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Optimismo Radical

Josee Bienvenu Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 2nd Floor, 212-206-0297
May 20 - June 26, 2010
Reception: Friday, May 21, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Paulo Bruscky Waltercio Caldas Luis Camnitzer Jota Castro Juan Manuel Echavarria Dario Escobar

Patrick Hamilton Artur Lescher Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Marco Maggi Liliana Porter Ana Tiscornia

Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present Optimismo Radical. Bringing together twelve international artists, the exhibition is an invitation to reflect on those two words. Two redundant or contradictory words? Is Radical Optimism the opposite of moderate optimism? Or the opposite of conservative pessimism? The challenge is to articulate a series of questions, to detect some trends and attitudes. Conceived as a project in motion, Optimismo Radical 2 will take place in São Paulo at Galeria Nara Roesler in 2011.

Paulo Bruscky was born in Recife, Brazil, where he lives and works. He has actively participated in the Brazilian art scene since the late 1960’s. His artistic practice is varied and experimental, combining performance, public interventions, drawings, mail art, video, radio, books and exploring multiple techniques such electrography and Xerox art among others. He was included in the São Paulo Biennial in 1981, 1989 and 2004 and in the Havana Biennial in 1984 and 2009. In 1981, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Born in Brazil, Waltercio Caldas lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. His work is often related to the Brazilian Neo-Concrete movement of the 1960’s. Exhibiting actively since the 1970’s he has represented Brazil at Documenta IX (1992); 23rd São Paulo Biennial (1996) and 47th Venice Biennale (1997), and was included in the 52nd Venice Bienniale (2007). Selected exhibitions include: Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2008); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal (2008); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília (2000).

Uruguayan artist Luis Camnitzer was born in Germany and lives and works in New York. One of the pioneers of Conceptual art in Latin America, he has shown his work continuously since the 1960’s. He has had retrospectives in Kunsthalle Kiel, Germany (2003), Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx,; Nexus contemporary Art Center, Atlanta and Museo Blanes, Montevideo, Uruguay (1991). Selected exhibitions include: Daros-Latinoamerica, Zurich, Switzerland (2010); Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA (2010); Alexander Gray Associates New York (2010, 2008); Havana Biennial, Cuba (2009, 1991, 1986, 1984); Kunsthalle Kiel, Germany (2008); Tate Modern, London (2006); Liverpool Biennial, UK (2004); Documenta 11, Kassel (2002), Whitney Biennial, New York (2000); Casa de America, Madrid (2000).

Peruvian artist Jota Castro lives and works in Brussels. He uses photography, sculpture, video and installation to address social issues. He has participated in The 53rd Venice Biennale; (Fear Society), Tirana Biennial, Prague, Kwangju and Moscow biennales. He is also consulting editor for Janus Magazine in Belgium and Nolens Volens in Spain. Selected exhibitions include: B.P.S. 22, Charleroi, Belgium, (2010); Gallery Barbara Thumm Berlin (2009); Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels (2008); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey, Mexico, (2007); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005); Sterdelijk Museum, Hertegenosh, Netherlands (2005).

Juan Manuel Echavarria’s disturbingly beautiful videos and photographs address the dread and human waste of the endless drug war in Colombia where the army, the guerillas and paramilitaries perpetuate the cycle of violence since the 1950s. Born in Medellín, he lives and works in New York and Bogotá. Selected exhibitions include: Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA (2010); Artlink, Buncrana, Ireland (2009); Hungarian Cultural Center, New York, (2009); El Museo del Barrio, New York (2007); Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria (2007); Valencia Biennial, Spain (2007); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006); 51st Venice Biennial (2005); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005).

Dario Escobar is known for his sculptural recontextualization of everyday objects. By altering popular sports objects, he explores concepts of sculptural, cultural and historical hybridity. Born in Guatemala, he lives and works in Guatemala City. Last year, he presented a large installation at the 53rd Venice Biennale (Mundus Novus, at the Artiglierie dell’Arsenale). Selected exhibitions include: XVII Guatemala Biennial (2010) curated by Jose Roca; Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris (2010); Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico DF (2010); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Chile, Santiago, (2010); La Colección Jumex, Mexico DF (2009); Institute of International Visual Arts, London (2009); X Havana Biennial, Cuba (2009); Museo Diego Rivera, Mexico (2008); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2007).

Chilean artist Patrick Hamilton was born in Belgium, he lives and works in Santiago de Chile. He received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. His work was featured in biennials such Havana (2009, 2003), Prague, (2005) and Sao Paulo (2004). Selected exhibitions include: Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Centro Dragão do Mar, Fortaleza, Brazil (2008), Stiftung DKM, Duisburg, Germany (2008); Isola Art Center, Milan, Italy (2006); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (2005); El Museo del Barrio, New York (2005),

Born in Mexico City, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer lives and works in Montreal and Madrid. His work explores the use of new technologies and is often conceived as public space Projects. He has created numerous large-scale installations for events such as the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009) and the 40th anniversary of the Tlatelolco Student Massacre, Mexico City (2008); He was the first artist to represent Mexico in the 52nd Venice Biennial in 2007 and has participated in other biennials such as Havana (2009), Seoul (2008), Sidney (2006), Shanghai (2004), Liverpool (2002) and Istanbul (2001). He had a retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London in 2008. Recent Exhibitions include: Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2010); Art Gallery of Toronto, Canada (2010); CU Art Museum University of Colorado at Boulder (2010); Haunch of Venison, New York and London (2009, 2008); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2009); Tate Liverpool (2008); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2008); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007).

Brazilian artist Artur Lescher lives and works in São Paulo. His sculptural production investigates basic geometric forms in relationship to design and architecture, privileging industrial materials and simple shapes. His work has been shown widely in Brazil since the 1980’s. Selected exhibitions include: Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, (2007, 2006); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2004); Memorial Revisitado, 20 anos, Memorial da America Latina São Paulo, (2009); Centro de Exposiciones, Buenos Aires (2008); Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, (2008); Galeria Mário Sequeira, Braga, Portugal (2007); Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany (2005); Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2005); Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo (2005); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2003); 25th International São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2002). Marco Maggi creates a thesaurus of the infinitesimal and the undecipherable. He builds pocket universes of capillary labyrinths and erects monuments on sheets of paper. Composed of linear patterns that suggest circuit boards, aerial views of impossible cities, genetic engineering or nervous systems, Marco Maggi’s drawings and sculptures encode the world. Born in Uruguay, he lives and works in New York and Montevideo. He has participated in several Biennials such as XVII Guatemala Biennial, curated by Jose Roca, (2010); Pontevedra Biennial, Spain, (2006), Gwanju Biennial, Korea (2004); Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan, Puerto Rico (2004); Havana Biennial (2003); Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2003, 2001) and São Paulo Biennial (2002). Selected exhibitions include: CIFO Foundation, Miami, FL (fall, 2010); CU Art Museum, University of Colorado at Boulder (fall 2010); Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid, Spain (2010); The Warehouse Gallery, Syracuse University, NY (2009); MoCA, Los Angeles, CA (2009); TEOR/éTica, San José, Costa Rica (2009); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2007); The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (2006). Born in Argentina, Liliana Porter has been living in New York since the 1960s. Through the medium of video, photography, collage and drawing, her work stages inanimate objects, toys and figurines. The resulting theatrical vignettes are visual comments of the human condition. Recent exhibitions include 11 Triennale Kleinplastik, Kulturamt der Stadt Fellbach, Fellbach, Germany (2010); Museo del Barrio, New York (2010); Museo Tamayo, Mexico D.F. (2009; The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT (2009/2010); Sharjah Biennial 9, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2009); Daros Collection, Zurich, Switzerland (2008/2009); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008/2009).

Born in Uruguay, Ana Tiscornia has lived and worked in New York since 1991. She has been awarded with a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2004), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2000), Paul Cezanne Fellowship (France, 1987) and Honorary Prize at II Havana Biennial (1986). Beyond the artistic practice, she is also a writer, critic and curator. A permanent contributor to Art Nexus Magazine (Colombia/USA), Atlantica, International Magazine for the Arts (Spain) and Seminario Brecha (Uruguay). Selected exhibitions include: Zentral Bibliothek, Zürich, Switzerland (2010); The Disappeared, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY, Centro Cultural Matucana 100. Santiago, Chile, Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española en La Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia; Art Museum of the Americas, OAS (2009, 2008); IX Havana Biennial, Cuba (2006).
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