4409.72 miles 9125 days, Diana Lowenstein Gallery, Miami, Nov 2014-Jan 2015
25 years of art discourse from Buenos Aires to Miami
It is a great honor having been asked by Diana to curate the exhibition to celebrate 25 years of activity of her gallery. 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 7 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 long-time office manager Juliana, who were both an invaluable sources of information.
The more I familiarized with Diana's passionate connection to 'her' artists and her 'glocal' approach when it comes to the gallery's program, the more I felt the need for the show to progress on two parallel tracks: one was to study and re-interpret the 25 year history of the gallery, the other to underline its current activity and future plans. Hence the decision to dedicate a special place to the four Miami-based artists the gallery is currently representing - Felice Grodin, Michael Loveland, Chu Teppa and Alex Trimino - who are each presenting solo projects especially conceived for this occasion and displayed in 4 shipping containers positioned in the gallery's parking lot.
The rest of the show includes some 50+ international artists, from masters as such Francis Bacon, Wilfredo Lam and Antoni Tapies, to the young and up and coming, whose work is exhibited inside the galleries. The artworks are arranged in 8 groups that started to take shape as the research developed: Color; History; Human Body/Portraits; Materia y Forma; Patterns; Symbolism; Text; and Vacío [I would rather keep some names in English other in Spanish, however not sure if this makes sense. do you think we need to translate all in both languages?] 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 gallery's 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 US born and Columbia-based sculptor Jim Amaral and the street-art inspired painted stadium seats by Mexican Carlos de Villasante.
In Vacío, a section presenting works that share a minimal aesthetic and/or are devoid of colors or human presence, a gem by Spanish master Eduardo Chillida, a tiny etching on paper, is hung next to the delicate perforated work on paper by Korean Park Gye Hoon and the mesmerizing photograph of a dilapidated baroque interior of an abandoned building by Italian Fabiano Parisi, all sitting across from a contemplative floor sculpture made of glass and water by German Udo Noger.
The gallery's corner dedicated to Color is taken over by a pink circular wall work by Polish-Mexican Xavery Wolski made of semi-precious stones embedded in a clear acrylic support hanging side by side with a bright, sequins-embroidered canvas from his seminal 'skull series' by Argentinian Daniel Gonzalez, both facing a colorful installation of small biomorphic sculptures arranged on a 1950s coffee table by Venezuelan-born Clemencia Labin.
And lastly New Yorker Michael Scoggins' colorful map engages in a conversation with a black & white etching on paper with embossed text by renowned Catalan artist Antoni Tapies as well as with a selection of small assemblages on paper by another Spanish art star of a younger generation, Jaume Plensa, 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 wonder and their synapses run wild and connect as many dots as possible allowing for their own stories to emerge.
Adami, Amaral, Bacon, Bairon, Bechara, Bedia, Brown, Cecchini, Chillida, Christo, Clary, Colectivo MR, de Sagastizabal, de Villasante, Dompe, Flomen, Fors, Gallardo, Garcia, Glajcar, Gonzalez, Grodin, Hart, Jimenez, Kina, Labin, Lam, Lamiel, Lathan-Stiefel, Lindner, Loveland, Machado, Matta, Miranda, Miro, Noger, Ortiz, Padilla, Paez, Paredes, Parisi, Park, Peña, Plensa, Peters, Rivas, Sacco, Scoggins, Squire, Tapies, Teppa, Torres Llorca, Trimino, Villanueva, Wolski