Magnan Metz Gallery is proud to announce the opening of Resurfaced, a group exhibition of contemporary Colombian artists Jaime Avila, Barbarita Cardozo, Nicolás Consuegra, Miler Lagos, and artist duo Mangle. Each of these artists manipulates traditional materials to elicit new interpretations of political, social and environmental issues. Resurfaced will be on view from April 22 – May 28, 2011. The opening reception will be held Thursday, April 21st from 6-8pm.
Jaime Avila (b. Saboyá, 1967) is an internationally renowned Colombian artist whose work combines painting, drawing and photography. In his recent series Dust, Avila works by meticulously applying dots of white paint to a blackened Plexiglas surface, the granulations ultimately forming panoramas of cityscapes. In Outline for Dust (2010), Avila connects the landscape of Bogotá to JFK airport in New York. Far from landscape painting, Outline for Dust is a commentary on the drug trade between South America and the United States, as the painted white dots and lines are symbolic of Cocaine trafficking across borders. Avila studied art at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá (1991) and has exhibited internationally in Mexico City, Madrid and Boston, representing Colombia at the 26th Sao Paulo Biennale (2004), II Bienal of International Art of Mercosul, Brazil (2000), and the International Fair of Contemporary Art, Paris (1999). His first solo exhibition in the US was Life is a Catwalk at Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, in conjunction with 4th World—Five Cubic Meters at the Boston Arts Academy (2005).
Barbarita Cardozo’s (b. Bucaramanga, 1975) recent projects have focused on the fashion industry, in both the inequalities that exist in the production of materials, as well as in the way we identify ourselves through our choices of dress and accessories. In the series Knock Off (2005), Cardozo transfers meanings between materials traditionally associated with women’s roles in society and those used in interior design. In Versache (2005), porcelain and painted gold replace the fabric of a Versace purse, alluding to both the uniform and delicacy of a woman’s role in society. Aside from the feminine connotations associated with the object, there is an underlying reference to the methods used for manufacturing the product. Through juxtaposing the shoddy misspellings of brand names with high-end purses displayed on designer tables, Cardozo draws attention to the inequalities and tension that exist between Third World workers and the clients they serve. Cardozo received her MFA from the Universidad de los Andes in 2002. Recent exhibitions include Made in, Nueveochenta, Bogotá (2009) and Knock off, Galería Casas Riegner, Bogotá (2005).
Nicolás Consuegra’s (b. Bucaramanga, 1976) works and projects are sensitive to time, place, and audience. In his series Mirror-Maps, Consuegra concerns himself with the concepts behind mapping out territory and understanding our sense of self in regards to location. He explains, “I was intrigued by the fact that we can barely draw an accurate form of our homeland territory and not even recognize other territories. Nevertheless, we are able to recall some of the forms of countries, perhaps because we are constantly invaded by their information and propaganda.” In his stainless-steel map pieces for Resurfacing, the reflections of the US and Colombia maps further allude to this convention, as they consider our affinity for projecting ourselves onto other cultures, economies and
lifestyles. Consuegra holds a BFA from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá (2002) and an MFA from Pratt Institute, New York (2007). He has exhibited widely in Colombia and has been invited to show his work in Colombia’s leading venues such as the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Alliance Française—Bogotá, 40 Salón Regional de Artistas and 41 Salón Nacional de Artistas, among others.
Miler Lagos’ (b. Bogotá, 1973) sculptural works and interventions invite the viewer to reconsider an object’s material properties. By rendering paper, sculpting foam, and re-purposing materials like rubber and Formica, Lagos produces objects which appear to be made of solid wood or cast bronze. While his works initially seem to be revisiting disputes between the original and its copy, his choices of material or subject matter often engage with local environmental or specific political concerns. In his video Attraction (2009), Lagos explores appearances, and how these notions can be transformed through varying cultural lenses. The video piece depicts a rubber heart-shaped balloon that has been filled with concrete, slowly falling into a body of water. The movement at first takes on the appearance of a balloon sailing into the sky, however when the piece hits the water and causes a large splash, we are made aware of the real material and action. Lagos received a degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad Nacional De Colombia in 2002 and has exhibited internationally, most recently in Silence Dogood, his solo exhibition for the Philigrafika Arts Festival (Philadelphia, 2010). In September 2011 Lagos will have a solo exhibition with Magnan Metz Gallery. He was recently awarded a residency at the prestigious Location One program in Manhattan.
The artists behind the duo Mangle are carpenters Diego Fernando Alvarez (b. Bogotá, 1978) and Maria Paula Alvarez (b. Bogotá, 1984), whose vision is to express a fluid expression of carpentry in their elegant furniture pieces. Mangle, whose name hails from the twisting, winding mangle tree of Colombia, uses complex, handmade molds to invent new structures. The undulations of Tayrona (2007), the gentle curve of Vientre (2007) and the sinewy body of Vineras (2009) each pay homage to these harmonious, naturally occurring forms. As Maria Paula explains, the duo finds its inspiration in “…the sensuality of the line and its fluidity and discovering in our designs that which we want to obtain. It is an intimate process of constant conciliation”. Mangle produces small, limited editions of their designs, ensuring that they remain creators of unique pieces. Diego Alvarez and Maria Paula Alvarez studied in the wood program of la Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Santo Domingo before forming Mangle in 2006. They have participated in Art Basel 2008 and ArtBo 2008-2010.