In collaboration with Karen Huber Gallery
Straight from Mexico City questions the cultural context of our time and the history of painting itself with a critical construction of identity set forth in a pictorial practice. Organized by guest curator Octavio Avendaño Trujillo, guest artists Eugenia Martínez, Kanako Namura, Manuel Solano, and Rafael Uriegas are selected from Galería Karen Huber’s roster.
Eugenia Martínez draws from Novohispanic painting and its Baroque codes and creates a tension that puts into question cultural perspectives through writing as a critical exercise. Martínez incorporates salvaged photographs and juxtaposes repetition of text in an overlay to both conceal and emphasize different portions of the pictorial platform.
A different approach to painting is taken by Kanako Namura, born in Osaka, Japan, and currently residing in Mexico City. Namura generates a relationship that can either be distant or kin to the mental compositions of two opposing societies, as the artist identifies with both Japanese and Mexican cultures. Works on paper and installations exhibit Namura’s fascination with patterns both constructed, with grids and linked cells, and stochastic arrays traced by accident or the subconscious.
Born in the State of Mexico, Mexico, painter, video and performance artist Manuel Solano’s recent work was made after he lost his sight through HIV complications; he names himself a “blind transgendered artist with AIDS.” Also using text, his current paintings are expressionist salvos of brio, mixing a ragged script recalling street art with brash figuration that seems to rush off the page.
Finally, Rafael Uriegas is engaged in the Latin American School of Painting, especially that of landscape as an abstraction close to modernity that reveals itself before a sensual mysticism. Brightly colorful panoplies of floral extravagance are inhabited—or perhaps, visited by—characters that do not reveal to the viewer their private agendas. What joins Uriegas to the rest of this quartet is the sense of joy and no small amount of astonishment his paintings insist that the world offers.
About Guest Curator, Octavio Avendaño Trujillo
Octavio (Mexico, 1985) was director co-founder of the Ibero-American Colloquium of Art Criticism in 2014. He was associate curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City in 2010 and from 2013 to 2015. He was a member of the seminar Zonas de Disturbio taught by Mariana Botey and Cuauhtemoc Medina. In 2014, he published Mitos Oficiales (Periferia / RM) in which 34 young Mexican artists and cultural agents in the 1990s in Mexico participated. As a curator, he has presented exhibitions in Mexico, the Netherlands, and Italy, and currently works as an independent curator and art critic.