Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Incredible Change | Art After Dark #5

Incredible Change  |  incrediblechange.net

Art After Dark | 8/22/14 | Tickets and info: AMAmuseum.org/aad5.html

What do you get when you combine talents and creativity from several of DC’s best live bands of the last ten years (Ra Ra Rasputin, Last Tide, Lode Runner, just to name a few)? Incredible Change.  Synth-laden electronic dance music influenced by everything from Italian house to early Factory Records, Brock Boss channels Bauhaus vocals over arpeggiators, syncopated rhythms, chorus-drenched guitar, eliciting kinetic vibrations with a cast of musicians including DeenaOh, Rob Hart, Patrick Kigongo, and Ed Porter. Pulling in classic dance elements and pairing them with dark analog sounds and distinct lyrical presentation, Incredible Change filters their influences through a lens that’s all their own. Just have a look and take a listen to their new video for “Ecce Mono”:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Videourbana Winners of the 8th BIAU - Winner 1

By Maria Paz Montero

'Luz nas vielas' or Light in the streets

Luz nas vielas (Light in the Streets) is the name of the project by the Spanish collective BoaMistura, which comes from the Portuguese for "good mixture,” and is one of the winners of the Videourbana Competition, a contest done by the VIII Ibero-American Architecture and Urbanism Design Biennial. The project consists of urban interventions of several walls and alleys in the Brasilândia favela in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during January 2012. For about 15 days the group worked and painted inspirational words on walls covered by cement, brick and rusty pipes. The walls were painted in bold colors with the words "Love," "Beauty," "Sweetness," "Firmness," and "Pride," five attributes that define the charm of Brazil and its humbler corners. As art with a social mission, the involvement and participation of residents in the development of the murals was decisive and had an important impact on the work. The idea that there could be change in an environment of poverty and social inequality comes to be put to the test; there might actually be a change and a transformation.Looking around, the walls are filled with colors, the community is transformed, and the old perspective changes into one that is more positive and enlightening. The objective of this group’s work is to use art as a tool for change and as a medium for inspiration.  


Transforming Cityscapes: Winning Entries of the 8th Ibero-American Architecture and Urban Design Biennial

On View: January 30-March 16, 2014

The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas, SPAIN arts & culture, and the Permanent Observer Mission of Spain to the OAS present Transforming Cityscapes: Winning Entries of the 8th Ibero-American Architecture and Urban Design Biennial (IAUB).  This exhibition reflects AMA’s mission to promote creative and talented artists and designers of OAS member and observer countries while facilitating and supporting programs and partnerships that strengthen connections among Ibero-American countries and representing the latest in artistic trends.
The IAUB focuses on lifetime achievements, outstanding works of architecture, publications, research projects and ideas presented by architects and architecture students.  Every two years, a jury of representatives from each field selects the best projects, comparing and contrasting various architectural and urban design initiatives in the countries that comprise the Ibero-American community. The exhibition includes architectural and urban planning projects, publications, research, proposals and videos from 2009-11.

Videourbana is the video project component of the biennial.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Edgar Negret | AMA's Permanent Collection Artist Series

El Maiz
Edgar Negret (Colombia, b.1920)
steel and paint
30 ft (h) 9.60 meters x 1 meter
OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection
Gift of the artist

Edgar Negret 
(Colombia, b.1920, d.2012) 
More on AMA's Permanent CollectionSearchable Collection Database
AMA | Art Museum of the Americas

Sculpture is a medium that requires discipline and patience, skills that Edgar Negret has mastered over his career of more than fifty years. One of Latin America’s most prominent sculptors, Negret’s work defies the limits of imagination and of the viewer’s expectations. His work is elegant, detailed, inspired and vibrant. 

Born in 1920, he completed his formal education at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Cali (1938-43) and went on to be an apprentice of Spanish sculptor Jorge Ortega, who introduced him to the works of British sculptor Henry Moore. He continued his education at the Clay Sculpture Center in New York (1948-50) and later travelled to Paris and Spain beginning in the 1950s. Each of these European countries opened a world of possibilities for Negret, the avant-garde centers of activity he visited inspired his own journey towards abstraction.

While in Spain in the early 1950s, Negret was heavily influenced by the architecture of Antonio Gaudí, and was particularly impressed by how Gaudí’s organic forms and its simplicity. 

Another pivotal influence on his artistic creation was his encounter with Pre-Columbian art expressions. In 1980, he traveled to Lima, Perú, and visited Machu-Picchu among other archeological sites. The encounter with the Pre-Columbian offered a new thematic direction, and intellectually it represented a change in that he no longer looked for sources in the abstract origin of nature or the machine but in more specific mythologies, like the one of the Inca people.

Aparato Magico (Magic Gadget)
Edgar Negret (Colombia, b.1920)


polychromed wood and aluminum
19 x 35 x 20"Collection
OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection

Aparato Mágico, from 1959, which was on display at the Art Museum of the America’s show Constellations, is an example of Negret’s lifelong fascination with the organic nature of form and his dedication to finding its expression through sculpture. Aparato Mágico is one of a series started in 1957, titled Aparatos Mágicos, that occupies a seminal place in Negret’s overall work. The title means ‘magical device’ and the title is the first indication of the contradictions in Negret’s visual language. This piece evokes the mechanical and the imaginary. The mechanics allude to our rational nature, and the magical evokes a space in our imagination. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Maria Freire | AMA's Permanent Collection

Vibrante (1977) by Maria Freire (Uruguay)
Collection OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas

Maria Freire 
(Uruguay, born 1917) 
More on AMA's Permanent CollectionSearchable Collection Database
AMA | Art Museum of the Americas

Maria Freire is one of the most important artists to emerge from South America. Her contributions to the artistic experimentations that led to the period known as geometric abstraction in Latin America are of a daring and restless character. Her formal education took place at the Círculo de Bellas Artes (1938-1943) under the tutelage of José Cuneo and Severino Pose and at the Universidad del Trabajo, under the teachings of Antonio Pose. 

With her husband José Pedro Costigliolo (1902-1985), Freire formed one of the most dynamic artistic teams in Latin American art history. Influenced by a wide range of European artists (Antoine Pevsner and Georges Vantongerloo for example) and other expressions like African art and European non-figurative art, Freire was already by the 1940s working on abstract compositions. What this tells us about Freire is that she was an artist immersed in breaking away from the referential, from the traditional, and that she looked at not only her immediate sources in Latin America for inspiration but to European and African ways of artistic expression. 

This is remarkable for two reasons: she was a woman artist who displayed a strong independent spirit, and because as an artist within the geometric abstraction generation from Latin America she was at the forefront of change. Freire’s influences were not dictated by her fellow contemporary Latin American artists, but by her travels throughout the world and her desire to transform the way we looked at art and life. 

Vibrante, from 1977, on display at the Art Museum of the America’s show ‘Constellations,’ is an example of Freire’s lifelong experimentation with abstraction. The richly colored lines create blocks of shadows and light, which create a narrative of color. Freire is recognized as an artist that challenged contemporary notions of art and set a model of an independent Latin American woman artist.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Joaquin Torres-Garcia | "Constructivist Composition" | Constellations

Sorry for the long wait, check out this Washington Post article to perhaps better understand the delay.

"Constructivist Composition" (1943) by Joaquin Torres-Garcia,
Collection OAS | Art Museum of the Americas, Gift of Nelson Rockefeller

Joaquin Torres-Garcia 

Exhibit: Constellations: Constructivism, Internationalism, and the Inter-American Avant-Garde
AMA | Art Museum of the Americas

The Artist
A pioneer of modernism, Torres-Garcia was born in Montevideo of a Catalan father and a Uruguayan mother. His family moved to Spain in 1891, settling in Barcelona. By the end of the decade he had become, along with Pablo Picasso and Julio Gonzalez, part of the bohemian milieu of the cafe Els Quatre Gats. Torres-Garcia moved to Paris in 1926 where he me Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian and later founded the group Cercle et Carre with Michel Seuphor. 

While in Paris, he also became interested in prehistoric and primitive art, including pre-Columbian objects. The style of Constructive Universalism he developed at this time retained a gridded structure related to Neo-Plasticism but he invested each compartmentalized rectangle with a schematic motif, emblematic of autobiographical, mathematical, spiritual, or metaphysical concerns. His compositions, often based on the proportions of the Golden Section, were in primary colors or nearly monochromatic. 

Returning to Montevideo in 1934, he founded the Asociacion de Arte Constructivo and in 1943 the Taller Torres-Garcia, an arts-and-crafts workshop devoted to pedagogy and collective work. His landmark theoretical book, “Universalismo Constructivo”, was also published in 1943. Within his fairly well defined repertory of signs and symbols, there are frequent references to the pre-Hispanic world. In many works, the geometric patterning is reminiscent of pre-Columbian textiles or Inca masonry and ceramics. His ideas on the relationship of man to the cosmos also draw on pre-Hispanic sources. He saw the function of the Latin American artist as one of recovering the ancestral dignity of the rich Indo-American tradition in order to create a uniquely South American art.

by Joaquin Torres-Garcia, from the Archives of the Art Museum of the Americas

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Anton Cabaleiro | Ñew York

Anton Cabaleiro | www.antoncabaleiro.com

Anton Cabaleiro

Anton Cabaleiro (born 1977 in Spain) received a MFA in Computer Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York; a MS in Landscape Design from Columbia University, and a PhD in Art, Design and Technology at the Complutense University, Madrid. Past exhibitions include the Bronx Museum Biennial, New York; Armory Show, New York; New York University, New York; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Times Square Public Space Projects, New York; Under the Bridge Festival, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art of Vigo, Spain; the Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art, Spain; ARCO International Fair of Contemporary Art, Madrid; The Cervantes Institute, Beijing; Marisa Marimon Gallery; Marlborough Gallery; and the Loop International Fair of Video, Barcelona.

Artist Statement
The Empire State Essays is an animation video series which represents two opposite ideas of New York. 

On the one hand, it’s the idealized New York, a trompe l'oeil product that has been presented and propagated (sometimes like a backdrop and other times like main protagonist) through mass media, such as movies, TV, music and the literature. 

On the other hand, there are scenes taken from daily life, based on experiences in the Big Apple. They show a very personal and intimate daily routine, mostly lonesome, repressed and frustrating, that both contradict and complete the first idea, the one of a shinning New York, full of glamour and opportunities. 

As it's known, New York is the “Empire State” of the US, and it plays a predominant role in the rest of the world. The Empire State’s repercussions vary from the expansion of English as first language throughout the world, to a cityscape made out of mountainous quantities of accumulated garbage and the social and ethic pressures. 

This series follow propagandistic mechanisms. Extremely aesthetic, the essays contain tense messages that contradict their apparent beauty and innocence. They give to the viewer a chance to review a routine that tends to be overlooked due to its repetitive nature, which can be both beautiful and horrifying.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Manuel Molina Martagon | Ñew York

Manuel Molina Martagon | manuelmolinamartagon.com

Manuel Molina Martagon

Manuel Molina Martagon (b 1981 Puebla) is a multimedia artist working in video, photography and performance. Molina Martagon holds a Bachelor in Mass Media and Communication from UPAEP and a MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been exhibited in Mexico, United States, Spain and Cuba. His videos have been featured in festivals like Proyector Madrid, Region 0 The Latino VideoArt Festival, YANS & RETO and Festival Internacional de Video Arte de Camaguey. His work is currently exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and Galería de Arte Contemporáneo y Diseño Espinoza Iglesias en Puebla. Molina Martagon has also been a recipient of multiple international awards and grants, such as a Fulbright Scholarship, Santander-UPAEP para Estudios de Posgrado, Beca complemento SEP, Alice Beck Odette scholarship and Fondo Estatal para la Creación Artística de Puebla FOESCAP. Molina Martagon is currently collaborating in the New New Yorkers program at Queens Museum of Art.

Artist Statement
The two videos [in Ñew York] come directly from my everyday experience of living in New York. American Sculpture is a performance that takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 20 minutes I learned the American sculptures of the XIX century collection from a Met catalog. Each sculpture was performed several minutes by heart. American Sculpture is a work that addresses the different functions that a museum has as public space, ranging from a mausoleum to a tourist attraction. Based in endurance, memory and chance, the performance is open to random interactions. In If I come back to life I want to be an American dentist, I chewed only with one side for several days, due to a cavity. The extra work helped to wake up a wisdom tooth. My insurance didn’t cover the expenses and I couldn´t afford a dentist. This situation happened four weeks before spring break… So I resolved to go to a dentist in Mexico. It was just 4 weeks. The result of this process is a beautiful piece, my first organic sculpture: a symbol of coming of age and human endurance.