Martin Soto Climent
Mariposas Migratorias (Migratory Butterflies)
January 5 – March 2, 2013
Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts. - Ezra Pound
Clifton Benevento is pleased to present its second solo exhibition of Mexico City based artist Martin Soto Climent. Mariposas Migratorias (Migratory Butterflies) continues the artist's investigation into the transformative potential of found and gently used material through a new body of sculptures comprised entirely of recycled automobile windshields.
Underscoring their repurposed status, their journey from raw material to completed artwork, the windshields often bear the markings of their prior utility, though Soto Climent is careful to maintain, if not highlight, the formal boundaries of his source objects. On the surface of Mariposa (Butterfly), for example, bold yellow and pink wax crayon markings - notes like 'Geico,' 'Kia,' and 'sedan,' - contrast with the green and blue hues of the windshield perimeter. Installed high on the wall, the colors in this piece become more legible than the notes they inscribe. Here, lines of text become lines of life. Here, color and form, material and gesture, suggest representations of the butterfly in flight.
While Mariposa suggests movement, additional works in the show use the manipulation of industrial materials to express a range of other moments. In Chrysalis, two windshields gently nestle together and lean against a wall, the natural curve of the glass bubbles outward, forming a slight belly, while in Enjambre de Mariposas (Swarm of the Butterflies) – a lotus spiral of 15 windshields that radiate outward - the glass cracks under weight and tension. By using a medium of rearticulated automotive materials and displacing the typical movements of the butterfly from nature to the galley, Soto Climent associates the fragility of glass with that of the butterfly and creates powerful suggestions about the beauty and finite nature of life. While firmly focused on the color, form and structural limitations inherent to his source material, the components of Soto Climent's works in Mariposas Migratorias conjure associations with Arte Povera, Light and Space and Minimalism. For Soto Climent, this offers a flexible, 21st century mode of working; the potential to collaborate in chorus as well as the freedom to come undone with or without the maker's will.
Martin Soto Climent was born in Mexico City in 1977. Recent solo shows include The Equation of Desire, (Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland), I miss my thread, (Karma International, Switzerland), The Bright of the Whisper, (Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria), La Alcoba Doble, (T293, Italy) and Frenetic Gossamer, (Michael Benevento, Los Angeles). Recent group exhibitions include Sculpture Center (NY), Autocenter (Berlin), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, (AZ). In 2005 he received a grant for an international artist’s residency at The Banff Art Center and from 1996-2002 he studied Architecture and Design at The National University, Mexico. He lives and works in Mexico City.