4409.72 miles 9125 days
Opens 21.11.14 then on ’til 31.01.15
This year Diana Lowenstein gallery is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Ombretta Agró Andruff has curated a retrospective for this milestone:
25 Years of Art Discourse from Buenos Aires to Miami
It is a great honor to have been asked by Diana to curate the exhibition celebrating her gallery’s 25 years of activity. I had never worked on a ‘retrospective’ type of show before and I truly enjoyed the challenges that this new approach presented.
The project took seven months in the making, much of them spent researching the gallery’s rich archives of documents, amongst them the catalogues that accompanied each exhibition from 1989 to 2000, and several conversations with Diana and her longtime office manager Juliana, who were both an invaluable source of information.
The more I familiarized myself with Diana’s passionate connection to ‘her’ artists and her ‘glocal’ approach when it comes to her program, the more I felt the need for the show to progress on two parallel tracks: one was to study and reinterpret the gallery’s 25 year history, the other to underline its current activity and future plans. Hence, the decision to dedicate a special place to the four Miami-based artists currently represented – Felice Grodin, Michael Loveland, Chu Teppa and Alex Trimino – who are each presenting solo projects especially conceived for this occasion and displayed in four shipping containers positioned at the gallery’s exterior.
The rest of the show includes more than fifty international artists, from masters as such Francis Bacon, Wifredo Lam and Antoni Tapies, to the young and up-and-coming, whose work is exhibited inside the galleries. The artworks are arranged in eight groups that began to take shape as the research developed: Color; History; Human Body/Portraits; Materia y Forma; Patterns; Symbolism; Text; and Vacío. No specific chronological order was followed in devising the salon-style exhibition design allowing the groups to form solely based on formal or conceptual commonalities that emerged amongst the pool of artworks that make up the extensive inventory.
Fascinating and unexpected dialogues arose as the works violently collided into each other or politely engaged in subtle conversations. In Portraits, a gorgeous Bacon lithograph inspired by Ingres found its place between the lascivious bronze sculpture of a naked woman by sculptor Jim Amaral (United States/Colombia) and the street-art inspired painted stadium seats by artist Carlos de Villasante (Mexico/United States).
In Vacío, a section presenting works that share a minimal aesthetic and/or are devoid of colors or human presence, a gem by master Eduardo Chillida (Spain), a tiny etching on paper, is hung next to the delicate perforated work on paper by Gye Hoon Park (Korea) and the mesmerizing photograph of a dilapidated baroque interior of an abandoned building by Fabiano Parisi (Italy), all sitting across from a contemplative floor sculpture made of glass and water by Udo Nöger (Germany/United States).
The gallery’s corner dedicated to Color is taken over by a pink circular wall work by Xawery Wolski (Poland/Mexico) made of semi-precious stones embedded in a clear acrylic support hanging side-by-side with a bright, sequins-embroidered canvas from the seminal ‘skull series’ by Daniel Gonzalez (Argentina/Germany/United States), both facing a colorful installation of small biomorphic sculptures arranged on a 1950s coffee table by Clemencia Labin (Venezuela/Germany).
And lastly, Michael Scoggins’ (United States) colorful map engages in a conversation with a black & white etching on paper with embossed text by renowned Catalan artist Antoni Tapies (Spain) as well as with a selection of small assemblages on paper by another art star of a younger generation, Jaume Plensa (Spain), in the section dedicated to text-based works.
The list could go on forever as the possibilities for exchanges amongst the works presented are indeed endless. Despite its structure, in fact, the show aims to present a fluid discourse in the form of a diary documenting the past 25 years of a love story between Diana and ‘her’ artists. No barriers or signage separate the various sections. It is my hope that viewers will let their eyes wander and their synapses run wild and connect as many dots as possible allowing for their own stories to emerge.
The groups and the artists:
Color: History: Human Body/Portraits:
Materia y Forma: Symbolism: Patterns:
|Plensa||Park Gye Hoon|
Ombretta Agró Andruff, curator