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Colombia in Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America (featuring Johanna Calle, María Fernanda Cardoso, and José Alejandro Restrepo)

Jan 19

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1/19/2016 11:30 AM  RssIcon

Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America, currently on view at the MFAH, features a selection of major works by 21 established Latin American artists. Encompassing a variety of media, this exhibition highlights the use of seductive and engaging materials to convey social, political, and environmental concerns. The ICAA research team has selected rare manuscripts, unpublished texts, and essential reference materials that give further insight into the conceptual framework of artists participating in the show. Over the next two months, the documents will be announced at the MFAH’s Facebook page and made available at the Documents Project website. Users may view all our shared document collections free of charge by accessing the digital archive website.

This week we feature a collection of documents relating to Colombian artists. Johanna Calle (b. 1965) annotated three original texts by hand, which we offer courtesy of the Private Archive of Johanna S. Calle Gregg, Bogotá, Colombia. An interview with the artist by Colombian journalist Diego Garzón, appears in Otras voces, otro arte: diez conversaciones con artistas colombianos (Bogotá: Planeta, 2005), an important reference of contemporary art in the country. Two interviews with María Fernanda Cardoso (b. 1963) were conducted by Colombian art historian Carmen María Jaramillo and Hans-Michel Herzog, the Artistic Director of Casa Daros Latinamerica. Five documents relate to José Alejandro Restrepo (b. 1959): an interview with the Colombian art critic María Iovino; ephemera and catalogue essays; a typed manuscript by Restrepo on Colombian artist Maria Teresa Hincapié’s performance Una cosa es una cosa (1990); and the introductory chapter of Restrepo’s seminal book Cuerpo gramatical: cuerpo, arte y violencia (Bogotá: Ediciones Uniandes, 2006).

Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America brings together major works by 21 artists who have made significant contributions to the global art scene within the past thirty years. Developing cutting-edge techniques and daring proposals, the artists intertwine aesthetic refinement with biting critiques of timely issues grounded in Latin American social and political realities. The works, most of which are from the Museum’s permanent collection, employ conceptual, sensory-based, and interactive strategies that elicit the viewer’s active participation. Artists include Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Johanna Calle (Colombia), Yoan Capote (Cuba), María Fernanda Cardoso (Colombia), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), José Gabriel Fernández (Venezuela), Magdalena Fernández (Venezuela), Víctor Grippo (Argentina), Carmela Gross (Brazil), Guillermo Kuitca (Argentina), Grupo Mondongo (Argentina), Óscar Muñoz (Colombia), Roberto Obregón (Venezuela), Gabriel Orozco (Mexico), José Alejandro Restrepo (Colombia), Miguel Ángel Ríos (Argentina), Miguel Ángel Rojas (Colombia), Teresa Serrano (Mexico), Regina Silveira (Brazil), Javier Téllez (Venezuela), and Tunga (Brazil). The exhibition is organized by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Rachel Mohl, Curatorial Assistant. It runs November 22, 2015 to February 28, 2016 at the Caroline Wiess Law Building Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries at MFAH.

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