On the occasion of the 6th edition of the Latin America & Caribbean Week - France, the Maison de l'Amérique latine in Paris inaugurates two new exhibitions that place Central America in the spotlight through two artists from two different countries and generations, David Solis, originally from Panama, and Marlov Barrios, originally from Guatemala. Nature is at the heart of David Solis' proposal, which addresses the oppressive relationship between man and his natural environment. Marlov Barrios, for his part, defines his work as a syncretic alliance between the Mayan, colonial and contemporary world. Until July 24, 2019.
LISIÈRES - David Solis
The nature that David Solis paints is a psychic, internalized nature. Landscapes are born and develop first in the mind of their author, before gradually spreading out on the canvas. They invade it just as tropical nature slowly, inexorably colonizes every square inch of land. Trees stretch their branches in the air in search of light, monopolizing it, without even allowing the walker - a tiny human being - a glimpse of the sky.
Trunks, leaves, rushes, creepers, roots: so many elements that seem to enclose the viewer. These primary jungles are constructed of vertical spindles which, through a play of perspective and framing, are strangely similar to prison bars. Which way to breathe? The spectator's eye is looking for an escape route. It often finds it in a small, high fringe of the canvas: the grey or blue sky in which the silhouette of the trees can be seen, and in the distance, a stretch of water. Eldorado is so far away... or is it just a mirage?
David Solis' technique underlines his academic heritage: graphite, oil painting, pastel. His mastery of large-scale formats (a dozen works measure more than 100 x 100 cm) is a constant in his work. Smaller formats, on the other hand, reveal a taste for more meticulous detail. Lisières brings together some fifty works (2008-2018) in which Nature takes an almost exclusive part, and where the human imprint can only be read as a watermark. The characteristic forests are joined by wide horizons marines, still lifes, semi-vanities and strange fish. This exhibition is an invitation to an inner journey, between memory and prophecy.
With the help of the Embassy of Panama in France.
David Solis - Workshop photo, 2018, Montpellier, France
David Solis, born in Panama City in 1953, was trained at the Faculty of Architecture before beginning his artistic studies at the School of Fine Arts in Panama City. In 1975, thanks to a scholarship, he moved to Marseille. His training at the School of Fine Arts of Marseille-Luminy leads him to the Higher National Diploma of Plastic Arts with a special mention in drawing. In 1978, he set up his studio in Montpellier, where he will develop his career as an artist. In his home town, he is represented by the gallery Habitante since the 1990s. In 2004, the exhibition Un tiempo de taller at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Panama was conceived as a snapshot of his studio, from sketch to elaborate work. From 2006, with exhibitions such as Selvas y otros mundos I and II, Horizons croisés, Entre dos aguas..., dense and humid forests, personified trunks, edges, shores, seascapes, become the leitmotivs of his pictorial research. In 2016, David Solis' second monographic exhibition is presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Panama: Riberas, a corpus of works on canvas and paper devoted to the landscapes of tropical, urban and forest shores, by day and by night. The exhibition Lisières at the Maison de l'Amérique latine is David Solis' first monographic exhibition in Paris.
MIMESIS - Marlov Barrios
The Maison de l'Amérique latine in Paris invites Marlov Barrios to carry out, within the framework of the sixth edition of the Latin America & Caribbean Week, an intervention in situ that will directly cover the walls of the Asturias Hall. Produced without a preparatory sketch, this original work, which is ephemeral in essence, will be an opportunity to generate reflection on the imprint of mimicry in nature, social relations and the history of art.
Marlov Barrios, who has come specially from Guatemala for the occasion, will create this mural from May 13 to 23. It will include, in addition to the mural painting, some drawings and watercolours under frame, as well as raw wood sculptures.
Marlov Barrios, "Mimesis VI", mixed technique on paper, 2019, 35.5x28cm
In Barrios' pictorial universe, time, like cultures, is syncretic: thus, the classical Mayan period is intertwined with the Baroque colonial world, which, in turn, blends into the contemporary era with North American, European, and even Japanese influences. From a formal vision - never narrative or descriptive - Barrios' symbolic works translate both the collusion and the cohabitation of these three universes. He proposes what he calls "an archaeology of the immaterial", drawing from the ultra-contemporary sources of inspiration that he brings back to a craft practice - such as oil painting, collages, freehand drawing or wood carving.
The works of Marlov Barrios challenge the viewer on subjects that are intrinsically Guatemalan although nourished by a reflection on globalization: power relations, the center and the periphery, spirituality and materialism, the rural and urban world, the interweaving of tradition and ultra-modernity. His plays highlight convergence and movement. The rural exodus, the migratory flow towards the North, imply different temporalities that flow towards the present and are condemned to interact with each other.
With the support of the French Embassy in Guatemala and the assistance of the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris.
Marlov Barrios was born in Guatemala City in 1980. After studying architecture at the San Carlos University of Guatemala, he studied visual arts at La Esmeralda School in Mexico City. In 2008, he co-founded the Taller Experimental de Gráfica de Guatemala, an association for the teaching and promotion of engraving; then the collective La Torana, in which he participated in the 1st Caribbean Triennial in the Dominican Republic and the Biennial of Pontevedra, Spain (2010). In 2012, alongside the artist Lucrecia Muñoz, he opens La Ruleta, a space for the promotion of contemporary art in Guatemala City. Marlov Barrios has presented seventeen solo exhibitions, in many cultural spaces in Guatemala City, but also in Mexico City, San José de Costa Rica (notably the "Plus Volta" exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design) and El Salvador (the "Médulas" exhibition at the MARTE Museum). The recent retrospective "El Eco y la Avalancha" at the Municipal Cultural Center of Guatemala City, brought together one hundred and twenty pieces covering nineteen years of artistic trajectory. His work is part of private collections in Central America, Spain and Taiwan.
Curator : Christina Chirouze Montenegro, Franco-Guatemalan curator, has lived in Paris since the 1990s. After a Bachelor's degree in Design and Implementation of Cultural Projects (La Sorbonne Nouvelle), completed by a Master's degree in Latin American Studies (University of Salamanca, Spain, 2011), she specializes in modern and contemporary Central American art. Her thesis Expressions artistiques actuelles pour la mémoire collective : le cas du Guatemala post-conflit (1996-2011), is published by Editions Lharmattan (2013). She is currently the cultural correspondent of the online magazine Nómada (Guatemala). Within her company La Caféothèque de Paris, she has exhibited nearly seventy artists since 2008, and has designed numerous cultural cycles dedicated to a coffee country, including coffee tastings, exhibitions, screenings, conferences and concerts. In February 2019, she organized "Blanco & Fuego", a Limoges porcelain festival in Guatemala City.
Christina Chirouze Montenegro is president and founder of the association AcÁ Paris for the cultural influence of Central America in France.
Exhibitions until July 24, 2019 at the Maison de l'Amérique latine in Paris, 217 Boulevard Saint-Germain - 75007 Paris
Header photo : David Solis, Nocturno I, 2013, 120x120cm. DS