Hidden from plain site and tucked away under dense tropical vegetation, off the shores of Lake Atitlán -a lake between three volcanos in Guatemala-, lay the homes and studios of mother and daughter Elisabeth Wild (Vienna, 1922) and Vivian Suter (Buenos Aires, 1949). Established as promising emerging artist in Basel, Suter fled the mundanity of Switzerland in 1982 and never look backed. She booked a one way ticket to Los Angeles, and pursued her dream of travelling through Central and South America. Yet, after having trekked through Mexico, she came about Lake Atitlán, which immediately and unsuspectedly captured her heart and became her new home. A year later, in 1983, after settling in and having relocated her practice as a painter, it was her mother who came to visit. Also captivated by the lushness of the landscape, and strongly encouraged by her daughter, Wild relocated and bought a large plot of land where they were both to build their permanent homes and studios. For over 35 years, and whilst being sheltered away from they inns and outs of the art world, they each worked prolifically in their own right. On the one hand, Suter developed an incredibly rich practice in painting. Her canvases are an ongoing exploration of nature and landscape, through bold and gestural brushwork that is evocative of abstract expressionism. Yet, what sets her work apart is the fact she has been openly “collaborating” with nature after her studio was flooded by Hurricanes Stan (2005) and Agatha (2010), and much of her paintings were soiled. As a result, she often times leaves her canvases out in the open, whether laying flat in the ground or hung from a tree, where they are intervened by sun, rain, mud, wind, and the occasional mango or avocado that falls over them. Wild, on the other hand, who trained as a painter and textile designer, has been excelling in collage making ever since she was confined to a wheelchair a few decades ago. Her bright lapidarian collages (Roberta Smith for the NYTimes, May 14th 2015) are as bold and full of life as they are daring in terms of their free-flowing compositions. Using magazines as source material, she is able to create unique worlds through each of her meticulous works, all of which are very personal and intimate in size (hardly ever exceeding the 8 1/2 x 11” format).
Proyectos Ultravioleta’s proposal for Frieze Focus aims to showcase the unique work of both Wild and Suter, whilst shedding light on their personal mother/daughter relationship. Specifically, we would propose a dynamic and asymmetrical hang of some of Wild’s most recent collages in the booth’s walls, whilst a group 13 of Suter’s canvases are suspended in the center of the booth -unstretched- replicating the way she hangs and sorts her completed works in her studio in Lake Atitlán. By doing this, visitors will be able to have a unique pictorial experience of navigating in and around Suter’s abstract paintings, while being surrounded by Wild’s intimate and contemplative collages.