The Drawing Center announces the first solo exhibition in New York by Mexican artist Dr. Lakra (b. 1972, Mexico). On view at 3 Wooster Street from February 25–April 24, 2011, Dr. Lakra is presented in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Lakra will create a site-specific wall drawing throughout the gallery, over which works on paper and selections from the artist’s collections of comic strip clippings will be hung.
Using a range of source material, from anatomy textbooks to magazine pin-ups and comic strips, Lakra looks to the contemporary iconography of tattoo art and borrows a rich sense of satire from his early interest in cartooning. He also builds on Mexican art historical traditions: the great muralists are called to mind in his sweeping wall drawings, and depictions of skulls and bones recall José Guadalupe Posada’s politically charged illustrations of skeletons, now widely associated with the Day of the Dead. Lakra’s varied gestural and figurative styles nod toward Dada, Surrealist, and German Expressionist influences, while his subject matter—including Japanese wrestlers and African and pre-Columbian artifacts—signals an awareness of non-western traditions. For the work in his Drawing Center exhibition, Lakra uses drawing as the most immediate artistic impulse to invoke fundamental human urges like sex and violence.
Propelled to build mounting collections of things, both through the accumulation of found objects and by the persistent diaristic creation of drawings, Lakra takes an interest in creating a transformative visual overload. Drawing becomes both a permanent and elusive presence, as temporary, site-specific work is set in play with the indelible mark-making act of tattoo art. Merging representation with an invented universe, Lakra’s work transcends categorization and challenges social norms.
This exhibition is curated by Assistant Curator Rachel Liebowitz.