Artur Barrio (b. 1945, Portugal) is a Luso-Brazilian artist whose wide-ranging conceptual work in photography, film, performance, and installation embraces ephemerality and political critique. A pivotal figure of action art and conceptualism in Brazil, he has often employed participatory strategies and nontraditional materials to merge art and everyday life. Foundational pieces such as Situações (Situations, 1970) and Livro de Carne (Book of Meat, 1978) conveyed a distrust in the value of the art object and pointed explicitly to the violence and oppression sanctioned by Brazil’s decades-long military dictatorship. Barrio’s work has been the subject of many exhibitions, including the 2018 retrospective Artur Barrio: Experiencias y situaciones at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 16, 5–8 PM
The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) is delighted to announce Eros Rising: Visions of the Erotic in Latin American Art, opening Thursday, June 16, 2022. Curated by Mariano López Seoane and Bernardo Mosqueira, Eros Rising presents drawings, paintings, and photographs by Artur Barrio, Oscar Bony, Carmelo Carrá, Feliciano Centurión, David Lamelas, Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Carlos Motta, Wynnie Mynerva, La Chola Poblete, and Tadáskía that seek to give form to the intangible experience of eroticism.
Inspired by a series of pastel drawings by David Lamelas (b. 1946, Argentina) from 2014–2015, Eros Rising explores how artists have subverted conventional representations of sex—often based in the objectification and categorization of the body—to instead convey the myriad sensations bound up in erotic encounters. The featured artists reimagine sensuality in surreal representations that question the limits between the real and the fictitious, decentering the body by fragmenting it or displacing it altogether.
Viewed collectively, these works challenge codified expressions of sensuality and static definitions of the human to envision the body as radically open. Encompassing a broad range of perspectives and styles, Eros Rising presents a cross-section of intergenerational artists who have contested the restrictive boundaries of identification, grasping for more fluid and expansive conceptions of the self and the erotic.
In Lamelas’s works, human forms are evoked through celestial phenomena—a rising sun or a flowing meteor shower—that find the mundane in the cosmic. Drawings by Artur Barrio (b. 1945, Portugal), Tadáskía (b. 1993, Brazil), and Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro (b. 1996, Brazil) similarly propose other ways of imagining the body and the surrounding landscape, dissolving the barrier between the self and the outside world. Meanwhile, Feliciano Centurión (1962–1996, Paraguay) and La Chola Poblete (b. 1989, Argentina) tease out mythological references from ancient Greece and Andean lore to approximate the otherworldliness of desire.
While many of these works approach the languages of abstraction, others rethink the canon of figuration by transforming the body. An untitled 1968 drawing by Carmelo Carrá (b. 1945, Italy) fractures the human form through the broken outline, while the large watercolor Formas de alargar un pene (2021) by Wynnie Mynerva (b. 1993, Peru) elongates and warps the phallus. The body becomes grotesque in a small ink drawing by Carlos Motta (b. 1978, Colombia), from his series We The Enemy (2019), which reflects on the designation of certain sexual identities as “deviant” or “perverse” in Christian traditions. Two photographs by Oscar Bony (1941–2002, Argentina), which were censored for their erotic content when they were first displayed in Argentina in 1976, similarly depict the body in segments, zooming in on two bright red, intertwining tongues.
Eros Rising will be accompanied by a booklet featuring an essay by the exhibition’s curators, Mariano López Seoane and Bernardo Mosqueira. Physical copies will be distributed free of charge at ISLAA, and a digital version will be made available to download on ISLAA’s website in mid-June.
The exhibition will open with a reception on Thursday, June 16 from 5 to 8 PM. Capacity will be limited, and guests are asked to sign up in advance using this online form.
ISLAA is open from 2 to 5 PM on Tuesday and from 2 to 7 PM from Wednesday to Friday. Guests must wear masks while on-site. Although walk-ins are allowed, visitors are encouraged to book appointments through ISLAA’s online scheduler.
For press inquiries, please email Olivia Casa, exhibition and curatorial manager, at [email protected]
Oscar Bony (1941–2002, Argentina) was an Argentine artist whose work ranged from painting to film, and who achieved renown as a photographer later in life. His early conceptual works included 60 metros cuadrados y su información (60 Square Meters and Its Information, 1967) and La Familia Obrera (The Working Family, 1968), for which he installed three family members on a platform at Buenos Aires’s Instituto Di Tella, testing the limits of what could be considered art. His later photographs explored taboo subjects such as sexuality and violence, and embraced experimental techniques. His work was presented in the solo exhibition Oscar Bony: El mago at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) in 2008.
Carmelo Carrá (b. 1945, Italy) is an Italian-born Argentine artist whose vibrant, pulsating paintings meld surreal imagery with a Pop sensibility. Making use of a saturated color palette, thick outlines, and optical effects, his work has drawn from the realms of dreams and popular culture, encompassing psychedelic and figurative styles. Carrá’s work has been shown at Galería Central de Arte in Chile, among other institutions, and belongs to the collections of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.
Feliciano Centurión (1962–1996, Paraguay) was born in San Ignacio de las Misiones, Paraguay, in 1962 and settled in Argentina in 1974. Celebrated for his introspective work, he is best known for his embroidered and painted textiles that engaged with folk art and queer aesthetics, produced using repurposed cloth and often embellished with diaristic phrases. Centurión was part of the group of artists associated with the gallery of the Cultural Center Ricardo Rojas at the University of Buenos Aires in the 1990s and represented Paraguay in the fifth Havana Biennial in 1994. His first retrospective in the United States, Feliciano Centurión: Abrigo, was presented at Americas Society in New York in 2020.
David Lamelas (b. 1946, Argentina) is a key figure in the history of conceptual art and experimental film. Comprising film, video, performance, photography, sculpture, installation, and drawing, his complex practice excavates the viewer’s perception and critically assesses the mechanisms of cultural production. Central to Lamelas’s oeuvre is the notion of time and what people make of it. His work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, including David Lamelas, Extranjero, Foreigner, Étranger, Ausländer at the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, and the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2006), and Time as Activity: David Lamelas at the Hunter College Art Galleries, New York (2021).
Carlos Motta (b. 1978, Colombia) documents the social conditions and political struggles of sexual, gender, and ethnic minority communities in his multidisciplinary art practice, challenging normative discourses through acts of self-representation. As a historian of untold narratives, Motta is committed to in-depth research into postcolonial subjects and societies. His work encompasses video, installation, sculpture, drawing, web-based projects, performance, and symposia, and has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the New Museum, New York (2012); the Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg (2015); and the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (2017).
Wynnie Mynerva (b. 1993, Peru) lives and works in Lima. Taking the form of sumptuous paintings of abstracted figures, their work centers around gender politics, queer aesthetics, and feminine desire, exploring the dichotomy between masculine and feminine in patriarchal society. Mynerva studied the history of art at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and fine arts at the Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes del Perú. They have participated in residencies at Fountainhead in Miami, Uberbau in São Paulo, and AMIL in Lima, and have had recent solo exhibitions at Galería Ginsberg, Lima (2019); the Museo Amano, Lima (2020); and LatchKey Gallery (2021).
La Chola Poblete (b. 1989, Argentina) is a multidisciplinary artist who works in performance, video, photography, painting, and drawing. She studied visual arts at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Her work addresses the dilemmas of her mestiza heritage, focusing on the figure of the chola, a cultural identity in which the tensions inherent to the Indigenous population—labor exploitation, social marginalization, aesthetic exoticization, commercial circulation—similarly come to the fore. Based in the critical use of stereotypes, her practice presents a sophisticated queer imaginary capable of putting cultural paradigms and gender taxonomies in crisis. Her work has been included in shows at the Centro Cultural San Martín, Buenos Aires (2018); Museo Carlos Alonso, Mendoza (2019); and Pasto Galería, Buenos Aires (2021); among other venues.
Tadáskía (b. 1993, Brazil) is an artist and writer based in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Her work in drawing, photography, installation, and textile mobilizes stories, geographies, and the material and immaterial relations that can arise between the world and living things. Moreover, she seeks to elaborate the visible and invisible experiences of the Black diaspora, resulting from both familiar and unusual encounters. Tadáskía exhibited her work at the Museu de Arte do Rio, the Paço Imperial, and the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro; the Framer Framed in Amsterdam; and Sé Galeria, Pivô, Auroras, and the Museu de Arte Moderna in São Paulo.
Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro (b. 1996, Brazil) develops survival and healing strategies for bodies in constant flight, those of the Black and trans populations targeted by a state-sanctioned politics of death. Based on practices adopted from psychology and Afro-Brazilian syncretic religions, her work looks to resignify traumas and turn them into instruments of self-care, fostering freedom from the violence of procedures authorized by state and capitalist health systems. Her practice also involves organizing collective situations for the purpose of sharing healing practices. Recently, Vitorino Brasileiro’s work has been presented at Galería Homero Hassena, Vitória, Brazil (2019); the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2020); and the Hessel Museum of Art in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2021).
Mariano López Seoane is a writer, researcher, and curator based in Buenos Aires and New York. He is currently the director of the Graduate Program on Gender and Sexuality at Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero in Argentina. He also teaches Latin American literature, cultural studies, and queer studies in the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University. López Seoane has curated and coordinated public programs for the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Buenos Aires International Book Fair, and Art Basel Cities. He has written extensively on contemporary Latin American literature and arts, focusing on the cultures of sexual and gender dissidents in the Americas, Latin American instances of queer studies and queer activism, and figurations of drug culture and drug-related violence in Latin American narrative, film, and visual arts. His publications include the volume of essays Donde está el peligro. Estéticas de la disidencia sexual (2022) and the novel El regalo de Virgo (2017).
Bernardo Mosqueira is a curator and writer based in New York and Rio de Janeiro. He is the ISLAA Curatorial Fellow at the New Museum. He is also the founder and artistic director of Solar dos Abacaxis, an institution for experimentation in art, education, and social transformation in Rio de Janeiro, and since 2011 he has directed Premio FOCO ArtRio, a national award for emerging artists. Mosqueira previously organized the performance festival Venus Terra and worked as a curator at Galeria de Arte Ibeu. Mosqueira has been curating exhibitions, editing books, teaching, and contributing texts to art publications since 2010; was awarded the Premio Lorenzo Bonaldi in 2017; and cofounded Fundo Colaborativo, the first emergency fund for artists in Brazil, in 2020. His recent exhibitions include Miriam Inez da Silva at the Museu da República, Brasília (2021); Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro: Eclipse at the Hessel Museum of Art in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2021); and Daniel Lie: Unnamed Entities at the New Museum, New York (2022).
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