This fall, with its group exhibition of the work of four young Latin American artists, Praxis asks: “Do You See the Picture?” This query, doubling as the exhibition’s playful title, can be variously understood. At the most literal level, it refers to our ability to see the paintings, sculptures, and mixed media compositions currently filling the walls before our eyes. Once we have established that we can, indeed, see these pictures, a more conceptual interpretation may emerge. The question posed can now mean: Do you see the picture of themselves, their interests, and the world that each one of these artists is aiming to convey through his or her own, distinct visual language? It is well worth it to take time with these works to answer: “yes.”
Included in the exhibition are a collection of wall-mounted sculptures-cum-paintings by Marela Zacarias; Darlene Charneco’s mixed-media compositions of painted wood bristling with partially hammered-in nails; Sofia Quirno’s semi-abstract, expressive paintings of the sights and stuff of daily life; and Agustin Sirai’s ethereal, surrealistic, and precisely rendered landscape paintings. Ritual drives Charneco to spend hours hammering nails into wooden panels to build up tactile, patterned surfaces. Aligning herself with monastic scribes detailing sacred manuscripts or Tibetan monks crafting a sand mandala, she approaches her work as a form of meditation and prayer. While Charneco is concerned with the metaphysical, Zacarias and Quirno could be said to be focused on the physical. Zacarias explores the intersection between painting and sculpture in her brightly painted, folded wall pieces. Quirno transforms her impressions of her surroundings into intentionally ambiguous images hinting at crumpled soda cans, stuffed dolls, or cans of paint. In his dreamy paintings centered upon isolated, floating landscapes, Sirai straddles the actual and the imagined, and, like all of the artists in the exhibition, opens up willing viewers to different ways of seeing.
“Do You See the Picture?” is on view at Praxis September 4 – October 25, 2104.