The Colombian artist Johanna Calle is back at Galeria Marília Razuk with Babel. Drawings by Johanna Calle, her third solo exhibition in the gallery. The exhibition will be opened on March 25, featuring 79 pieces divided in three work series from her latest production: Minùsculas, Párrafos and Simbiontes.
The artist was present in the 31a Bienal de São Paulo, 2014 and The Biennalle of Sydney in 2016. Having an Art production described as both delicate and incisive she has expanded and transformed the understanding of drawing. Johanna makes use of original materials like wire, iron, steel and wire mesh in addition to sewing and drilling techniques, handwritten and typed texts in order to build up a series of images.
Her meaningful drawings frequently indicate vulnerability, fragility, precariousness, resistance and infringement. It is all about a simple, delicate and strenuous way to touch on problems and incongruities underlying the Latin-American society. In her works, Johanna uses Spanish, her native language, as raw material and several other languages and different alphabets as well. She emphasizes her artistic values and, at the same time, challenges the communication possibilities of each code.
Johanna uses the word as the stem of a drawing, being its intellectual and historical meanings hidden by the composition. Her works are never easily attained, allowing the observer to unveil created universes from signs.
Created in 2013, the series Minúsculas features 60 pieces shown on typed Japanese paper composing texts by combining millions of minuscule letters that can be seen in the habitual way or backwards. Párrafos – paragraphs in English – also leads to a questioning on letters and linguistic structures. The series brings 12 pieces composed by MDF basis overlapping steel straight lines bound to ancient rubber letters.
Simbiontes features 7 pieces produced between 2014 and 2015. The title refers to a symbiotic relationship between two or more organisms performing together for mutual benefit despite being different. Created from embroideries on steel screen, the works resembles microorganism cultures on Petri dish – sterilized, cylindrical, flat recipients used by laboratories professionals.
About the artist
Johanna Calle was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1965 where she lives and works. After going to Universidad de Los Andes (1984-1989) in Bogota, she got her Master Degree in Fine Arts at Chelsea College of Art, London (1992-1993) The artist participated in the 7a Bienal do Mercosul (2009), Istanbul Biennial (2011), the 31a Bienal de São Paulo (2014) and the Biennale of Sydney (2016).
Standing out among her main solo exhibition are: Silentes 1985 – 2015, curator Helena Tatay, Museu Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2016); Dibujos, curator Javier Hontoria, Colombian Embassy, Madrid, Spain (2016); Silentes, curator Helena Tatay, Museu de Arte del Banco de la Republica, Bogota, Colombia (2015); Grafos, Galeria Marìlia Razuk, São Paulo. Brazil (2014); Fotogramática, Krizinger Residences, Krizinger Gallery, Vienna, Austria (2013); Intertextos, Galeria Marília Razuk, São Paulo (2012); Submergentes: a drawing approach on masculinities, project room, curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, U S A (2011); Variaciones políticas del trazo dibujos de Johanna Calle, Fundación TEOR/ética, San Jose de Costa Rica (2008); Lacony, Galeria Santa Fé, Planetario Distrital, Bogota (2007); Zona Tórrida, Galería Casas Riegner, Bogota (2006); Pretérita, Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño, Bogota (2006); Tangencias, Sala ASAB, Academia Superior de Artes de Bogota (2005).
Calle has won important awards for her works: Emerging Artists Grants Program, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation CIFO, Miami (2008) and Mención de Honor IV Premio Luis Caballero (2007); Beca, Cité International des Arts, Paris, AFFA Association Française des Affaires Etrangères (2001); Premio Salón Regional de Artistas, Ministerio de Cultura, Colombia (2000) among others.