|Guillermo Kuitca: Acoustic Mass
Sperone Westwater - New York
15 October 2005
Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce Acoustic Mass, an exhibition of theatre collages and map paintings by Guillermo Kuitca.
Inspired by seating charts of famous opera houses and theatres around the world, Kuitcas theatre collages are mysterious abstractions, explosions of space and color that capture the vivid and dramatic experience of being in a theatre, either in the audience or on the stage. Pieces of paper, large and small, are scattered across the background, the visual manifestation of sound. Kuitcas theatres, though physically empty of people, are full of energy. According to conductor Stephen Barlow, Guillermo Kuitcas auditoria are alive volcanoes underpinning the dormant theatre of life. His theatres are empty but throbbing, waiting, home to the ghosts of past events, and of battles to come. They pulse with hot color, some drifting dreamily and vaporously on wistful aqua gauzes, others glowing hot in the darkness, a darkness that hides the public from the performers blinded eyes. From afar they appear like footprints, closer they become maps, only revealing the individual spirits on keen inspection. Kuitca has been working with theatre imagery since the 1980s, beginning with a visit to Europe in 1981 where he met choreographer Pina Bausch. In 2003, Kuitca designed a production of Wagners The Flying Dutchman for the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In recent years, the artist has focused on making increasingly complex paper works, constructing spaces of ethereal beauty through collage that vibrate and resonate. The new series of six works, entitled Acoustic Mass to be on view, is the climax of this project, the largest and most dynamic of Kuitcas theatre collages.
Map paintings, each entitled Everything, are monochromatic renderings (orange, blue, white) of fragmentary American road maps. From a distance, the paintings look like meteorological mappings of storms, the enigmatic web of roads and state lines like lightening bolts; but up close, the viewer sees names of cities, towns, rivers. However, these maps are not reliable guidesDallas is next to Philadelphia, which borders on Eugene, the result of the overlapping and manipulation of geographical order. Without a clear beginning or end, the journeys mapped on these vertical canvases question the viewers sense of place and create a strong feeling of dislocation.
Born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he continues to live, Kuitca is a key figure in the history of Latin American art. His work has been exhibited extensively around the globe and is included in many important public collections. Major solo exhibitions include a retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2003) which traveled to MALBA, Buenos Aires (2003); a survey at Foundation Cartier pour lart contemporain, Paris (2000) and a one-man exhibition, Projects 30, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1991). The artist has also participated in major group exhibitions, including Documenta 9 in 1992, the 1995 Carnegie International, and the 1985 Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he represented Argentina. An upcoming retrospective, co-organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, is due to begin its tour in 2008. This is Kuitcas seventh exhibition at Sperone Westwater.
An opening reception, with the artist in attendance, will take place on 3 November from 6-8 pm. For more information as well as photographic images, please contact Molly Epstein at Sperone Westwater at (212)999-7337