The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York presents ‘New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America’ to 6 April 2015.
This show at MAD museum is a survey of new artistic trends, traditional influences, and cross-disciplinary emerging practices. It is the first American museum group exhibition dedicated to contemporary Latin American art and design. “New Territories represents an important first for MAD, examining the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art and design today,” said Glenn Adamson, MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director.
The exhibition takes its name from a phrase coined by Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce, referring to the state of making in today’s globalised society, where the boundaries between art, design, and craft have become increasingly blurred. The works reveal a commitment on the behalf of the artists to support and promote indigenous crafts to ensure the longevity of national skills within the contemporary art and design worlds.
The show is divided into five geographical regions, each accentuating a creative quality particular to that area, but it is obvious from the art and design on display here that textiles and weaving form an integral part of the artistic identity across the entire continent, as does a sustainable sensibility for resourceful recycling.
There are some pieces familiar to COVER – the Tea Hug rug by Guto Requena for Tai Ping adorns a wall beside Ariel Rojo – an ariel view of Mexico City at night in handtufted wool and silk from Foco Rojo, and the recycled PET lamp project by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón gets more well deserved attention.
The show introduces enthralling names that are new to us too; Rio de Janeiro based artist Maria Nepomuceno creates sculptural installations consisting of abstracted elements referencing traditional rope weaving and straw braiding of northeast Brazil. A hammock by Brazilian designer Rodrigo Almeida converts into a garment that functions conceptually as a “transcendental cocoon vestment”. There is hand loomed mud dyed clothing from the Casa Barragan collection by Carla Fernández in collaboration with Taller Flora and Pascuala Sánchez and a wonderful Encoded Textile by Guillermo Bert (woven by Anita Paillamil) which echoes the aesthetic of indiginous Mapuche weaving and contains coded traditional stories of the Southern Chilean community. Triple woven hangings by María Eugenia Dávila and Eduardo Portillo incorporate silk, palm fibre and copper, precious metals hang loom-like in Homage to Cruz Diaz by Hechizoo & Jorge Lizarazo, and Chiachio & Giannone’s large scale uncanny embroidery presents elements that are at once familiar and alien, marrying the kitsch and the exotic to great effect.
See COVER 37 for articles on spectacular Latin American design by Alexandra Kehayoglou for Paris Fashion Week and Claudia Araùjo for Ruckstuhl.