casualists” by artist and critic Sharon L. Butler*. The exhibition connects three generations of artists whose work oppose to the monumental, the official, and the permanent to embrace the off-kilter and the awkward in a playful combination of deliberation and indecision.
Dario Escobar’s Blacksmith Paintings are based on two absences: the absence of the painted object and the absence of the subject who painted it. Part of a larger body of ‘self-generated’ or ‘performative’ works, the painting in the exhibition documents the back wall of a blacksmith workshop in Guatemala city. A blank canvas, stapled to the backdrop wall used to spray paint metal objects, accumulates layers and layers of paint residue. The painting is executed unknowingly by blacksmith workers without direct intervention of the artist’s hand whose only decision is to pick-up the work after a certain time. The result is a condensed and effortless journey through the main painting movements of the last century – from 1960s color field painting, to Latin American geometric abstraction, minimalism, pop, and street art, depending on the day-to-day order of business at the shop.
Elena del Rivero’s Letter from Home in Cerulean is a monument to domesticity and its monstrosity. It is a giant canvas hanging from one nail in the corner, just like a dishcloth in a kitchen. The process starts with the traditional blue pattern of a European dishcloth made with stitch-like brushstrokes, followed by staining and altering the surface with dirt from the studio floor, coffee from the breakfast table, or leftover paint smudged on the surface. Like in most of del Rivero’s work, delicacy and a sense of loving attention coexist with a feeling of neglect and abandonment.
In Pasaportes, Mexico based conceptual artist Ana Bidart examines access and identity. The paintings are a record of her last two years working as an artist’s assistant, her time spent packing and labeling the works of other artists. Incorporating the vocabulary of tracking numbers and of various discarded materials, the paintings allude to various techniques of mechanical reproduction to explore traces left of relationships. Silkscreening, xeroxing, and photoshopping are done here in a low-tech, low-key way, by directly applying objects to the canvas (bubble wrap, footprints) and rubbing the surface with solvents in large areas of grayish brushstrokes.
Martí Cormand’s work is a testimony to the degradation of certainty. For the past two years, he has been investigating the notion of conviction by observing and rendering iconic works of the conceptual art movement “When no one has too many certitudes any more, processes become essential. I have nothing urgent to communicate, no absolute convictions. I investigate the certainties that others had in the 1960s and 1970s. My favorite subject is the study of conviction” (Martí Cormand). With no effort to hide its labor and adjustments, the work in the exhibition, a rendering of Yoko Ono’s 1964 Grapefruit, dissects its own process by showing the three stages to a finished painting. As if scanned at three points during its making, it becomes a self-amused and unassuming work that does not invite any transcendental reading.
Most of Sérgio Sister’s work stands at the edge between painting and sculpture. The small monochromatic paintings, from 1995 – 2010 included in the exhibition, convey a sense of calculated tentativeness. The individual paintings, made with an unflashy handling of paint can be re-positioned into distinct groups and assemblages, within a skillful game of subtle tonal variations.
Adam Winner’s paintings are concerned with multiple forms of imperfection. Made with a palette knife, in layer upon layer of oil, gesso and linen, the paintings expose their own accidents and mistakes, laying bare the seams, showing ripped linen strips and frayed edges. Winner’s paintings of imperfect gestures are imbued with a feeling of permanent self-doubt. They embrace a sense of their own failure yet reveal an intimate familiarity with the materials.
Artists: Olga de Amaral, Eric Baudart, Carlos Betancourt, Chris Burden, James Lee Byars,Elmgreen and Dragset, Dario Escobar, Sylvie Fleury, Cyprien Gaillard, Patricia Hernandez, Glenn Kaino, Alicja Kwade, Sherrie Levine, Kris Martin, Fernando Mastrangelo, John Miller, Martin Oppel, Ebony G. Patterson, Todd Pavlisko, Robin Rhode, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, and Rudolf Stingel.
August 8, 2014 – January 11, 2015
Bass Museum of Art
Miami, FL, USA
This exhibition is exploring how gold has been used in the past, present, and how it is referenced today by contemporary artists, both physically and conceptually. Works in this exhibition include historical objects from the permanent collection, painting, sculpture, video, photography, and design.
Image: “Untitled (McDonald’s Cup)”, 1999, Carboard, plastic, gold and pigments, 9 x 3 1/2 in. Collection of Vivian and Ken Pfeiffer.
Artists: Dario Escobar, Diana de Solares, Diego Sagastume, Esvin Alarcón Lam, Sandra Monterroso, tepeu choc, Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Carolina Caycedo and Patrick Hamilton.
Height x Width x Depth
July 31, 2014
The 9.99 Gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Group exhibition celebrating one year anniversary of The 9.99 Gallery.
Artists: Joao Castilho, Deborah Castillo, Isabel Cisneros, Pietro Daprano, Rodrigo Echeverri, Dario Escobar, Mauricio Esquivel, Silvana Lacarra, Pepe López, Cipriano Martínez, Jesús Matheus, Jason Mena, Nydia Negromonte, Cecilia Paredes, Bernardita Rakos, and Marcos Temoche.
Punto de Quiebre, 16 ensayos latinoamericanos
June 26, 2014
Beatriz Gil Galería
El siglo XXI se ha caracterizado por trazar una nueva geografía en el desempeño actual del arte contemporáneo. Dos ejes de acción, relativos y paralelos han dinamizado un complejo nudo de enlaces, novedades, descubrimientos y fluctuaciones: al alimón de las descollantes aperturas que la tecnología y el mundo web 2.0 ofertaron para todos los participantes de la cultura global se inició un ciclo donde el debate abierto comenzó a revelar nuevas zonas sombrías dentro de esas “supuestas verdades” compartidas por todos. Luego de una antesala plena de rupturas, de postulados teóricos, de conjeturas albergadas en el ejercicio humano y social de la escalada triunfal de la cyber-democracia, la nueva era sembró el desconsuelo de estridentes imposibilidades de conexión: guerras, desmanes, una miseria generalizada y un funesto desarrollo de neo-fundamentalismos reciclados que ya han devastado las lejanas esperanzas del progreso.
Sin embargo, la posibilidad individual ha surgido con empeño en medio de la crisis y el caos mundial que nos envuelve. Desde ese punto de quiebre que transformó las relaciones de lo particular con el entorno entre finales del siglo XX y los inicios del XXI, también se han develado nuevas estrategias de acción: eslabones donde el documento, la memoria, el testimonio y las diversas formas de asentar la fugacidad de la experiencia privada y colectiva anclan el poder de un individuo que ya no observa lugares soñados a dónde debe llegar para ser alguien, o inaccesibles utopías impuestas por otros que deben ser alcanzadas para encontrar algo. Ahora, más que nunca, las ilusiones particulares saben que es solo desde el constructo crítico de sus propias fronteras y desde su capacidad para aglutinar las voluntades que le rodean, el sitio real donde pueden y podrán consolidar un mejor lugar para sí mismo y para los otros.
En este sentido, las perspectivas del arte en general y muy especialmente del arte latinoamericano han transformado una buena parte de sus inquietudes, desviando esa área inicial insertada en la necesidad de colocar el propio discurso dentro de los movimientos legitimadores de la cultura foránea hacia una mirada interior mucho más plural, zona refractada de un arte que se levanta en el punto de quiebre de estas antiguas prácticas territoriales para presentarse como la reedición de una nueva sensibilidad, ahora focalizada en los propios problemas formales, conceptuales, políticos y sociales de los creadores, sin dejar de ser áreas de contenido capaces de albergar un carácter mundial-global.
Este ejercicio entra en conexión directa con varias de las pautas teóricas que para el arte actual ha introducido el crítico Nicolas Bourriaud quien se apropió del vocablo post-producción con la finalidad de concertar las señales de esa ebullición creativa distintiva de nuestro tiempo: empalmes donde la materia manipulada por el artista ha dejado de ser «materia prima» para elaborar «formas» a partir de productos culturales «in-formados» por otros; derivaciones artísticas donde el arte ya no es el aspaviento inédito heredado de la modernidad o la obra única capaz de sostener la verdad y la esencia de un lenguaje oculto. Ahora, son obras a partir de obras, productos de consumo, retazos culturales, trozos de film, objetos varios, material web, sonidos reeditados, estereotipos, reciclaje y apropiación, algunas de las destrezas y mecanismos que determinan el arte más reciente. La consecución de los procesos ya no guarda relación con las famosas rupturas formales de la vanguardia de turno o la necesidad latinoamericana de reinsertarse en las líneas de acción de este perímetro hegemónico. El acontecer que la globalización y la era de internet le han conferido a las relaciones entre autor, medios, lugares de difusión, obra y receptor, ha encaminado los procesos hacia la ilación de retazos donde la memoria, el fragmento, la historia individual y la metáfora serán las claves para una obra que más que asentamiento de verdades es discurso en proceso, periplo del sí mismo, puesta en escena de todas las inquietudes que ese sujeto artístico está tratando de convocar y transmitir.
En Punto de quiebre hemos querido medir y poner en relación las propuestas visuales de dieciséis artistas de generaciones distintas y de contextos latinoamericanos diversos (algunos residentes en países diferentes a su lugar de origen) que se insertan en el desarrollo de estas aristas tan características de nuestra contemporaneidad. A través de tácticas diversas y con la expectativa única de responder y preguntar a través del arte, revisitan y escamotean lugares donde la fotografía, la pintura, el dibujo, la performance, el collage, el video, la instalación y la escultura se enlazan como las bases de una acción en plena resonancia con los tránsitos vitales del contexto y la experiencia particular del yo dentro de los vaivenes virtuales y las huellas materiales del ser social. La investigación se inició sin temas específicos, pero poco a poco, en los intercambios desarrollados durante varios meses, miles de zonas en comunión vinieron a correr la cortina de ese lugar central que le dio el título a la muestra; Punto de quiebre, ruptura con las formas y los medios tradicionales de ejecución formal y conceptual que vienen a levantar una sucesión de crónicas visuales cercanas entre sí: desde los gestos efímeros, la permanencia de lo visual y las alegorías trashumantes de una presencia humana a contrapunto de la imagen (Joâo Castilho, Bernardita Rakos, Isabel Cisneros, Mauricio Esquivel); en las resonancias de un presente que reposiciona la historiografía latinoamericana, generando disposiciones fracturadas, residuos ancestrales y compendios críticos de una gran fuerza visual (Jesús Matheus, Silvana Lacarra, Darío Escobar, Cipriano Martínez); en los vínculos de la presencia, la acción del cuerpo físico y su relación con los elementos como foco que reinstala el ciclo vital de una memoria subterránea desprendida desde la referencia local hacia los vericuetos de la memoria colectiva (Nydia Negromonte, Cecilia Paredes, Pietro Daprano, Pepe López); hasta las señales de lo urbano, los olvidos de la historia oficial y sus contradicciones, así como las prácticas, movimientos y manipulaciones de un poder transfigurado y suscrito por relaciones ocultas y golpes ambivalentes en el día a día del ciudadano común (Jason Mena, Rodrigo Echeverri, Déborah Castillo y Marcos Temoche).
En Punto de quiebre todos los artistas dispusieron sus proyectos como una jugada verbal, un enunciado iconográfico alrededor de las distintas temáticas generales que los agrupan y que también podrían conectarlos transversalmente. Es por ello que se ha usado la figura del “ensayo” como núcleo central de descripción y reunión de los distintos entramados formales que cada uno ha aplicado para este primer encuentro; una apuesta curatorial que también funciona como un proceso abierto en el diálogo sostenido con ellos y que en ambos casos trabaja como un campo de investigación compartido, dando como resultado una cartografía amplia, plena de evidencias e incertidumbres, de discursos visuales transitivos, de engranajes implícitos y elementos fugaces que van tras esa imagen plural que está intentando narrar y narrarse frente a las fracturas individuales y colectivas- que inundan las mudables verdades de nuestra cultura contemporánea.
Lorena González I.
Artist: Dario Escobar
May 18 – August 27, 2014
Curated by Alma Ruiz
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Guatemalan artist Darío Escobar famously repurposes sports equipment to construct compelling sculptures and installations that convey movement and geometry. For his first solo museum exhibition in Los Angeles, he will create a site-specific installation composed of approximately 1,000 red bike reflectors that will be attached to the wall in undulating and rotating patterns. The mural-like wall installation resembles a large scale drawing activated by light and the visitor’s own movement through the gallery space.
Artists and collectors: Alair Gomes, Alex Carvalho, Alexandre da Cunha, Alexandre Maïa, André Renaud, Angelo Venosa, Artur Kjá, Ayrson Heráclito, Beatriz Pimenta, Bete Esteves, Chico Fernandes, Chinese Cookie Poets, Claudia Hersz, Coletivo Praça XV, Crocco + Ogro, Daniela Seixas, Danielle Fonseca, Dario Escobar, Dea Lellis, Demian Jacob, Coleção Eduardo Yndyo Tassara, Eugênio Latour, Fabiano Rodrigues, Fábio Birita, Fabio Flaks, Fábio Tremonte, Gary Hill, Guga Ferraz e Marcio Arqueiro, Guilherme Peters, Guilherme Teixeira, Hannes Heinrich e Raquel Schembri, Igor Vidor, James Oatway, Jeffrey Vallance, Jonas Arrabal, Laura Andreato, Marcos Bonisson, Nelson Leirner, Nena Balthar, Olafur Eliasson, Oriana Duarte, Raphael Zarka, Coleção Ricardo Fainziliber, Coleção Rico de Souza, Russell Crotty, Sesper, Shaun Gladwell, Silvana Mello, SKATEISTAN / Rhianon Bader, Steve Miller, Tiago Carneiro da Cunha, Tito Rosemberg, Tracey Moffatt, Virgilio Lopes Neto, Wilbor, Zanini de Zanine
Slide <Surf Skate>
Curator: Raphael Fonseca
Januray 14 – April 27, 2014
Museu de Arte do Rio
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In a 1971 newspaper one sees a man with legs flexed and trunk bent forward. Under his body, a surfboard and sea foam. “In sliding, a sensation of vertigo”, reads the caption that accompanies the photo. The title of the piece? “And the waves were mastered.” If we leaf through the pages of other publications from the same period, we’ll also come across attempts to master the geometry of concrete. Skateboarding on the handrails of commercial buildings, in private condominiums and in empty pools, seen as potential spaces for new moves.
Surfing and skating are the North and South of this exhibit. Both sports are viewed from a historical perspective, but without the pretense of being exhaustive. Information and images were selected from a temporal arch that goes from 1778, when the first drawings were made of native Hawaiians surfing, to public discussions in Brazil on the role of these activities.
It’s worth reflecting on the artistic dimension raised by these different ways of exploring space. Would it be possible to affirm that some artists have such a strong existential relation with surfing or skating to the point of making them central elements in their artistic language? It certainly looks that way.
Aside from situations in which the dance of movements appears in its literalness, other artistic propositions treat visuality in a more oblique manner; board and deck can be seen as sculptural forms, just as the waves of the sea and the waiting are flanked by the loud spread of papers pasted over the surfaces of the cities. The gaze can also be cast on the one who rides: who are these skaters and surfers? Is there space for the multicultural representation of archetypes? How to interpret the many self-portraits in dialogue here?
It’s importante to recall, in conclusion, a few words spoken by the skater and collector Eduardo Yndyo: “Everything that slides mesmerizes. If the sliding can be controlled, there’s passion.” Let’s be fascinated, therefore, by these stories and try to control them in our memories until we experience the only certainty of the slide: the wipeout.
Artists: Adel Abdessmed, George Afedzi Hughes, Gustavo Artigas, Chris Beas, Mark Bradford, Miguel Calderon, Mary Ellen Carroll, Carolyn Castaño, Petra Cortright, Stephen Dean, Dario Escobar, Leo Fitzmaurice, Generic Art Solutions, Douglas Gordon, Andreas Gursky, Hassan Hajjaj, Lyle Ashton Harris, Satch Hoyt, Nelson Leirner, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Alon Levin, Amitis Motevalli, Antoni Muntadas, Oscar Murillo, Philippe Parreno, Paul Pfeiffer, Robin Rhode, Ana Serrano, Dewey Tafoya, Andy Warhol, Wendy White, Kehinde Wiley
Fútbol: The Beautiful Game
February 2 – July 20, 2014
Los Angeles, CA, USA
The exhibition examines football—nicknamed “the beautiful game” by one sports commentator—and its signficance in societies around the world. As a subject, football touches on issues of nationalism and identity, globalism and mass spectacle, as well as the common human experience shared by spectators from many cultures. Celebrating the sport on the eve of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the exhibition includes approximately thirty artists from around the world who work in video, photography, painting and sculpture. Two room-sized video installations—Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, by the artists Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon, and Volta by Stephen Dean—anchor the exhibition. Other works by artists including Miguel Calderon (whose 2004 video Mexico v. Brasil represents a 17-0 victory for Mexico), Robin Rhode, Kehinde Wiley, and Andy Warhol provide a sense of the miraculous possibilities of the sport as universal conversation piece.
día a día / day by day
November 2013 – January 2014
The 9.99 Gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala
The artist’s day by day develops in the studio, a space that serves as a laboratory of ideas. Just as the everyday governs most people’s lives—the teacher teaches every day or the doctor sees patients week after week—it also tends to provide a daily routine for the artist, allowing a pattern of reflection and research that leads to the creation of works of art based on his observation of the political, social, and cultural life of a city or country.
Day by Day is the fourth exhibition The 9.99 presents this year, bringing together six international artists: Patrick Hamilton and Sebastián Preece (Chile), Andrea Aragón, Darío Escobar and Aníbal López (A1-53167) (Guatemala) and Nery Gabriel Lemus (United States), all artists whose work tends to reflect the everyday of our lives.
Working in Santiago, Chile, Hamilton and Preece represent the new generation of artists from this South American country; both use everyday objects to map aspects of the city where they live. Hamilton’s elegant minimalist geometric forms made with sharp cutting razor wire, Composición con diamantes (Composition with diamonds, 2011), and pieces created with tools, Serrucho (Hand saw, 2013), speak of the social insecurity that forms in a country where recent economic wealth has not been distributed evenly. The decay of infrastructure in certain city neighborhoods is present in Volumen XIV (Volume XIV) and Volumen XVI (Volume XVI, both 2008) by Preece. The truncated history of everyday life is buried in the ruins that survive time, in the books that daily disintegrate into dust.
A daily routine involves facilitating the existence of human beings, but the work of Guatemalans Andrea Aragón, Darío Escobar and Aníbal López (A1 -53 167) evidence otherwise. Escobar has a group of paintings, which at first glance shows an abstract composition on a supposedly perfect sheet of white paper; under closer scrutiny one can see that the artist has torn the sheet in two. Dibujo interrumpido No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 (Interrupted drawing No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3, all 2013) represent a fractured society that tries to remedy injustices and historical errors with cosmetic fixes, but these breaks remain always there, even if difficult to see with the naked eye. The poignant photographs of Aragón, capture reality as it is, and it is often tough. Images De la serie “antipostales” (From the series “antipostcards,” 2001) and De la serie “Ghetto” (From the series “Ghetto,” 2010) sadly delve into what everyday life can be for people who live in a dilapidated house, with scruffy furniture and graffiti on the walls, or in those terrible and impersonal modern buildings that instead of making life more enjoyable make it an earthly hell. Listón de plástico negro de 250 mts. de largo x 4 mts. de ancho colgado sobre el puente del Incienso (Black plastic strip of 250 meters. long x 4 mts. wide hanging over the Incienso Bridge, 2003) by López (A1 -53 167) captures for posterity the grief that people express when the constitutional laws of the country are broken. The documentation of this action adds to the rich artistic and historical file that the artist has been building since the beginning of his career.
Nery Gabriel Lemus is a foreigner who should not be. The son of Guatemalan immigrants living in the United States, Lemus has developed his career in Los Angeles, California, which focuses on many of the tensions that routinely affect people in his condition. His foreign status gives him an objective distance that makes his observations not only very keen but are also permeated by nostalgia about what is not known but is sensed. De Guatemala a guatepeor (From Guatebad to guateworst, 2013) Lemus resists stigmatizing a country that has suffered daily violence while improvement and progress are also being achieved.
In Day by Day, artists seem to agree that not all is bad, nor all good, and that this constantly changing, precarious balance upholds the survival of mankind and is one in which the artist finds inspiration for his creative activities.
-Alma Ruiz F.
Extract from: Alma Ruiz, “Interview with Artist” in Jose Falconi, ed. A Singular Plurality: The Works of Darío Escobar. Cambridge, MA: Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, 2013, pp. 331-345. “I am very interested in the ideas of Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, which seem to me quite accurate as they relate to contemporary art: sculpture as a cross between an industrial object and a monument within the fine arts tradition. I’m very interested in analyzing the relationship between production and consumption, especially in these times in which objects are mass produced, and in their production in factories, individuals alienate themselves from the items: they distance themselves, but they are then reconciled in the exercise of purchase/consumption. However, to incorporate the object into an aesthetic operation, such as art, leads us to a narrower and more revealing space for reflection—it does not simply place the object within these mechanical operations of manufacturing and buying.” (…) “My interest in the pre-Hispanic past actually lies in the question of form, and I take this as a pretext to investigate the major issues that informed art in these lands for centuries. When I made these works, (Kukulkán I, 2007; and the series Quetzalcóatl II, III, etc.) I was really excited to discover a sculptural model that would show certain qualities that traditional sculpture doesn’t show, and one of these factors was the behavior of the material. I was interested in starting to work with light, with shadows, and with materials that move freely without obeying the forms that I give them as a sculptor. It was a true exercise in freedom. I thought this idea was touched upon in some way in pre-Hispanic architecture with the shadows that form on staircases… I’ve always been particularly interested in archeology as well.”
Traducido del inglés
Fragmento de: Alma Ruiz, “Interview with Artist” in Jose Falconi, ed. A Singular Plurality: The Works of Darío Escobar. Cambridge, MA: Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, 2013, pp. 331-345. “Me interesan mucho las ideas de Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, las cuales me parecen bastante acertadas ya que se refieren al arte contemporáneo y a la escultura como una mezcla entre objeto industrial y un monumento dentro de la tradición de las bellas artes. Me interesa analizar la relación entre producción y consumo, especialmente en estos tiempos en los que los objetos son producidos en masa y debido a su producción es de fábrica los individuos se apartan de ellos. Toman distancia, pero se reconcilian en el ejercicio de compra y consumo. No obstante, al incorporar el objeto dentro de una operación estética como lo es el arte, nos lleva a un espacio de reflexión más estrecho y revelador. No pone al objeto simplemente dentro de estas operaciones mecánicas de manufactura y compra”. “Mi interés en el pasado prehispánico radica en la cuestión de la forma y lo tomo como pretexto para investigar los temas importantes que informaron el arte desde estas tierras por siglos. Cuando realicé estas obras (Kukulkán I, 2007, y la serie Quetzalcóatl II, III, etc.) me entusiasmó descubrir un modelo escultórico que mostraba ciertas cualidades que la escultura tradicional no muestra y uno de estos factores fue el comportamiento del material. Me interesaba comenzar a trabajar con la luz, con las sombras y con materiales que se mueven libremente sin obedecer las formas que les doy como escultor. Fue un verdadero ejercicio de libertad. Pensé que esta idea se abordó de alguna manera en la arquitectura prehispánica con las sombras que se forman en las escalinatas… Siempre he tenido un interés particular por la arqueología también.
Selected Biographical Information
Education / Training
- 1996: Arquitectura, Universidad Rafael Landivar, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2013: “Ultitled”, Kamel Mennour Galerie, Paris, France.
- 2013: “Dario Escobar/ Blacksmith Project”, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York, USA.
- 2012: “Dario Escobar / La experiencia del objeto” (MAC) Museo de arte Contemporáneo de Santiago, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
- 2012: “Dario Escobar: Singular/Plural” (SCAD) Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia / (SCAD) Atlanta – Gallery 1600, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
- 2012: “Dario Escobar / trabajo reciente” Baró Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil.
- 2011: “Dario Escobar / Revisión” Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno Carlos Mérida, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2010: “Side and Back”, Kamel Mennour Galerie, Paris, France.
- 2010: “Anverso y Reverso”, González y González, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
- 2008: “Playoffs” Josee Bienvenu Gallery, New York, USA.
- 2007: “La Línea Interrumpida”, (CCM) Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2007: “Dario Escobar/Project room”, Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
- 2006: “Objetos en Transito”, Sala Gasco, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
- 2005: “Serpentario”, (CCEG) Centro Cultural de España Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2013: “Inaugural Exhibition”, The Pizzutti Collection, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
- 2013: “California-Pacific Triennial”, (OCMA) Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California / (CC) Coastline Community college Art Gallery, Newport Beach, California, USA.
- 2013: “Y…¿entonces? / and..so?”, the 9.99, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2012: “The Island / A game of life”, Gallery One, Manarat al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
- 2011: “Now” (Selección de obras de La Colección Jumex) Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico.
- 2011: “From the recent PAst: New Acquisitions” (MOCA) The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California, USA.
- 2009: “Los Impoliticos”, (PAN) Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy.
- 2009: “Périfériks”, (CAN) Centre D’art Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
- 2009: “Mundus Novus: 53 Bienal Internacional de Venecia”, Artiglerie dell’Arsenale, Venecia, Italy.
- 2008: “Playtime”, Bétonsalon / Centre d’art et de recherche, Paris, France.
- 2007: “The Hours: Visual Arts of Contemporary LAtin America”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.
- 2001: “Short Stories”, La Fabbrica del Vapore, Milán, Italy.
- 2001: “I Tirana Biennial”, National Gallery & Chinese Pavilion, Tirana, Albania.
- 2012: Book. A singular plurality: the works of Dario Escobar. Ed. Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Daros Latinamerica, Zurich, Switzerland.
- Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA.
- Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC, USA.
- MOLAA Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA, USA.
- MOCA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
- CIFO – Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, FL, USA.
- El Museo del Barrio, New York City, NY, USA.
- Pizzuti Collection Fundación/Colección Jumex, México D.F., Mexico.
- MADC Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica.
- MAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
- El guatemalteco Darío Escobar participa en la feria de arte Pinta, en Londres Darío Escobar y sus exaltaciones piadosas
- Art is my Business – Solo Show
- Conectaarte blog post on Darío Escobar
- Darío Escobar’s portrait for the Venice Biennale themed issue of this Italian fashion glossy.
- La Experiencia del Objeto.
- Darío Escobar en el MAC
- The Island-A Game of Life
- Darío Escobar: trabalhos recentes
- MALI Uno a Uno: Darío Escobar y José Falconí
- Baró Galería – Arsenal
- Instalación conceptual ‘Obverse & Reverse’ de Darío Escobar