CONDO: Draw a Line to Make a Landscape
For its participation at Condo New York 2018, hosted by Alexander and Bonin, Madragoa is delighted to present Draw a Line to Make a Landscape, a group exhibition with works by Adrián Balseca, Sara Chang Yan, and Renato Leotta.
In the cartographic practice, the act of drawing a line marks the passage from the inhabited world to the represented space: it is the beginning of a coexistence between the abstract element and the real landscape, a sort of obligatory equilibrium on which each map is based and the landscape squeezedbetween a geometric lattice and the necessary reference to the actual world.
How to depict a landscape without losing the possibility of inhabiting it, or without losing the load of meanings that exceeds its manifestation? Through essential signs and gestures, Adrián Balseca, Sara Chang Yan, and Renato Leotta explore and recreate the experience of natural environment.
Through the practice of drawing, Sara Chang Yan charts energies, sensitive and mental elements conveyed by the landscape, translating them into minimal signs that settle on the sheet of paper: dots, lines, geometrical shapes, traced by pencil, ink or watercolour, interact with holes, cuts, and removal of thin layers of paper. In the series An infinite flux of graces I (2017), the support is considered as a field that actively responds to the artist’s interventions and gestures. Hanging from the ceiling, floating in the room, the drawings inhabit the gallery and their presence reshapes the space, acting as dynamic, vibrant entities that can be looked at from both sides and, as the viewer moves or the light changes, they reveal unnoticed details and suggest different perspectives.
Renato Leotta recreates in the exhibition space a rarefied marine landscape using elements that come from the seascape itself. A strip of crystallized sea salt on a blue canvas, obtained by the partial immersion of the fabric in the sea water, traces the line of the horizon. The upper part of the two terracotta sculptures reveal the soft shape of beach dunes, reproducing a portion of shore that functioned as a cast for them. Fragments of shells, sand grains and glass particles, melted during the firing process, still shine on their coarse surfaces. These sculptures are conceived as lids, each one for a different container also made of terracotta in the shape of a vase or a box that encloses a portable landscape. They are equipped with a hole from which you can hear the sound of the sea.
In Adrian Balseca’s black and white film, the line is drawn directly in the landscape, in a rubber plantation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In the forest, the workers pierce the bark of the trees, from which the white resin slowly drips, conveying the impression of a wounded landscape, while the latex collecting vessels have taken the shape of a hand, resembling a glove. The Skin of Labour (2016) focuses on the values that underlie human exploitation of nature, and reflects upon the impact of the technification of labour.
Sara Chang Yan (Lisbon, 1982) lives and works in Lisbon. Recent exhibitions include: Campo de Visão, Galeria Torreão Nascente da Cordoaria Nacional, Lisboa, 2018; Um plano tangível e infinito, Madragoa, 2018; Where Do We Stand?
Two Years of Drawing with Open Sessions, The Drawing Center, New York, 2017; Hibernation Plan, The Drawing Center, 2016; Escuto o Silêncio, Fala Inteiro e Com Precisão; Madragoa, Lisbon, 2016; Álibi, Espaço AZ, Lisbon, 2015; GettingLost, Fundación Botín, Villa Iris, Santander, 2015. In 2015 she was awarded with the Prémio Artes Visuais para Jovens Criadores, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Adrián Balseca (Quito, 1989) lives and works in Quito. His solo exhibitions include: Horamen, Museo Casa del Alabado, Quito, Ecuador, 2017; The Skin of Labour, Madragoa, Lisbon, 2016. His most recent group exhibitions include: BALSECA/BELOUAAR, Madragoa Embora, Lisbon, 2017; Ultralocal. Cycle: Think global, act local, CEAAC, Strasbourg, 2016; Premio Nacional Nuevo Mariano Aguilera 2015-2016, CACQuito (2016); Encuentros del Otro Cine EDOC 15, Quito, 2016; Encuentro Internacional de Arte de Medellin MDE15, Museo de Antioquia, Medellin, 2015; Intersecciones (después de Lautréamont), Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition, Miami , 2015; Caja de Cambios I, Galería SENDA, Barcelona, 2014. In 2013, he won the inaugural Premio Brasil – Emerging Art Prize, at the Center for Contemporary Art Quito (CAC) and in 2014 he received the Premio Paris at the 12th International Cuenca Biennial: Leaving to return. He was awarded the annual Grants & Commissions Program 2015, at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO). He was recently invited for the next Cuenca Biennial.
Renato Leotta (Turin, 1982) lives and works in Turin. Solo exhibitions include: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, 2018 (upcoming); AMICIZIA, Madragoa, 2017; Aventura, Madragoa, Lisbon, 2016; Piccola Patria, Galleria Fonti, Naples, 2015; MUSEO (Cavalli e Cavalle, Cavalli, Cavalli), Cripta 747, Turin, 2015. His works have been recently included in group shows the exhibition: Manifesta 12, Palermo, Italy 2018; MAC, São Paulo, 2018; Wanderings, Cristina Guerra, Lisbon, 2017; Matéria Archeologica, Madre, Naples, 2017; Think of This as a Window, MUT, Fiorano Modenese, 2017; Thinking Songs of Things, MAM, Wien, 2017; A Line Between the Morning Sun and the Evening Sun, Häusler Contemporary, Zurich, 2017; TERRAE NUBILUS, NAK, Aachen, 2017, LEOTTA/NEWBY, Madragoa EMBORA, Lisbon, 2017; Intuition, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, 2017; Wer ist noch Osterreichisch, Kunst Meran, Merano, 2017; Quadriennale di Roma, Rome, 2016; Les limbes, La Galerie Noisy Le Sec, Paris, 2016; La Criée Centre d’Art Contemporain, Rennes; BOZAR, Palais des Beaux-Art, Bruxelles; One Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty, Peep-Hole, Milan, 2013; Out of range, Macro, Rome, 2012; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin 2012; Galerie National d’Art, Nancy, 2012.