Atelier MK presents Cibelle
Aural presents Ana Bella Geiger
Casado Santapau presents Tatiana Echeverri
Galeria Leme presents Sandra Gamarra
Galería Vanguardia / Galería Senda present Anna Malagrida
Marilia Razuk presents Ana Luiza Dias Batista
Oficina #1 presents Lucia Pizzani
Y Gallery presents Jazmín López
Since the turn of the new century, contemporary art narratives have been going through an intense process of revision and rewriting of art histories by bringing into light practices traditionally marginalised by dominant discourse. This process includes, amongst other topics, discussions around alternative modernities, a renewed interest in outsider art and the reassessment of the role of historical artists whose work remained hitherto unknown to wider audiences. In this context, the Projects section at Pinta London, now in its fifth year, continues to contribute to this process by providing an important platform for disseminating the work of Latin American artists to audiences in the UK.
Last year's projects focused on the work of artists who chose to live and work across Europe, reflecting the increasing internationalisation of the art scene in major European capitals over the past couple of decades. For the current edition of Pinta Projects, we have selected a group of women artists from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru and Venezuela based both in their home countries and abroad who develop a range of heterogeneous practices.
Latin American women have traditionally played leading roles in the development of local artistic avant-gardes, having produced highly experimental work at a time when local art markets were still incipient and often under repressive political regimes. Many of these historical artists have found international recognition in recent years: major American and European institutions have held surveys of names such as Ana Mendieta, Lygia Clark, Frida Kahlo, Lygia Pape and Mira Schendel, and works by key conceptual artists like Maria Thereza Alves, Graciela Carnevale and Anna Maria Maiolino have been included in several biennials and Documentas. Furthermore, amongst the most influential practitioners from a younger generation of contemporary Latin American artists we find several women such as Mariana Castillo Deball, Rivane Neuenschwander, Amalia Pica and Adriana Varejão to name a few. However, in spite of this increased exposure, contemporary women artists continue to be underrepresented in the global art circuit.
We are extremely honoured to showcase the work of Brazilian artist Anna Bella Geiger, one of the key figures in Conceptual Art from Latin America and a pioneer of video and experimental practices in her home country. With a career spanning more than fifty years, Geiger has produced an extensive and visionary body of works whose importance is being increasingly recognised worldwide. Her exhibition at Pinta London features pieces dated from the 1970s onwards and includes some of her most iconic works. O pão nosso de cada dia (Our Daily Bread, 1978), presented in her first multimedia installation at the Venice Biennale in 1980, refers to the sacralisation of food as a means of livelihood. In this work, the void created by the absence of food forms the image of the Brazilian/ South American maps, in a political commentary about the lack of access to basic human rights for the majority of these nation's populations. Brasil nativo/ Brasil alienígena (Native Brazil/ Alien Brazil, 1977) was based on postcards depicting indigenous peoples from Brazil that were widely found in newsagents in Rio de Janeiro by the mid-1970s. These postcards became popular at a time when the first indigenous reserves were being demarcated in the country and thousands of natives were brutally murdered by mercenaries hired by local landowners. The artist and her friends are depicted performing the same traditional rituals shown in the original postcards, referring to the crippled citizenship status of all Brazilians, as the artist once described it. Having extensively tackled issues of geopolitical power and national representation and identity in her practice, at the same time as continuously pursuing experimental approaches, Geiger is amongst some of the most innovative and influential artists of her generation.
The other artists featured in the solo projects belong to a younger generation whose careers started in the first decades of the new century. Interestingly, many of them extend their practice beyond the traditional boundaries of the visual arts, experimenting in other areas of activity as part of their artistic research. London-based Brazilian artist Cibelle Cavalli Bastos first emerged as an experimental singer-songwriter renowned for her theatrical performances and blending of musical references. In her multifaceted artistic practice - which includes painting, watercolour, sculpture, installation and performance – she makes extensive use of colour, organic forms and found objects. Her work often plays with ideas of idealised tropicality and references to low culture that reflect and expand concerns that are also present in her musical work.
Sandra Gamarra, from Peru, is widely known as the founder and curator of LiMac (The Lima Museum of Contemporary Art), a fictional institution created to fill a gap in the cultural life of the Peruvian capital.
The museum has a website, a visual identity and a collection consisting of reproductions of existing works selected and painted by the artist, but no permanent building or funding. At Pinta London, she presents a group of recent works that examine the failed attempts of modernisation in her home country at different moments of its history. The theme is articulated in works such as the large series reproducing the iconic Homage to the Square paintings by Joseph Albers, which feature almost imperceptible images of terrorist violence in Peru during the 1980s.
Argentine artist and filmmaker Jazmín López, who studied with Guillermo Kuitka and Jorge Macchi shows a group of new paintings characterised by an expressionistic trace, often appearing as unfinished works in process. López is interested in breaking with the temporal limits of painting by presenting partial images that must be completed by the viewer's imagination. Her celebrated experimental feature Leones (2012), which debuted at the Venice International Film Festival, was screened at the East London Festival last year and we are very pleased to feature the first solo presentation of her paintings in London.
In her solo project, Brazilian artist Ana Luiza Dias Batista appropriates the nondescript furniture of the art fair to construct a customised environment for her works. The tables and chairs hired for participating galleries are used as plinths for her pieces: a paper suit rests on the back of a chair, mock up crumbles made in painted polyurethane are casually – but identically - spread on two table tops, on another table a broken finger made of chalk points indecisively to disparate directions. Through simple operations, Dias Batista often subverts the material qualities of everyday objects and the way they normally behave in the world, exploring the limits of perception and representation.
Born in Costa Rica, Tatiana Echeverri Fernández studied with Rosemarie Trockel in Germany before earning an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art, and currently lives and works in Berlin. She is renowned for her sculptural assemblages, in which she often employs found materials or cast-offs from consumer culture. These objects are removed from their original context and recast as elaborate and elegant formal arrangements that retain their cryptic power. Recently the artist has been working on a series of photograms in which she seeks to escape the flatness of two-dimensional representation through the use of colour. Working with the effect of colour gradients, she creates works that point towards abstraction and the notion of autonomous object. Echeverri Fernández also works with film and performance, and has curated several exhibitions.
Spanish artist Anna Malagrida presents photographs from her latest series The Walls Spoke, in which she documents inscriptions and graffiti that appeared in the wake of social protest movements in Spain from 2011 to 2013. Comprising two suites of photos Socles and Walls the project is a kind of photographic inventory of barely visible traces of the scribblings that covered the walls of buildings belonging mostly to banking or political institutions in the cities of Barcelona and Madrid before being swiftly erased. The texts and words of original inscriptions were compiled for this project in two formats: a diary and a projection accompanied by a soundtrack composed of original sound recordings from the demonstrations.
Finally, London-based Venezuelan artist Lucía Pizzani presents works from a recent series in which she continues to explore the relationship between the natural world and gender issues. In this group of works she uses the image of the butterfly as an allegory of the way women are traditionally represented in art and culture as unstable beings.
Working across different media such as ceramics, photography, film and monotype, Pizzani explores ideas of encapsulation and transformation, emphasising the dual moral aspect that underlies the feminine fetish: the death of the subject when transformed into an object of desire and the renewal of desire when this object is converted into an impossibility.