For this year’s edition of Frieze New York, Peter Blum is pleased to announce Territories, a solo presentation of new works by Luisa Rabbia.
Luisa Rabbia reflects on the interconnectivity between human beings and their surroundings. In her drawings, skin is seen as a border between the outside and inside world of the individual, a membrane that extends until it becomes a vast, fragile landscape. Under surfaces of intertwined colored pencil marks, the color blue plays an important role, appearing almost liquid and often calling to mind the blood-rich veins of the human vascular system.
Lately, in her work, fingerprints are used to represent the unique identity of individuals without revealing information about gender, race or nationality. In the large-scale piece, I Want to Be There, Too, 2015 fingerprints depict a mass of people divided by red pencil strokes. The work is inspired by the multitude of people who leave their own countries to seek a better life. Rabbia perceives the red lines as waves of energy, lines that represent a flow of migrants as well as a flow of hope. These are also lines of water or vital fluids, permeated with years of violence, suffering and separation. Well aware that history keeps repeating itself, shifting geographically from one place to another; Rabbia represents the invisible traces left by humanity over the course of time.
In Possessing the Past, 2016 the fingerprints resemble human marks on the landscape, buried by many layers of history and time. In Pulse, 2016 a luminous oval shape is formed by a multitude of fingerprints that remind of body cells pulsating in a process of life and death. Visually, she invites the viewer to consistently shift from micro to macro levels, drawing journeys through the human body that extend the personal experience into the collective.
Luisa Rabbia was born in 1970 in Pinerolo (Turin, Italy) and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions include Peter Blum Gallery, New York, NY (2012 and 2014); Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2010); Fondazione Merz, Torino, Italy, curated by Beatrice Merz (2009); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venezia, Italy (2009) and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA, curated by Pieranna Cavalchini (2008). Group exhibitions include Lismore Castle, Lismore, Ireland, curated by Allegra Pesenti (2016); La Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium (2014); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2013); the MAGA, Museo Arte Gallarate, Gallarate (VA), Italy (2010); MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo, Roma, Italy, curated by Paolo Colombo (2007); and the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva (2006).