The Peripatetic School; Itinerant drawing from Latin America
The exhibition will tour to mima, Middlesbrough, 24 November 2011 to March 2012
This group of artists from across Latin America share an engagement with the landscape, whether urban or rural. More specifically, they are concerned with travelling or moving through the landscape, and frequently with walking, which is combined in their work with diverse approaches to drawing. Images that are the result of itinerancy or nomadism, places, scenes and things observed along the way, abound. They journey out of the studio, into the neighbourhood, the city, the territory or entire continent beyond, in a manner that evokes by turns Surrealist, Borgesian or Situationist metropolitan perambulation, or exploration in wilderness spaces nature and culture.
The individual bodies of work destabilise assumptions about the continent. They present instead individual testaments to the extraordinary heterogeneity of its people, culture, languages, cities and landscape. These artists address the actions taken by man in the world, his passage through the landscape and impact upon it. Often, they themselves conduct journeys or undertake residencies as a form of aesthetic nomadism. Symptomatic of this itinerant tendency is their frequent recourse to drawing. Drawing has always been the most portable medium, the fundamental exploratory tool to which the artist returns time and again. However, for these artists, drawing has become a focus of expanded practices that engage with the landscape and culture as a subject and source for exploration, as well as philosophical speculation. Not only do they explore the world at large, but simultaneously the parameters of drawing itself, often using unconventional materials or strategies. These artists seek to blur the traditional boundaries between media categorisations; work on paper becomes sculptural object and simple line drawing becomes video animation. Drawing travels off the page and into the environment itself.