Wednesday, 30 March 2011

FRANCIS ALYS, MELANIE SMITH, LAUREANA TOLEDO: WORKS FROM THE PETITGAS COLLECTION AT THE MEXICAN EMBASSY LONDON, CURATED BY PABLO LEON DE LA BARRA


Laureana Toledo, Delusion, 2011, acrylic on found newspaper posters, (Who is to name our dream- no river, not the rain). Special commission for the exhibition.


Laureana Toledo, Untitled, 2009, two photo collages


Melanie Smith, Pink Tianguis, 2002, C-Print photograph


Melanie Smith, Spiral City 13, 2003, Acrylic on acrylic


Francis Alys, Sunpath, Mexico City, 1999
Four photographs and sunpaths: 01.11.98, 11:10am; 12.11.98, 11:45am; 20.05.99, 5:45pm; 21.05.99, 1:15pm




Francis Alys, Untitled (dog and railings), 2004, Diptych, Oil and encaustic on canvas on wood


Catherine Petitgas, Catherine Lampert and Pablo Leon de la Barra in conversation.


I was invited by the Mexican Embassy in London (for the first time after being here for 14 years), to organize an exhibition and conversation regarding the artistic relationship existing between London and Mexico. I decided to invite curator Catherine Lampert and art patron Catherine Petitgas to participate in a conversation around the topic, and to curate a small informal exhibition within the spaces of the Embassy with some works from the Petitgas collection that could illustrate this ideas. For the conversation I traced a prehistory of exhibition of Mexican arts in London (see previous posts), and presented the work of the artists in the exhibition, while also creating echos with the work of Mexican artists Helen Escobedo in England in the 50s and 2000s and Felipe Ehrenberg in London in the 1970s. Catherine Lampert talked about her work as director of the Whitechapel Gallery from 1988 to 2001, where she was a pioneer of exhibiting non American and non European contemporary art, including the work of Francis Alys, Francisco Toledo and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Catherine Petitgas talked about her exemplary labour as a patron of Latin American art, and about how she began to collect art from Mexico. Afterwards artist Laureana Toledo discussed the work she has been developing during the last three years in England, while demanding the need of friendly artists visas for artists visiting the UK. We also discussed the urgent need to create an independent and bilateral programme for the support of residencies for artists and the visits of curators from London to Mexico and from Mexico to London.

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