Edel Assanti is pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition of Radames “Juni” Figueroa. Figueroa renovates Edel Assanti with a site-specifically designed sky deck, providing the setting for a programme of talks, performances, concerts and events that will see diverse audiences freely engaging with one another.
Figueroa’s structure, built below the gallery’s skylight, will be the natural successor to his 2014 installations in New York, presented at the Whitney Biennial and The Sculpture Centre, which referenced a previously built tree house in Naguabo, Puerto Rico.
The sky deck, constructed from material inspired by the tropical rainforest and the San Juan streets on which he grew up, tropicalises the gallery, yielding an interactive sculptural installation that is active, accessible and celebratory. Figueroa’s ‘tropical ready-mades’ that occupy the deck – fruit fountains, footballs, plant pots and bamboo ‘windows’ - form part of a wider autobiographical perspective within his practice. These works explore and amplify associations from the tropics through a mix of personal references and critical humour. By acknowledging his identity within his works, Figueroa celebrates the stereotypes his culturally specific materials evoke.
Figueroa was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and recent solo exhibitions include Fango Fire Flies at Sculpture Center, New York (2014), The Wild Nest at El NUMU, Guatemala (2013) and Sal Si Puedes, at Roberto Paradise Gallery, San Juan (2012). Past projects include Tree House - Club House, a live monumental sculpture at a forest in Naguabo, Puerto Rico (2013), Triangle Eucalyptus for Meditation, 43 Salon Inter- Nacional, Medellin, Colombia (2013) and Salvajismo Caribeño, an intervention on the Roof of Houses in Barrio La Perla in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2009). Figueroa was co- curator of the first Tropical Biennial in 2011, and lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico.