David Lamelas 'Proyeccion' (1967) and 'London Friends' (1974) at Spruth Magers/London, Berlin
Paulo Bruscky at Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo
Damian Ortega at White Cube, London
Cristobal Lehyt at Diecke, Barcelona/Santiago
Gonzalo Lebrija at Travesia Cuatro, Madrid
Matheus Rocha Pitta at Sprovieri, London
Michael Linares at Walter Otero, San Juan Puerto Rico
Aldo Chaparro at OMR, Mexico
Jaime Gili at Riflemaker, London
Federico Herrero at La Central, Bogota
Melvin Martinez at Flying Circus, Monterrey
Luis Molina Pantin at Federico Luger
Gemaliel Rodriguez at Espacio Minimo, Madrid
Alexandre Arrechea at Casado Sant Pau, Madrid
Zinny-Maidagan at Sabine Knust, Munich
Dias & Riedweg at Filomena Soares, Lisbon
Katy Hernadez and Beatriz Lopez from La Central with Maestro Stefan Bruggemann and Federico Herrero
The Mezcal Bar at La Central gallery!
Pinta Art Projects
by Pablo León de la Barra
I am more than pleased to have more than 15 galleries participating in the Art Projects Section of Pinta, the Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Show in its first edition in London. The idea of having solo presentations of individual artists as well as curated booths provides for the unique opportunity to present a single artist or idea in depth, allowing curators, collectors and general public to familiarize themselves with the presented proposals. The Art Projects present a selection of artists from different generations and from galleries from different latitudes, including Barcelona, Bogotá, London, Lisbon, Madrid, México, Milan, Munich, San Juan and São Paulo. Among the artists presented we are very honoured to have the participation of David Lamelas, originally from Argentina, who lived in London from 1969 to 1976, and of Brazilian Paulo Bruscky who has been a pioneer of mail art since the 1970s. They are joined by a generation of artists who have been active since the 1990s like Dias & Riedweg, Zinny & Maidagan, Alexandre Arrechea, Aldo Chaparro, Cristobal Lehyt, and Damián Ortega, and by a younger generation of artists with international presence like Jaime Gili, Federico Herrero, Gonzalo Lebrija, Michael Linares, Melvin Martínez, Matheus Rocha Pitta, and Gamaliel Rodríguez among others. The presence of these artists and galleries within the Art Projects at Pinta, will contribute to the understanding of the complex artistic production from Latin America and to the expansion of the barriers, formats, languages, and research topics that go beyond those limited by cultural, national and regional frontiers.
That London has become the European capital of Latin American art has not happened overnight. In the late sixties and early seventies, Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica passed through London, as well as Argentinean David Lamelas and Mexican Felipe Ehrenberg. Of important mention are two British curators who have been pioneers of the presence of Latin American Art in London. The first one, Guy Brett who in 1966, and commissioned by the Arts Council of Great Britain, curated a touring show of kinetic art which included works by Jesús Rafael Soto and Lygia Clark. In 1969 Brett also organised Hélio Oiticica’s seminal exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. Brett was also very close to Signals, the gallery run by Paul Keeler and David Medalla from 1964 to 1966 in Wigmore Street that introduced to London the work of a number of Latin American innovators such as Lygia Clark, Sergio Camargo, Mira Schendel, and Jesús Rafael Soto. The other significant curator is Catherine Lampert, who in her period as director of Whitechapel Gallery from 1988 to 2002 organized a series of important exhibitions of Latin American artists, including Tunga in 1989, Alfredo Jaar in 1992, Guillermo Kuitca and ‘New Art from Cuba’ (Tania Bruguera, Kcho, Los Carpinteros) in 1995, Siqueiros and ‘Lines from Brazil’ (Tatiana Grinberg, Adriana Varejao, Cabelo) in 1997 and Francisco Toledo in 2000. A special mention to the presence of Latin American artists within London has to be given to Gasworks, who currently under the direction of Alessio Antoniolli and with curator Catalina Lozano as Residencies Coordinator, has been responsible since 1995 for the residency of more than 50 artists from Latin America in London. In the same way, INIVA, the Institute for International Visual Arts, has become through its Library a unique specialised resource centre for the investigation in London of Latin American art.
The creation of Tate’s Latin American Acquisitions Committee in 2002 with associated curators Cuauhtémoc Medina from 2002 to 2008 and Julieta González since 2009 and with the collaboration of Tate curator Tanya Barson has broadened the scope of Tate’s collection beyond the traditional focus on Europe and North America. Tate’s interest in Latin American art has produced a series of major retrospectives which include Hélio Oiticica in 2007, Cildo Meireles in 2008, Francis Alÿs in 2010, and Gabriel Orozco in 2011. The generosity of the Latin American Acquisitions Committee and its patrons, and the support of the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, has also allowed Tate to acquire seminal works from Latin American artists, including Hélio Oiticica’s ‘Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 and PN 3’ (1966–7), Luis Camnitzer’s ‘Leftovers’ (1970), Victor Grippo’s ‘Energy of a Potato’ (1972), Cildo Meireles’s ‘Eureka/Blindhotland’ (1970-5), Juan Downey's ‘Video Trans Americas’ (1976), and Eugenio Dittborn’s ‘To Hang Airmail Painting No.5’ (1984) as well as the work of a younger generation of artists.
In the past decade the United Kingdom has seen the arrival of a series of artists from different countries that have made London their residence, these include among others: Varda Caivano and Pablo Bronstein from Argentina, Alexandre da Cunha, Tonico Lemos Auad, Tetine, and curator Kiki Mazzucchelli from Brazil, Francisco Valdés from Chile, Oswaldo Maciá and Beltrán Obregón from Colombia, Manuela Ribadeneira from Ecuador, Stefan Brüggemann and Raúl Piña from México, Ximena Garrido-Lecca from Peru, Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre from Uruguay, and Jaime Gili from Venezuela. More than representing a nation, or being a tightly knitted community, they signify the diversity of discourses and ways of making art, in continuous dialogue between their place of origin, and the place that they have chosen as home. Today, there are in London at least 20 commercial galleries who represent at least one artist of Latin American origin. We hope that the Pinta Art Fair helps expand this numbers and creates new exchanges within the participating Latin American galleries and their European counterparts, as well as expanding the participation of artists from Latin America in solo and group exhibitions and collections within European institutions.
Participating Art Projects,
invited by Pablo Leon de la Barra:
Sprüth Magers, London: David Lamelas
White Cube, London: Damian Ortega
Sprovieri, London: Mattheus Rocha Pitta
Riflemaker, London: Jaime Gili
Brunson Projects, London/Santiago: Livia Marin
Travesía Cuatro, Madrid: Gonzalo Lebrija
Casado Santapau, Madrid: Alexandre Arrechea
Espacio Mínimo, Madrid: Gamaliel Rodriguez
Filomena Soares, Lisboa: Dias & Riedweg
Die Ecke, Barcelona/Santiago: Cristóbal Lehyt
Sabine Knust, Munich: Zinny-Maidagan
Federico Luger, Milan: Luis Molina Pantin
Walter Otero, Puerto Rico: Michael Linares
Flying Circus Gallery, Monterrey: Melvin Martínez
OMR, Mexico: Aldo Chaparro
La Central, Bogota: Federico Herrero
Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo: Paulo Bruscky
Pablo León de la Barra
Pablo León de la Barra is a cultural producer, born in Mexico City in 1972; he lives in London since 1997. León de la Barra has curated among other exhibitions ‘To Be Political it Has to Look Nice’ (2003) at apexart in New York; ‘PR04 Biennale’ (2004 co-curator) Puerto Rico; ‘George and Dragon at ICA’ (2005), ICA-London; ‘Glory Hole’ (2006) at the Architecture Foundation-London; Sueño de Casa Propia (2007-2008) with Maria Ines Rodriguez at Centre de Art Contemporaine-Geneve, Casa Encendida-Madrid, Casa del Lago-Mexico City, and Cordoba, Spain; ‘This Is Not America’ at Beta Local in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2009); ‘El Noa Noa’ in Bogota, Colombia (2009); ‘Somewhere Under the Rainbow’, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2010); ‘Tristes Tropiques’ at The Barber Shop in Lisbon (2010); ‘Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, Yucatan and Elsewhere’ at CCE, Guatemala (2010); ‘Cerith Wyn Evans: To Know Him is To Love Him’ at Casa Barragán’, Mexico City. León de la Barra has collaborated regularly among other publications with Frog/Paris, Spike/Austria, PinUp/New York, Purple/Paris, Wallpaper/London, and Celeste/Mexico. He was co-founder of ‘24-7’ an artists-curatorial collective in London from 2002-2005, and artistic director/curator of ‘Blow de la Barra Gallery’ in London from 2005-2008. He is currently the editor of his own blog the ‘Centre for the Aesthetic Revolution’, and working on the project of the ‘Novo Museo Tropical’ a museum which could exists everywhere and nowhere and that questions current conventions of institutions, exhibitions and collections.