She was born in Buenos Aires, in 1941. She lives in New York. She studied, in Argentina, at the national schools of fine arts Manuel Belgrano and Prilidiano Pueyrredón. She also attended engraving workshops at the Ernesto de la Cárcova School, then directed by the engraver Fernando López Anaya, who, together with Ana María Moncalvo, were Liliana’s most influential engraving teachers.
From 1958 to 1961, she lived in Mexico City, where she studied with Guillermo Silva Santamaría, from Colombia, and with Mathias Goeritz, a German artist, at the Universidad Iberoamericana and at the La Ciudadela workshop. It was in Mexico where she had her first exhibitions. In 1964, she moved to New York, where she lives since then. Her work includes engravings, drawings, works on fabrics, objects, installations, photographs and videos.
She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980. The galleries representing her are Ruth Benzacar’s, Buenos Aires; Brito-Cimino, San Pablo; Sicardi, Houston, Texas; Hosfelt, San Francisco and New York; Espacio Mínimo [Minimal Space], Madrid; Secrist Gallery, Chicago; and Valentina Bonomo’s, Roma. Her work is part of several collections, such as those at the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Modern Art Museum, MALBA, and the Contemporary Art Museum, in Buenos Aires; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA and the National Library, in New York; the Fine Arts Museum, in Caracas; the National Library, in Paris; the Modern Art Museum, in Bogotá; the Institute of Culture, in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the House of the Americas and the Wilfredo Lam Institute, in Havana, Cuba; Tate Modern, in London; as well as several other private and institutional collections.
From 1991 to 2007 she was a professor at the Arts department of the City University of New York, CUNY, Queens College.
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.
The work I’ll choose is my third video, “Fox in the Mirror”. The general idea is a concert or, more precisely, a “disconcert” (as a friend of mine pointed out), an impression my work tends to spur quite often, no matter what my original intention had been … The two previous movies were filmed in 16 mm and then converted to video. In this case, I decided to use digital video directly. The music, by Sylvia Meyer, is an essential part of the work, as it defines and underlines the ultimate meaning of each sequence. The structure starts with scenes of brief situations, some with sound, some without, which gradually lead us to the moment when the concert starts. In this case, the word “concert” is also used in reference to things that take place simultaneously. The characters in the work are my usual cast of inanimate things and beings: a ruler, salt shakers, a measuring tape shaped like a kangaroo, a postcard, candlesticks, perfume bottles, ornamental trinkets, a bookend, clocks, a plate, a painted plaster sculpture, a mirror and also some clockwork toys. In many cases, the incongruence between music an images create (or, at least, I’d like it to create) a kind of instability in meaning. I’m interested, if possible, in making contrary feelings or logics simultaneous, in making things which are not supposed to share a single space (either physical, temporal, of ideas or reason) converge.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
My work, more than asking to be read, asks to be reconstructed. That is to say, it is created in a way so that it asks for the beholder’s subjectivity in order to complete itself and to achieve meaning. This holds every time, as an essential part of the aesthetic experience, though in this case is almost a key to the work.
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?
At present, I could be considered a “post-conceptual” artist, for what it’s worth. As regards my influences, I can’t leave Borges go without mention, who also has the virtue of being constantly contemporaneous. The artists I’m interested in are many, varied and changing, from Morandi to Reverón, from Lichtenstein to Louise Lawler, Janet Cardiff or Arturo Herrera.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
Judging from the work I’ve seen, either in the media or in exhibitions, I could mention Kuitca’s work, which I considered poetically strong, even if that sounds dangerously corny. I’m attracted to his space and his use of paint. I find Jorge Macchi’s work moving, intelligent, destabilizing, poetical, sharp. I also consider Cristina Piffer’s approaches intelligent. Accurate, terrible in a way, I cannot help mentioning her work, at least that which I’m familiar with. Among the younger artists, many are truly excellent, but I’d like to spontaneously mention Leopoldo Estol, by whom I’ve only seen a riotous installation and some brief, precise and precious texts.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
As it’s optional, let’s forget about it