Top 5 | Zona Maco 2019

TIM HAWKINSON | PACE GALLERY

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Tim Hawkinson, Ghost Bat, 2009, Pace Gallery

Tim Hawkinson’s (b. 1960, San Francisco) idiosyncratic creations are meditations on nature, machines, mortality, the body and human consciousness. Since the 1980s, the artist has used common found and store-bought materials, handcrafted objects, and machines to shift familiar subject matter off-kilter, creating visual conundrums and conceits imbued with deeper meaning. His inventive works range in size from monumental kinetic and sound-producing sculptures to almost microscopic pieces created from such unassuming materials as fingernail clippings and eggshells. Driven by ideas, materials, and an interest in transformation, Hawkinson continues to create unlikely and thought-provoking associations by transforming common materials into works of art. Hawkinson joined the Gallery in 2005.

MANUEL LEON | JAVIER LOPEZ & FER FRANCES

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Manuel Leon, Ni contigo ni sin ti, 2017, Javier Lopez & Fer Frances

Born in Villanueva del Ariscal – Seville in 1977. Member of the group Intervenciones en Jueves Combines his work as painter with other projects, such as Capital or Territorio de UNIA arteypensamiento, as well as the visual and theoretical advice for the rock band Pony Bravo. Influences from baroque and graffiti come together in Manuel León’s paintings, exaggerated dramatic scenes that reference age-old traditions to tackle genuinely contemporary themes.

He studied Fine Arts at the city’s university and draws heavily on Spanish popular customs and religious imagery, particularly Easter processions, with their masked penitents in tall, cone-shaped hoods. In his rich, theatrical narratives, reminiscent of Caravaggio or Zurbaran, León addresses contemporary issues of financial crisis, political corruption, religious belief and personal freedom. Drawing on his background in mural art and graffiti, the artist creates colourful, humorous tales where nothing is quite as it seems.

A member of the performance art group, Intervenciones en Jueves, this multi-faceted artist combines painting with cultural projects at Andalucia International University and his work as art director for the rock band Pony Bravo. His work has been exhibited across Spain, including at institutions such as the Museum of History, Art and Customs in Seville or Matadero Madrid. He has won a number of prizes, including the UNIA Painting Prize in 2008. His first solo museum show was held at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Malaga, in 2014.

RAUL ORTEGA AYALA| PROYECTOSMONCLOVA

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Raúl Ortega Ayala, Field-note 27-07-10-4 (Banana), from the series Food for Thought, 2018, Proyectosmonclova

Raúl Ortega Ayala (1973, Mexico City) lives and works between New Zealand and Mexico City. Initially trained as a painter, Ayala’s artistic practice now follows an ethnographic immersion into foreign worlds and disciplines for extended periods of time in order to explore the tensions between art and anthropology. Oscillating between a distant observer and an active participant and critic, Ortega Ayala has in the past decade, employed ethnographic methodologies of participant observation and embodiment of knowledge to produce three series of works that explore the worlds of office work, gardening, and the food industry. Critical to his practice is a collection process in which he gathers materials and experiences to use in production of his video, installation, performance and photography. Most recently he has been working on a series that explores collective social amnesia and the detritus of history.

MA JUN | ART LEXING

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Ma Jun, New China Series – Apple Computer no.2, 2012, Art Lexing

Ma was born on February 28, 1974 in Qingdao, Shandong Province into a military family. His father eventually retired from the army and became a banker, while his mother and sister practiced accounting. It was Ma’s neighbors, who were the musicians, poets and artists, who would initially inspire the young artist. “In my memory the starry skies on summer nights were super clear, and there was the Milky Way, as well as numerous stars,” recalled Ma. “The neighbors always got together to chat, and the mythologies and ancient anecdotes they mentioned were so appealing to me. When thinking back about those days, I believe that was the beginning of my passion for art.”

During these impressionable years, at just 5 or 6 years old, Ma had already left behind the playground exploits of his peers and began his new fixation – copying the flowers and birds in classical paintings. During primary school, his parents found art teachers to train his passion. Before high school, he had already decided on his direction in life: art. After Qingdao Art School, he graduated from the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts with his Bachelor’s and then Master’s degrees.

Each of Ma’s sculptures is completely covered in traditional Qing flower patterns, birds, dragons, clouds and scenes. The artist makes no reference to modern brand signage, but instead imprints the pieces with maker’s marks that denote their imagined “official” ancestral origins during the height of Qing dynasty rule under emperors including Qian Long and Kang Xi. For Ma, his references to the dynastic past serve as a concept of a rich cultural and historical tradition. The shapes of the sculptures are immediately recognizable popular brands and items that have become visually branded into the country’s subconscious – the new objects or narratives of the country’s foundational mythology. By using the everyday objects of his childhood and combining them with this decorative style, he retains the notion of a pop-cultural reference to the quotidian sublime, yet references an imagined bridge between the nation’s and a personal.

GABRIEL SIERRA | KURIMANZUTTO

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Gabriel Sierra, Sin Titulo, 2018, Kurimanzutto

Gabriel Sierra (b. 1975, San Juan Nepomuceno, Colombia). Through simple yet meaningful interventions with every day objects, Gabriel Sierra presents viewers with an anthropological study of the language of architecture. His work evidences a keen interest in the social codes that govern our interaction with built environments, with a particular focus on how these norms can be changed or subverted through the manipulation of architectural dynamics. By transforming these behavioral codes, his paintings, sculptures, and installations address issues related to the perception of daily life. He is also attentive to the subconscious influence that context and logic have upon our relation to space. For Sierra, there is a fine line between function, utility, and subjective thought, just as there is between design, architecture, and art. By manipulating the form and function of certain objects, he alters habitual expectations and associations. It is in this destabilizing potential that Sierra’s work achieves its most potent effects, both within the space and the mind of the viewer.

Gabriel Sierra received a degree in Industrial Design from the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano in 1999. He has been an artist in residence at the KADIST in San Francisco (2012), Gasworks in London (2009), and CAC Brétigny in France (2006).

His most important solo exhibitions include: The First Impressions of the Year 2018 (During the early days of the year 2017), Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession, Austria (2017); NOTICE: the title of the exhibition will change every hour. 10:00am: Monday Impressions. 11:00am: How the Outside Leaks into the Room. 12:00­pm: Smells Like 100 Years Old. 1:00pm: The Room Is in My Eye. The Space under My Body. 2:00pm: In the Meantime, (This Place Will Be Empty after 5:00 pm). 3:00pm: An Actual Location for This Moment. 4:00pm: Few Will Leave Their Place to Come Here for Some Minutes. 5:00pm: Did You Know Who Built Your House? The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, United States (2015); Numbers in a Room, SculptureCenter, New York (2015); Gabriel Sierra. Before Present, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2015); Thus Far, Peep-Hole c/o Fonderia Battaglia, Milan (2013); KADIST, San Francisco, United States (2012); Gabriel Sierra, Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB), São Paulo, Brazil (2012); Compuesto Verde, CAC Brétigny, France (2006); Día de Frutas y Nubes Negras (Stepmothernature_series),  El Bodegón (arte contemporáneo – vida social), Bogota, Colombia (2006); Amorfo-sin título, Espacio La Rebeca, Bogota, Colombia (2004); NO DIGA SI DIGA OUI, Objetos y Estructuras Parafuncionales, Alianza Francesa, Bogota, Colombia (2004).

His work has also been included in group exhibitions such as: Latinoamérica: volver al futuro, MALBA Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2018); Spaces Without Drama or Surface is an Illusion, But So Is Depth, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago, United States (2017);
We’ve Got Mail III. MOSTYN, Wales, United Kingdom (2016);
El Orden Natural de las Cosas. Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2016); Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, South London Gallery (2016); Do Objeto para o Mundo,  Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB), Bello Horizonte, Brazil (2015); Panorama, (commissioned by High Line Art), New York (2015); CRU–Comida,  Transformação e Arte, Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil (CCBB),  Brasilia, Brazil (2015); Under the Same Sun, Guggenheim Museum, New York and Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2014); El Ojo en el Tiempo, Obras de la colección Adrastus, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2013); Ways of Working: the incidental object, Fondazione Merz, Turin, Italy (2013); Block, Pillar, Slab, Beam, Aspen Art Museum,  United States (2012); among others.

He has participated in various biennials, including: 2013 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, United States; 9th Shanghai Biennale, China (2012); 2012 New Museum Triennial: The Ungovernables, New York; 12 İstanbul Bienali, Turkey (2011); 11e Biennale de Lyon, France (2011); 28a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2008); 7 a Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2007).

Gabriel Sierra lives and works in Bogota, Colombia.