Eduardo Sarabia, Untitled (1, 2, 3), 2014, Joségarcía,mx
Eduardo Sarabia is a Los Angeles-born contemporary artist, whose sculptures and paintings are focused on subculture imagery and hand-made crafts. Born in 1976, Sarabia graduated with a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles.
After a brief stay in Berlin, where he initiated his traveling project Salon Aleman, Eduardo Sarabia moved to the country of his ancestors. His works are largely inspired by local economies and folk history of northern Mexico. He frequently works with materials favored by the local craftsmen, using ceramics and hand-woven materials. A constant theme in Eduardo Sarabia’s work has been his interest in the relationship between his cultural roots and his American identity. Drawing inspiration from the unique and complex zone that divides Mexico from the United States, Sarabia stages intricate scenes infused with light romanticism, humor, and a sense of absurdity. From his liminal point of view, Sarabia exposes clichés about Mexican culture in order to question the imaginary borders demarcated by cultural stereotypes. Sarabia is best known for his series of hand-painted ceramic vessels that at first glance are indistinguishable from the blue-and-white Talavera vases that tourists buy as souvenirs. However, rather than traditional floral and geometric motifs, these vases boast modern hieroglyphs of Mexican and Norteño drug culture- marijuana leaves, guns, skulls, pin-up models, bottles of liquor, packs of cigarettes, and animals that symbolize specific drugs: the rooster, marijuana; the goat, heroin; and the parrot, cocaine. Sarabia makes reference not just to a physical border, but to a dividing line in the identity of one who feels at once familiar and distant from his or her cultural heritage.
His work has been shown at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 2nd Moscow Biennale, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Istanbul Biennial, LA Louver, New Museum of Contemporary Art and The 51st Venice Biennale amongst others.
THE APPROACH | NUNO CENTENO
ARCADIA MISSA – THE SUNDAY PAINTER |
Alicja Kowalska and Tomasz Kowalski
Alicja Kowalska / Tomasz Kowalski, Untitled 2017, Dawid Radziszewski gallery
Dawid Radziszewski presents, hosted by Arcadia Missa at The Sunday Painter a series of tapestries that was created in collaboration between two artists, Alicja Kowalska and Tomasz Kowalski. Alicja is the mother of Tomasz and she has made the tapestries in close cooperation with her son Tomasz, according to his design. In addition to three joint works, we also show two works by Alicja Kowalska. This is the first time that both artists exhibit their works together.
Born in 1984, Tomasz Kowalski lives and works in Warsaw. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Tomasz Kowalski is one of the most important Polish painters of the young generation. Critics describe his work as maintained in the current of “reality fatigue”. By mixing the aesthetics of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s he touches on topics of surrealism with a certain hauntological fondness for the art of the past. He is the winner of the Guerlain Foundation Drawing Award.
GREENGRASSI-CORVI MORA| PROYECTOS ULTRAVIOLETA
Boxset of 9 aquatint prints, Proyectos Ultravioleta
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa was born in Guatemala City in 1978. He received a BFA in Media Arts from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, in 2006, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008. He was also a postgraduate researcher at Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, the Netherlands, in 2013. Working in drawing, performance, sculpture, and video, Ramírez-Figueroa explores the entanglement of history and form through the lens of his own displacement during and following Guatemala’s civil war of 1960–96. Borrowing from the languages of folklore, science fiction, and theater, he reframes historical events and protagonists.
Ramírez-Figueroa’s A Brief History of Architecture in Guatemala (Breve Historia de la Arquitectura en Guatemala, 2010) is a performance featuring dancers in paper costumes based on three iconic structures in Guatemala—a Mayan pyramid, a colonial church, and the modernist National Bank of Guatemala. The performers begin by dancing to a traditional Guatemalan folk tune, their choreographed movements gradually dissolving into chaos, destroying the costumes. Here Ramírez-Figueroa examines the way in which architecture memorializes regimes of power—in this case, indigenous, colonialist, and modernist—and the related histories of exploitation. In this way, the aesthetics of the built environment offer a reminder of the conflicting and impermanent ideologies responsible for different architectural styles.
Ramírez-Figueroa returns to these themes in more recent projects such as Costume Modules (2015), a series of works on paper paired with corrugated plastic sculptures depicting fragments of iconic buildings as modular cubes that viewers may rearrange. Another work, God’s Reptilian Finger (2015), explores the long history of religious imperialism and evangelism in Latin America by incorporating elements of Christian iconography into an immersive installation in which polystyrene and resin have been used to create absurdist faux-relics, the acidic coloration of which emerges under ultraviolet light. By thus emphasizing the constructed nature of cultural, religious, and historical signifiers, Ramírez-Figueroa also underscores the subjective nature of historical narrative in general, salvaging previously marginalized perspectives that present alternatives to the West’s otherwise all-pervasive influence.
Ramírez-Figueroa has had solo exhibitions at Casa de América, Madrid (2011); Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2011); Gasworks, London (2015); and CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux (2017). He has participated in the group exhibitions A History of Interventions, Tate Modern, London; Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (both 2014); Lyon Biennial; The School of Nature and Principle, EFA Project Space, New York (both 2015); São Paulo Biennial; and the Venice Biennale (2017). Ramírez-Figueroa has performed as part of the series “BMW Tate Live: Performance Room,” Tate Modern, London (2015); If I Can’t Dance Then I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016); and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s “Latin American Circle Presents” (2017). He is the recipient of an Akademie Schloss Solitude fellowship (2011), a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), a DAAD fellowship in Berlin (2015–16), and the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award. Ramírez-Figueroa lives and works in Berlin and Guatemala City.
KÖNIG LONDON | JAQUELINE MARTINS
Lydia Okumura, Dentro, o que existe fora, SESC SP, 1971,Galeria Jaqueline Martins
Lydia Okumura (b. 1948, Brazil) actively challenges viewers to question their perception of space through sculptures, installations and works on paper that blur the line between two and three-dimensions. Beginning as a young artist in São Paulo, she studied the Japanese art magazine Bijutsu Techou that introduced her to international movements such as Conceptual Art, Minimalism, Land Art and Arte Povera. These movements, along with Brazilian Concretism and Neo-Concretism, influenced Okumura’s work. Utilizing simple materials such as string, glass and paint, her work dynamically balances line, plane and shadow. Working for almost 50 years, she continues to explore the realms of geometric abstraction through both re-imaginations of past installations and new work.
While Okumura’s work is reminiscent of fellow Latin American artists such as Lygia Pape and Carmen Herrera as well as contemporaries such as Dorothea Rockburne and Robert Irwin, she has remained under-recognized in her field. Although the São Paolo Biennial is one of the longest running international biennials, the current focus on Latin American artists is more recent. A native São Paolo, Okumura has exhibited widely in the city and is part of multiple museum collections, but she is much less known in her adopted country of the United States. Lydia Okumura: Situations is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Through the exhibition and catalogue, the UB Art Galleries seeks to encourage critical reassessment of Okumura’s entire oeuvre and secure her position as a dynamic and integral figure in art history.
About the Artist: Lydia Okumura was born in São Paulo in 1948 to a Japanese immigrant family. She attended a Japanese school in Brazil — merging two very distinct cultural influences that continue to resonate in her work. Her father Takashi, a prominent calligrapher, awakened and encouraged Okumura’s interest in art. She specialized in industrial ceramics and painting, which she displayed at her first solo exhibition at Varanda Galeria in 1968. From 1970-1973, she attended Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts.
In 1970, Okumura began working in a collective based in São Paulo named Equipe3 with artists Genilson Soares and Francisco Inarra. With their installation in the 1973 International Biennial of São Paulo titledPontos de vista (Viewpoints), Okumura developed her signature style of extended geometrical compositions in site-specific spaces. Upon receiving a four-year scholarship to the Pratt Graphics Center in 1974, she moved to New York City. In the following years, Okumura exhibited some of her most prominent paintings and installations in various galleries, institutions and collectors’ homes in New York City and São Paulo.
Okumura first traveled to Japan in 1979 as a resident artist at Wako University, and subsequently has had numerous exhibitions in Japan, including in Today’s Art of Brazil, in 1985—an exhibition at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan, where Okumura’s work was acquired for the Museum’s permanent collection. The previous year, Okumura had a solo exhibition at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art. Beginning in 1989, Okumura started working in the Public Services Department at the United Nations, while simultaneously producing art at her studio in Union Square, New York. Her work is included in numerous collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan; Museo de Art Moderna, Brazil; The Akron Art Museum, Ohio; and Museum of Belas Artes, Venezuela.