ARTISTS OF GUADALAJARA IN LOS ANGELES
Kohn Gallery , in Los Angeles, presents Chingaderas Sofisticadas , an unprecedented exhibition that brings together nine outstanding artists living in Guadalajara, whose varied practices contribute to the growing cultural ascent and international recognition of that Mexican city.
Until recently, Guadalajara was considered one of the most traditional cities in Mexico, with its large industries focused on textile and handicraft production, perhaps best known for its ceramic factories and workshops. Since the 1990s, however, Guadalajara's art scene has flourished progressively, thanks to an increasing number of artists who have relocated or returned to the city to create studios, galleries, alternative spaces or residences that have located as an alternative cultural center to Mexico City.
Co-curated by art advisor Esthella Provas , director of the Samantha Glaser gallery , the exhibition - part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA / LA initiative of the Getty Foundation - illustrates the dominant and interrelated narratives of craftsmanship, tradition and the conceptual rigor that positions Guadalajara as one of the most dynamic artistic capitals in Latin America.
The use of ceramics and folk and craft objects is a common starting point for the artistic community of Guadalajara, as seen in the work of artists Eduardo Sarabia, Gonzalo Lebrija, Milena Muzquiz and Cynthia Gutiérrez .
Sarabia, together with Lebrija, have co-founded nonprofit spaces and alternative residences, among which are PAOS Gdl and Office for AC Art Projects . In 2002, Sarabia was invited to work at the Cerámica Suro factory , located in Tlaquepaque, the arts and galleries district of the city, which led him to move to Guadalajara from Los Angeles and incorporate blue ceramics and white feature of this factory.
Using the means of photography, video, sound and sculpture to examine notions of time, freedom, play and power, Gonzalo Lebrija often incorporates the geometry of semi-folded paper planes into his large-scale works. In these pieces, large geometric shapes emerge trapped between a state of fixed physical presence, as they make gestures toward flowing aerodynamic shapes that glide and ascend.
Similarly, Milena Muzquiz and Cynthia Gutierrez refer to sculptural forms that denote either the anthropomorphic or the decorative. His sculptures intertwine aspects of the artisan and folk heritage of Mexican culture with relevant social narratives, linking a sense of ancestral roots and contemporary dislocation.
The works of Gutierrez show various aspects of his deconstructive sculptural practice. One of his works, titled Silent Water , represents the figure of a duck landing face down on the ground while its peak seems to disintegrate, while the decapitated head of Decapitated: a decoration for our time bleeding viscerally tissues that sprout from the neck. Both works transmit a darkly ironic vision about the perception of reality through an unmistakable reference to the savagery of the recent drug wars in Mexico.
Several artists of the exhibition explore the use of text, light, mixed media and language in their sculptural works. Jorge Mendez Blake has developed a conceptual language in his practice based on the translation of literary texts into images, sculptures and installations, often playing with the syntax and structure of language to dismantle and subvert meaning. The exhibition includes his painting Chingada , where what appears to be a multi-paragraph essay is a long and stuttering pronunciation of the word chingada, a colloquial use of Mexican connotation negative or referring to adverse situations.
Octavio Abúndez's play- based works also share the research of epistemological narratives within established ideologies, criticizing the hierarchies of information that order society. The work of Gabriel Rico focuses on the fragility of space and context to promote meaning, using text, objects found and light.
Francisco Ugarte's slide projection facilities decompose forms into their most fundamental elements - color, form, line and space - while Alejandro Almanza Pereda incorporates these narratives of light, meaning and language into his underwater still life films , which transmit notions of decadence and beauty with its represented objects that undulate, fall or fall away with time.