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: Diana de Solares
Diana de Solares: The Material Space of Radiance
March 17, 2016 – April 23, 2016
Henrique Faria Fine Art
New York, NY, USA
It is no coincidence that my immersion in art began through my brief studies of architecture as a very young woman. In retrospect, it makes sense to me. I now realize that I wasn’t seeking tools for creating buildings and houses, but trying to get at some kind of knowledge about space in human life. Some years ago, my paintings became three-dimensional, and then my three- dimensional constructions became installational.
The notion of space led me to that of place. And to questions such as, Where are we when we are in the world? How does an object become a place? How do we experience the world?
Andrew J. Mitchell begins his brilliant monograph of Heidegger’s ideas on sculpture proposing, “sculpture teaches us what it means to be in the world…to be in this world is to be ever entering a material space of radiance1”. Mitchell is referring to Heidegger’s reflections on the relation between space and body. In this context, space is no longer deemed as the void where bodies are contained, but as an almost material entity that facilitates and embraces, that allows bodies to appear, radiate, and thus, constitute a world. In Heidegger’s novel conception of limit, a body’s boundary does not mark its end but rather its beginning–for it is there that it interacts and mingles with the physicality of the world around it. This beautiful notion of a participatory space that allows bodies to move beyond themselves and distribute their radiance has changed my perception of a work of sculpture, as it appears in front of me.
I imagine an experience in which a multiple exchange of radiance occurs. The work of art emanating its life through space, and the viewer momentarily emptying himself to accommodate its radiance, in an ongoing movement that transforms both person and object. With the works contained in The Material Space of Radiance, I have sought the embodiment of space through the various visual and haptic qualities of the constructions interacting in it. These varied works have unfolded in the same span of time and share qualities of color and tactility as well as an affinity to human body, and in sharing this moment in space and time they “slowly dissolve in the world”.
– Diana de Solares
Artist: Diana de Solares
El ojo que ves no es…
August 25 – October 2, 2015
Galería de Arte, Universidad Rafael Landívar
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Solo show by Diana de Solares.
Image: Diana de Solares, “Súbitamente un mundo frente al mundo comenzaría a transpirar.” (Construcción suave no. 3) / “Suddenly a World Before the World Would Begin to Transpire.” (Soft construction no. 3)”, 2014, Sports shoe laces, construction iron, Variable dimensions.
Artists: Alfredo Ceibal, Christian Dietkus Lord, David Sánchez, Diana de Solares, Diego Sagastume, Edgar Orlaineta, Ronny Hernández Salazar, Sebastian Preece and Tepeu Choc.
La desintegración de la forma
September 3, 2015
The 9.99 Gallery
Even at its inception and during its heyday in the mid-sixties and early seventies, conceptual art was difficult to define. No one knows who started it, which artist did what and when, what were his or her philosophy, goals and policies. None of those present remember much; each person has its own history and scholars and critics have been left to try to make head or tail out of the movement—among them, many who did not live through those times and did not witness those events. That is why American curator and art critic Lucy R. Lippard in her book Six Years: The dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972 tries to reconstruct that story—readily admitting not being able to rely much on her memory—to give us a context of the artistic era in which she lived. According to Lippard she concentrated her efforts to write “a critical memoir of a small group of young artists’ attempts to escape from the frame-and-pedestal syndrome in which art found itself by the mid-1960s.”
The artists in “La desintegración de la forma” have also looked for ways to express themselves by making art that need not be framed or put on a pedestal; their work is ephemeral, cheap, and unpretentious, where the idea is paramount while the material form is secondary. For example, Diana de Solares’s work made of iron and twisted wires, shoestrings, electrical cords, pieces of pottery and other found materials are veritable poetic tangles, or drawings in space as defined by the Venezuelan artist Gego (1912–1994). They rest directly on the floor or hang from the ceiling, casting dancing shadows on the wall. Rejecting the idea of highlighting the work by placing it on a base or pedestal Solares eliminates that invisible barrier that separates the art from the viewer, thus denying it a special status. The works of Edgar Orlaineta, also suspended from the ceiling like a Calder mobile, have the appearance of a three-dimensional puzzle with each element playing a vital role in the final composition. In contrast to Solares’s sculptures that deal with formal aspects, the materials employed by Orlaineta are selected based on the artist’s interest in the work of American graphic designer Alvin Lustig (1915-1955), and more specifically in the book covers that Lustic designed for the publishing house New Directions during the 1940s. Although you’d think that the focal part of the piece is the narrative contained in the book that is included in each of the works and whose title provides the name for the work (in this case A Season in Hell, from the series New Directions, 2015), what actually counts for Orlaineta is the modernist design of its cover with its harmonic composition, its emphasis on abstraction and complementary colors, and its minimal use of typography. It was this rigor that gave fame to Lustig, who believed that good design should permeate all aspects of a person’s life, an idea that persists until today in the belief that form is important in the functionality of design in general.
The graphic design of the magazine covers is barely glimpsed in the work of Christian Dietkus Lord who obscures them with a series of painted circular compositions based on the Zen practice of Ensō painting. This practice dictates that the circle should be drawn with a single stroke, which once made cannot be altered. The gesture highlights the character of its creator and the context of its creation in a short and contiguous period of time. Traditionally this type of painting is done in black ink on very thin white paper. In Northern Shell ( 2011) Dietkus Lord uses a variety of colors to draw concentric circles deliberately obscuring the text that reveals the magazines’ content, including Attitude, a magazine that specializes in articles about homosexuality as a way of life for a post-AIDS generation.
The irregular circles that appear in the Transparencies (2015) of Alfredo Ceibal have their origin in the craters of volcanoes and the lakes that form inside them. The artist defines these shapes as “abstract mantras,” and depending on the limpidness of the body of water, they can be defined as “benign pools” or “malignant pools.” They are also places that invite meditation for their altitude and geographical location, as well as for their exuberant and less contaminated nature that make us feel part of a cosmic whole and of a world at peace. Ceibal’s series of drawings entitled Dialogues (2015) represents vague human forms of communication. According to the artist they denote different types of conversations that take the form of “language, ritual, dance, music, literature, body language, and the gaze, to understand each other.” To Ceibal “the great value of dialogue can not be underestimated as it is the crucial component for communication and equality in human relations.”
Communication so important for the proper functioning of society is interrupted in the work of Ronny Hernández Salazar. Vol-can (2014) is a file cabinet with open drawers filled with sand. The accumulation has formed a heap of sand, in the form of a volcano, burying the papers supposed to be archived there. Vol-can is a metaphor for the lack of justice; it represents court cases that have been forgotten, suspended in time, waiting for a judgment that may never come. The fragility of life is reflected in El final de las palabras (The end of words, 2004) by David Sánchez in which air produced by a fan spreads marble dust over the floor forming a thin white layer upon which visitors leave foot track made while walking on it. With its continued air movement the fan erases them so that others can make them again. To record and to erase is an exercise that could be repeated ad infinitum where the human presence is evidenced on a marble dust canvas analogous to the tombstones that accompany the graves. Other artists in the exhibition are Diego Sagastume with images showing the moisture condition of the asphalt, a time-ravaged wall, and rust on a ventilation duct that reflects a sunset, and a cast concrete floor; Sebastián Preece with a photograph of a decomposed book that was part of an important library but its disappearing due to neglect and the passing of time; and Tepeu choc with a work made of sift mesh and colored threads, a work he describes as the X-ray of a sculpture. Forms of communication, pseudo-alphabets, font types, abstractions that overflow, fragile materials that disappear over time, these are some of the ongoing concerns of the artists in “La desintegración de la forma.”
Artists: Regina Aprijaskis, Emilia Azcárate, Valerie Brathwaite, Feliza Bursztyn, Marta Chilindrón, Mirtha Dermisache, Diana de Solares, Noemí Escandell, María Freire, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), Anna Bella Geiger, Mercedes Elena González, Ana Mercedes Hoyos, Elizabeth Jobim, Judith Lauand, Ana Maria Maiolino, Marta Minujín, Mercedes Pardo, Liliana Porter, Margot Römer, Lotty Rosenfeld, Ana Sacerdote, Fanny Sanín, Adriana Santiago, Mariela Scafati, Antonieta Sosa, and Yeni & Nan.
Folding: Line, Space & Body / Latin American Women Artists Working Around Abstracion
Curated by Aimé Iglesias Lukin
July 9 – August 21, 2015
Henrique Faria Fine Art
NY, NY, USA
Folding is the action through which a line turns into a figure, a plane becomes tridimensional, and a painting becomes an object. And beyond all these actions, we see how representation becomes presentation.
Since the historical avant-garde, the quest for an art that transcended the representation of reality has led artists to create abstract art and to focus on the material objecthood of a painting or sculpture. This exhibition presents the work of Latin American women artists from the 1950s through the present day, showing the different ways in which they worked with abstraction and geometry to explore the space of the artwork and that of the spectator, as mediated by the body.
Latin American abstraction has gained recognition worldwide in the last decade. Exhibitions like “Inverted Utopias,” curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez and Héctor Olea in 2004 and “The Geometry of Hope,” curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro in 2007, presented the diverse abstract movements that developed in the Post War Latin American metropolis, from Joaquín Torres García and Escuela del Sur in Montevideo, to Arte Concreto Invención and Madí in Buenos Aires, the Ruptura group in São Paulo and the work of Alejandro Otero and Jesús Rafael Soto in Caracas.
In all of these avant-garde scenes, women artists gained—not without struggle—a place of recognition and a social circle in which they could develop their profession with relative tolerance. Still, except a few exceptions like Gego, Lygia Clark and Lygia Pape, it is mostly male artists we see represented in museums and art history books. This exhibition does not intend to resolve that problem, which is of a much larger scale, but aims to present some of their production and to explore the formal and creative connections among this diverse group of artists from the continent. This show also chooses to escape the historical understanding of abstraction, which is referred to here not as the Post-war movement but more broadly as a creative strategy that has continued through the decades. In this way, Judith Lauand’s planimetric work of 1960 can be seen alongside the contemporary pyramidal sculptures of Marta Chilindrón, and the use of the grid in 1950s and 1960s abstraction can be observed in Anna Bella Geiger’s video Passagens II from 1974 or in Emilia Azcarate’s Sudoku series from 2009.
The earliest-made piece in the show is that of Uruguayan artist María Freire, who co-founded in 1952 the group Arte No-Figurativo along with her husband José Pedro Costigliolo, Antonio Llorens and other artists. Works like Composición vertical (1956), show her interest in orthogonal compositions and planar superimpositions, which along with her use of line demonstrate her interest not simply in abstraction and space but more specifically in dynamism. In a similar spirit, but resulting in a very different work, Judith Lauand’s Concrete 178 (1960) presents a flat geometric composition, in monochrome grays, that through a careful use of lines and planes suggests a volumetric and angular surface. Known as the “Dama do concretismo,” Lauand was the only female member of Brazil’s Grupo Ruptura, and created unique works through a very personal use of geometry, mathematics and space.
In contrast, Mercedes Pardo’s acrylic painting Untitled (c. 1975) explores space recession not through line but using color fields. The Venezuelan artist, who was a pioneer of abstract art in Venezuela along with her husband Alejandro Otero, focused on a sensorial use of color in abstract compositions to achieve the autonomy of painting. Along with Pardo, the other representative of geometric abstraction from Venezuela in this exhibition is Margot Römer, whose triptych from the series Plomos Despojados (1995) uses the panel subdivisions to present three variations of a rectangular structure by alternating the color distribution. A similar emphasis in color is seen in Acrylic No. 7, painted in 1978 by Colombian artist Fanny Sanín, who creates a complex arrangement of intersecting rectangles of different purple hues. This simple alteration of tone in one color still allows Sanín to create a rich composition of receding planes that suggests rhythmic movement and dynamism. Indeed, movement is directly incorporated in Essai de Couleur Animée, a film made by Ana Sacerdote in between 1959 and 1965 in which she interposes geometric chromatic compositions, animating their shapes.
The case of Regina Aprijaskis exemplifies the difficulties of being a woman artist and of combining work and personal life. The Peruvian artist was developing a fruitful career and became interested in abstraction in the 1950s and 1960s after two trips to New York, but abandoned painting in 1970 following the coup d’état in Peru two years earlier, to work alongside her husband in his factory. Her 1996 acrylic painting Negro, rojo y blanco demonstrates how her interest in geometric abstraction stayed intact after a 26-year hiatus, at the same time the choice of the Peruvian flag’s colors seems to speak directly about her country’s political and social struggles.
Other works in the show leave color aside and refer to the white monochrome also with the means of exploring geometry and space. That is the case of Ana Mercedes Hoyos’ 1970s series Atmósferas, where subtle variations of white hues suggest surfaces on the canvas. Similarly, Anna Maria Maiolino’s Light Image (1971) depends on a simple square embossing on paper to invoke the tradition of the monochrome. The square is also the theme of Gego’s Dibujo sin papel 79/14, made in 1979. Famous for her Reticuláreas, or net sculptures, in this work the Venezuelan artist uses wire and metal to frame a piece of the wall, allowing the shadow to become part of the work, continuing the integration of work and exhibition space that allowed her work to spatially affect the spectator.
The relationship between the gallery space and the visitor’s body became a main topic of interest for artists in the late 1960s, notably within Minimalism and among Western artists, but similar creative inquiries were being made in Latin America. Argentinean artist Noemí Escandell created sculptural projects such as Rectangles and Squares and Volumes, Bodies and Displacements, both from 1966, in which basic geometric shapes are combined in odd dispositions to affect the tridimensional perception of the object. In Venezuela, Antonieta Sosa was doing similar work with pieces like Stable-Unstable (1967/2014), which put into question geometry and the laws of gravity while simultaneously presenting organically aesthetic objects.
The body would later be presented directly, rather than invoked, in the work of artists such as Liliana Porter and Yeni & Nan. The Argentine is represented with her 1973 work Untitled (Line), in which her finger is photographed as interrupting a line, one that transcends the frame of the work onto the real space of the wall. In the Polaroid series Cuerpo y línea (1977), the Venezuelan duo Yeni & Nan position their bodies along the geometric designs of a tennis court, evolving the linear and geometric tradition of their home country to include performance and body art.
The urban space is also the canvas chosen by Brazilian conceptual artist Anna Bella Geiger, whose video Passagens II (1974) shows her body creating diagonal trajectories in the grid-like formation of the steps of a stairway. In a similar approach, Lotty Rosenfeld’s ongoing series Geometría de la línea, begun in 1979, intervenes the infinite number of broken white lines that divide a road with intersecting, transversal lines, in a formal but also powerfully political performance associated to her participation in the CADA group protesting the dictatorship in Chile. The relationship between geometry and power is explicit in Marta Minujín’s The Obelisk Lying Down (1978). The work, created for the first Latin American Biennial in São Pablo, presents the geometrical structure of the famous monumental form lying down, allowing spectators to walk through it in a democratizing and desacralizing gesture.
In the exhibition we also encounter more expressive uses of abstraction, where experimentation with materials led to more free-flowing forms. This is the case of Mirtha Dermisache’s graphisms from the 1970s, where the lines drawn by the Argentine artist sinuously move to create abstract texts. The abstract sculpture Untitled (1981) by Colombian artist Feliza Brusztyn, who in 1967 created the famous series of motorized sculptures Las histéricas, also combines dissonant materials into visually striking, amorphous objects. Trinidanian artist Valerie Brathwaite opts for anti-geometric shapes in her Soft Bodies, a series initiated in 2011, where the hanging and floor fabric sculptures play fluidly between the borders of figuration and abstraction.
After all these decades, geometry is still very much present in the work of younger artists. Sometimes the continuity takes place by claiming geometric abstraction directly, like Mercedes Elena González’s series September 1955 (2014), which re-conceptualizes the cover of the inaugural issue of the art and architecture magazine Integral to reevaluate the legacy of modernism in Venezuela. Others adapt geometric abstraction into new formats, like the wood piece Untitled (Free Construction No. 1) (2005) by Diana de Solares. In the case of Elizabeth Jobim’s Wall (2015), geometric shapes invade the wall and floor, overlapping each other and creating optical layers. Emilia Azcárate’s Untitled (Sudoku), from 2009 takes the grid of that game as influence and codifies numbers into colors, allowing her to create a meditative abstraction that juxtaposes the game’s problem with its solution. Formally opposite to this grid but equally colorful is Adriana Santiago’s Untitled from the series Maracaibo (2015), which combines pompoms into a frame in a playful and appealing tactile composition. The work of Marta Chilindrón retakes the tradition of dynamic planes and shapes of Gego and Lygia Clark but includes color as a key part of her manipulable works such as 27 Triangles (2011). Finally, Mariela Scafati goes back to the original questions of abstract painting in her works Tu nombre completo and Nueve minutos exactos, both from 2015, which literally –through bondage ropes— and conceptually –by transforming them into objects— tense the possibilities of what a painting can be: not a representation but an object, a body itself.
These interactions between the artwork, its surrounding spaces and the bodies that interact with it are present through the sixty years in which these artworks were created. The formal explorations initiated by the historical avant-gardes have not, as proven by the younger generation, exhausted themselves. This group of women artists from Latin America offer a wide range of answers to these questions, all personal but also collective. The line and the plane not only folded but became the body, expanding the shape of art above and beyond.
Aimé Iglesias Lukin
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: Emilia Azcárate, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Cecilia Biagini, Sigfredo Chacón, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Willys de Castro, Diana de Solares, Marcolina Dipierro, Eugenio Espinoza, Jaime Gili, Mathias Goeritz, Juan Iribarren, Bárbara Kaplan, Ramsés Larzábal, Raúl Lozza, Beatriz Olano, César Paternosto, Alejandro Puente, Luis Roldán, Osvaldo Romberg, Joaquín Torres García, and Horacio Zabala.
December 2 -7, 2014
Curated by Osvaldo Romberg
Miami, FL, USA
Dirty geometry has existed throughout 20th century art although not in a manifest way; it implies a subversion of the laws of logical rigor, systemism and utopian modernism that have pervaded geometry since Kandinsky. In his milestone book Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky argues against geometry as decoration; instead, he promotes geometrical painting as a spiritual tool. The quest of the spiritual, of a balance between the mind and intellectual order constituted the fundamental idea behind geometric art. Geometrical abstraction was used in different times, as we see for instance in Kandinsky’s compositions, in the rigorous nihilism of Malevich’s “Black on Black”, and in the concrete iconography of Max Bill.
Through my concept of “Dirty Geometry,” I want to undermine the rigid, global imposition of geometry that has dominated from the beginning of the 20th century. Of course, other artists have already played with this approach more or less consciously: Rothko when he broke the grid, Frank Stella with his Cone and Pillars series from the eighties.
However I came to realize that Latin-America offers the most prominent examples of “Dirty Geometry.” First, this might be explained by the often rudimentary absorption of the center by the periphery, as peripheral access to major art trends has long been mediated by art reproductions, and perceived through local cultural prisms. This is even truer in Latin-America where most countries lacked a radical and contemporary art scene. Secondly, in Latin America one always finds forms of political and existential resistance against the values of neo-liberalism embodied by the center.
“Dirty Geometry” will question different aspects of American, Russian and European abstract art such as the imposition of polished finish on paintings, the compositions and the purity of its lines, classical applications of colors inherited from the Bauhaus, Concrete Art, etc.
In the forties for instance, the Latin-American group MADI challenged the format of the canvas, the relation between two and three dimensions, etc. In the sixties the Latin-America group of Kinetic Art in Paris challenged the static geometry produced by artists such as Vasarely and Herbin, and introduced movement, light and shadow to abstract art.
I would therefore suggest that Latin-America has proceeded to elaborate a kind of creolization of the dominant geometrical art; this is a recurrent phenomenon in other fields of Latin-American culture, and we encounter it in religion, education, food, inventions, etc.
The more figuration moves away from reality and representation, the more it needs to resort to theory in order to retain legitimacy. Geometry as we traditionally conceive it can only be legitimized by a tight, rigid theoretical framework. “Dirty Geometry” is therefore a rebellious attempt to break from all theoretical frameworks and thus invent a geometry that would be free from theory. This is a dirty war, one that we could define as “below the belt”. George Bataille believed that “divine filth” brings about true eroticism; likewise, I would suggest that it is possible to bring about an eroticism of geometry through dirt.
Artist: Diana de Solares
Present 2: Alma Ruiz presents Diana de Solares
November 1 – December 13, 2014
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
New York, USA
The gallery presents a series of guest-curated exhibitions in the project space. For its second installment, curator Alma Ruiz presents the work by Guatemalan artist Diana de Solares.
Born in Guatemala City in 1952, Diana de Solares lives and works in Guatemala City. Recent exhibitions include: “Las correcciones/The corrections” the 9.99 gallery, Guatemala City (2014); “XIX Bienal Paiz “ Arte Centro Graciela Andrade de Paz, Guatemala City (2014); “Prótesis” [Prosthesis], Piegatto Arte, Guatemala City (2013); “En Tránsito” [In Transit], Sol del Rio Arte Contemporáneo, Guatemala City (2013); “Ensayo” Edge Zones, Miami, FL (2005); “Index miami”, Edge Zones, Miami, FL (2004); “En el filo”, Museo de Arte Moderno de Mérida “Juan Astorga Anta, Mérida, Venezuela (2003); “Picturing the female body”, The Latin Collector Gallery, New York, NY (2002); “Diana de Solares y Juan Paparella” Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL (2000).
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.
Artist: Diana de Solares
The Corrections / Las Correcciones
May 21 – June 12, 2014
The 9.99 gallery
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Diana de Solares continúa explorando la tensión entre el trabajo bidimensional y la escultura. Hay una clara conexión entre la imagen dibujada o pintada y el objeto ocupando un lugar en el espacio. En general, el proceso comienza con un elemento tridimensional: una vara de mdf, madera encontrada, cintas de zapatos deportivos, fragmentos de hierro, etc. Es a partir del material tangible que las imágenes abstractas surgen en el papel o la tela. Se trata de obras mínimas, delicadas, pero ostensiblemente materiales, estratégicamente ancladas al suelo o a la pared.
Un conjunto de ¨totems¨ interactúan activando el espacio a través de sus cualidades hápticas, su color, y la relación con los cuerpos y la mano humana . Esas características se enfatizan con las piezas de cintas de zapatos, las cuales a un tiempo nos recuerdan un objeto, una pintura o una escultura. Los enigmáticos títulos de la muestra y de las obras presentan un reto adicional en la experiencia de estos trabajos.
Image: Diana de Solares’ studio
Artists: Andrea Aragón, Hellen Ascoli, Victoria Bahr, Marlov Barrios, Marilyn Boror, Edgar Calel, Johanna Calle, Mariana Castillo Deball, Marco Canale, Benvenuto Chavajay, Manuel Chavajay, René Dionisio Chavajay (Tz´utu B´aktun Kan), Jorge Chavarría, Lourdes de La Riva, Jorge de León, Yavheni de León, Diana de Solares, Yasmin Hage, Quique Lee, María Evelia Marmolejo, Silvia Menchú, Andrea Monroy Palacios, Reyes Josué Morales, Carlos Motta, Nora Pérez, Manuel Antonio Pichillá, Feliciano Pop, Angel Poyón, Fernando Poyón, Naufus Ramírez, Nuno Ramos, José Alejandro Restrepo, Gabriel Rodríguez, Chemi Rosado Seijó, Diego Sagastume, Mario Santizo, Julio Serrano, Rosario Sotelo, Adán Vallecillo, Inés Verdugo.
19 Bienal de Arte Paiz (entre lo ya no y el aún no / between a no longer and not yet)
Fundación Paiz para la Educación y la Cultura
June 6 – July 6, 2014
The 19 Bienal de Arte Paiz, in its 2014 edition, proposes a platform that relativizes notions of model, universality, genealogy and linearity, in favor of an art that reveals itself in transition, between “a no longer and not yet”. This, within a process of critical thinking and investigation of reality and art as it is manifested in contemporary Guatemala. The “transvisible” constitutes the possibility of mediating and investigating other realities beyond established canonical notions about art.
Self Knowledge – Healing
Specificities that name themselves
Masculinity and violence
About the Artist
¨Where are we when we are in the world?¨
This question has led me to explore the notions of space and place.
My constructions and environments are mostly made out of various found objects, images and materials, some of them belonging to a domestic, industrial or construction milieu. The site, its space and architectural components are key in shaping the works. I use straight lines and the continuous expanse they occupy and define. Thus, my works approximate provisional drawings in space and about space, aiming at a perceptual, pre-reflexive experience.
The process begins with the creation of three-dimensional structures which in turn, give place to drawings on paper that allow me to complete the concept.
Construyo estructuras y ambientes condicionados por el sitio en cuestión, que se relacionan íntimamente con los elementos arquitectónicos vecinos. Se trata de corporeizar el espacio, volviéndolo parte esencial de la obra. Utilizo materiales y objetos encontrados pertenecientes a lo cotidiano, a la construcción y al desecho. Más que esculturas o instalaciones, se trata de dibujos provisionales en el espacio tendientes a desaparecer. Me interesa la experiencia perceptual, pre-reflexiva, que coloca al espectador en un instante de conciencia de sí mismo.
El proceso comienza con la creación de una estructura tridimensional, la cual a su vez, da lugar a dibujos sobre papel que me permiten completar la idea.
Selected Biographical Information
Education / Training
- Facultad de Arquitectura, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.
- Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Economy, cum laude.
- Independent studies with Juan de Dios González and Daniel Schafer.
Prizes / Fellowships
- 1996: Glifo de oro X Bienal de Arte Paiz, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- Beca Rockefeller, Bellagio, Italy.
- 2014: “The Corrections“, The 9.99 Gallery, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
- 2014: “Proyect Room – PRESENT 2: Alma Ruiz presents Diana de Solares“, Josee Bienvenu Gallery, New York City, USA.
- 2013: “Prótesis”, Piegatto Arte, Guatemala.
- 2013: “En Tránsito”, Sol del Rio Arte Contemporánea, Guatemala.
- 2011: “Islas”, Galería Arte Piegatto, Guatemala.
- 2008: “Dibujos calculados con lineas encontradas”, Galería Carlos Woods Arte Contemporáneo y Antiguo, Guatemala.
- 2008: Fase II de “El color de la sombra”, Galería Carlos Woods Arte Contemporáneo y Antiguo, Guatemala.
- 2008: “Correr, caminar, sentarse y esperar”, Galería Sol del Río, Guatemala.
- 2006: “Aquel mundo existente”, Galería Arte La Fábrica, Guatemala.
- 2004: “Créche”, Galería Arte La Fábrica, Guatemala.
- 2001: “La estrategia de las apariencias”, Galería Sol del Río – Hotel Intercontinental, Guatemala.
- 2001: “Curaduria de la representacion Guatemalteca”, VII Bienal de Pintura de Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador.
- 2014: “Length x Width x Height“, The 9.99 Gallery, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
- 2014: “Dirty Geometry“, Mana Contemporary, Miami, USA.
- 2013: “Estar parado en el encuentro de dos eternidades, el pasado y el futuro, que es precisamente el momento presente”, [To stand where two eternities meet, the past and the future, that is precisely the present moment], Concepción 41, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2013: “Y… ¿entonces?”, The 9.99 Gallery, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2010: “Existir en un estado de peligrosa distracción”, XVII Bienal de Arte Paiz, Guatemala.
- 2009: “Nuestro paisaje”, Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala.
- 2009: “Pintura, el proyecto incompleto”, Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española (CFCE), Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala.
- 2008: “Todas las estructuras son inestables”, XVI Bienal de Artes Paiz Guatemala.
- 2008: “Dibujando nada”, Galería 9.99/Proyecto, Guatemala.
- 2007: “Adios indentidad”, Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala.
- 2005: “Ensayo”, Edge Zones, Miami, USA.
- 2004: “Index Miami”, Edge Zones, Miami, USA.
- 2004: “Guatemala manéjese con cudiado”, Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala.
- 2004: “REGISTRO #2”, Galería Sol del Río Arte Contemporáneo, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
- 2003: “En el filo”, [On the edge], Museo de Arte Moderno de Mérida Juan Astorga Anta, Mérida, Venezuela.
- 2002: “Picturing the female body”, The Latin Collector Gallery, New York.
- 2002: “artISTMO”, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo (MADC), San José, Costa Rica.
- 2001: “Arquetipos” ,[archetypes], Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo de San José (MADC), San José, Costa Rica.
- 2001: “Contexto”, [Context], Arte Contemporáneo Guatemalteco, Sala Municipal de Exposiciones de la Iglesia de las Francescas, Valladolid, Spain.
- 2001: “Fronteras adyacentes”, [adjacent borders], Galería Sol del Rio Arte Contemporáneo, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
- 2001: “Hector y Lyuba”, VII Bienal de La Habana, Havana, Cuba.
- “Recolectar, pensar y otros nomadismos”, El Periodico, Cultura, (Pag. 22) (27-febrero-2008) Ribeaux, Ariel.
- “Diana de Solares: Desplazamientos”, Revista de la Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (Pag. 63) (No. 7 enero-marzo 2004).
- “Diana de Solares”, Ext. Cat. Arte Sabasta, (2000) Schloesser, Anabella.
- “La Brevedad del Ser”, Revista De la Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (Pag. 71) (No. 7, enero-marzo 2004).
- Teófilo Cohen, Mexico.
- Anabella y Fernando Paiz, Guatemala.
- Hugo Quinto y Juan Pablo Lojo, Guatemala.
- Darío Escobar, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
- Rina Carvajal, Miami, USA.
- Diana y Luis Miguel Castillo, Guatemala.
- Irene Torrebiarte, Guatemala.