Graciela Hasper, Buenos Aires, 1966
Awards: 2005: Bellagio Center Residency Program/Rockefeller Foundation; 2004: Germaine Derbecque award, Argentina Art Critics Association, Buenos Aires; 2002: Chinati Foundation Residency Program, Marfa, Texas 2000/1 Fulbright / National Arts Fund - Fellowship for Apex Art Residency Program, New York 1997 Art OMI / International Artists Residency Program, New York 1992; First prize, Painting, Biennial of Youth Art, Buenos Aires; 1991-93 Guillermo Kuitca Residency Scholarship / Fundación Antorchas, Buenos Aires.
Individual Exhibitions: 2007: Gallerie Art Cade, Marseille, France; 2006: Ruth Benzacar Art Gallery, Buenos Aires; 2004: Ruth Benzacar Art Gallery; 2003: Annina Nosei Gallery, New York; 2002: National Arts Fund, Buenos Aires; 2002: Locker Plant, Chinati Foundation, Texas; 2001: Geography, Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericano, Buenos Aires; 2000: Annina Nosei Gallery, New York; 1999: Ruth Benzacar art gallery, Buenos Aires, “My brother and me”, Alliance Française, Buenos Aires; 1997: Annina Nosei Gallery, New York; 1995: “It’s red”, Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, UBA, Buenos Aires; Mun Art Gallery, Buenos Aires, Universidad Di Tella, Buenos Aires; 1992: Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, UBA, Buenos Aires; 1991: Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana, Buenos Aires; 1990: Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, UBA, Buenos Aires.
Some collective exhibitions: 2008: Open Afternoon, 3rd Edition RIAA, Viejo Hotel, Ostende, Buenos Aires. Urbanities, Centro Cultural Borges. 2007: Orthodoxe/Hétérodoxe: Choisir Sa Ligne Centre Regional de Art Contemporain, le 10 neuf, Montbeliard. From Confrontation to Intimacy: An exhibition of Argentine Contemporary Artists, 1960/2007, Americas Society,NYC, The Cinetics, Museo Reina Sofía at the Instituto Tomie Othake, Sao Paulo. 2006: Chromophagy, Gasco Room, Santiago de Chile, Drawings, Fernando Zubiliaga Art Gallery, Caracas. The City and the River, Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires.
2005 Abstract Art Today, Centro Cultural de España. Chromophagy, Nara Roesler art gallery, Sao Paulo . 2004 Chromophagy, Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires. Untitled, Ruth Benzacar art gallery. 2003 Row Houses Project, Houston, Texas, Estudio Abierto, Harrods, Buenos Aires. Group Show, Annina Nosei gallery, New York; 2002: Last tendencies in Modern Art, Buenos Aires.
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
In 1999 I did an exhibition entitled My Brother and I (Mi hermano y yo) at the Alliance Française, curated by Sonia Becce. The installation was organised in two surfaces: wall 1, 122 photographs of various dimensions occupying a rectangle of 2 m by 7.5 m; and wall 2, 43 photographs of various dimensions in a box of 2 m by 5 m. They formed two murals.
The photographs belonged to diverse series taken during five years. They were copied and arranged in a specific order: Man (Hombre, 1994); Wrecked Car (Carro roto, 1999); Windmills (Molinos, 1999); Pom-Poms (Pompones, 1998); Nails (Uñas, 1997); Little Eyes (Ojitos, 1997); Dancehall Signs (Carteles de bailanta, 1996-7-8); Coins (Monedas, 1999); Tobacco (Tabaco, 1999); Plastic Flowers (Flores de plástico, 1997); Natural Flowers (Flores naturales, 1998/9); Collectable Frutillitas Cards (Figuritas colección Frutillitas, 1998/99); Brothers (Hermanos, 1994-98).
The order of the images and the associations of the discourse were a tunnel that took me towards new historians for me, guided by Enrique Ahriman (1944-2002). I also owe him the title of the exhibition, Story by Gertrude Stein (Cuento de Gertrude Stein). One can read it as emulating Aby Warburg (1866-1929) and the photos in their panels, setting up discourses on the narrative, the succession in space and time.
What I think is that, in my case, no work represents the rest of what it is not representing. This work is a piece within a journey, it is a link in a chain of projects.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
I am interested in expanding the boundaries of painting in two ways: literally, by working with paint on a large scale (room size; building, city size), and by using media like photography. I am fundamentally concerned by the problems that envelope painting’s capacity for conflict, by its history, by representing visual perspective on the one hand (points of view) and to serve as a map, as an instrument of learning and action, on the other. I see abstraction as the reduction of art to its essence: concepts and systems. I use form as a transport for content, not to represent but to derive a pictoric operation.
The utopian projects of land art in photographs of Buenos Aires (the satellite images are military and tourist documentation) are drawings printed over drawings of an architecture, and are based on landscapes and given materials. The piece is based on that relationship: Geography (2001) has allowed me to approach the act of seeing from the point of view of Buenos Aires’ grid; according to Le Corbusier, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The photographic documents of the Dancehall Signs (1996-2005), advertising posters on the streets of Buenos Aires, constitute a work of collecting. I mean that the accumulation holds a relationship and that relationship intends to be the complete tapestry of said typology.
Several authors have interpreted my work; even so, I believe I owe it some writing myself, as the work is in progress.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
I love artists like Germaine Derbecq, Victoria and Silvina Ocampo, Bridget Riley, Gego, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Julio Le Parc, Manuel Espinosa, Alfred Jensen, Balthus, Blinky Palermo, Donald Judd, Gyula Kosice, and others…
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
ramona magazine, the magazine about visual arts, and the Venus Project, a society of artists based on trade, by Roberto Jacoby, are two projects that have grouped many artists and generated documentation about the activities.
The Dictionary of Certainties and Intuition (Diccionario de certezas e intuiciones), which also implies participation and learning, as well as a mass method of teaching.
León Ferrari’s retrospective at the Recoleta C.C., for being an important though little recognised artist in his own country who became better known thanks to the public scandal unleashed by the fury of the Argentine church.
The Guillermo Kuitca fellowships, which have already had several years, all different, received by many artists, implied in a way a broadening of the focus of attention from Kuitca and his renowned international trajectory towards other emerging Argentine artists.
The work of Gumier Maier as curator of the Rojas C.C. since he began until he delegated it.
Fernanda Laguna’s Beauty and Happiness (Belleza y Felicidad) gallery.
The programme for artists called Trama (Weave), created by Claudia Fontes.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
I perceive a generalised tendency to categorise artists by decade, as if artists lasted 10 years then to be dumped. Also an inability, up to now, to think about a generation between the under-35-year-olds and the over-65-year-olds in Argentina.
Another tendency here is to divide “political art” and the rest of art. I do not understand how Roberto Jacoby is not classified as political art.
I think there are good and bad artists, beyond the content of their work. Defining tendencies or groups can be pretty jarring in many cases, and it only appears to solve journalism’s disorientation, that tries to catalogue categories in order to set up a simplified interpretation, impoverishing the contents of our artists. The consideration of doing a project like Room 2 in the Borges C.C. with artists that implied a sum of different media or material and interests, with very different trajectories and ages, was born from the saturation and allergy of the curating en vogue given by age (decade of belonging), by genre and sexual preference, and by technique/materials.