Galeria Luisa Strina is pleased to announce Maya Blue, Clarissa Tossin’s upcoming solo show. On view from November 8, 2018 through December 21, 2018, this exhibition is Tossin’s third solo at the gallery, following Transplanted (VW Brasília), in 2014, and Gasto, in 2011.
The show features previously unseen works from the series The Mayan and Meeting of Waters; as well the video Ch’u Mayaa [Maya Blue]. The Mayan explores (re)appropriation, (mis)representation, and (mis)translation in a series of sculptures based on The Mayan theater in Los Angeles – a prototypical example of the late 1920s Mayan Revival style, designed by Francisco Cornejo, that co-opted the architecture and iconography of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures. Silicone imprints of the walls and doors are combined with cast figurative gestures borrowed from other Mayan imagery, particularly that of dancers that adorn ceramic vessels.
The works from the series Meeting of Waters take their names from the confluence of the rivers Negro and Solimões at the port of the Brazilian city of Manaus. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Manaus became the center of the rubber boom and the most industrialized city in Brazil; until approximately 1912, when the British turned to alternative rubber sources and Manaus became impoverished. Following a decade of deregulation that began in 1957, the city became a Free Trade Zone and now hosts the manufacturing plants of such companies as Apple, Coca-Cola and Honda Motorcycles. Tossin explores this complicated history through a range of objects that speak to the impact of industrialization and the material culture of the indigenous groups in the area, crafting replicas of iPhones and Coca-Cola bottles out of terra cotta, a material used to create utilitarian objects such as pots and food storage containers by a variety of indigenous communities. By conflating the materials and uses of traditional and modern objects, Tossin asks us to consider the impact of globalization. The artist uses the refuse of commodity culture, strips of Amazon.com boxes, to make baskets that refer to the Baniwa weaving heritage.
The exhibition concludes with Ch’u Mayaa, a video that responds to the overlooked influence of Mayan architecture on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House by re-appropriating the building as a temple, and imbuing it with a dance performance based on gestures and postures found in ancient Mayan pottery and murals. Through the movement of a female dancer the house is re-signified as belonging to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican architecture lineage.
Recent solo shows include: When the Land Speaks, MSU Broad Museum, East Lansing (USA, 2018); Meeting of Waters, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (USA, 2018); The Mayan, Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles (USA, 2017); Stereoscopic Vision, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery – Wesleyan University, Middletown (USA, 2017); Brasília Teimosa, Galeria Baobá, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife (2015); Streamlined: Belterra, Amazônia / Alberta, Michigan, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach (2015).
Recent group shows include: The House Imaginary, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose (USA, 2018); Mon Nord est Ton Sud, La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse (France, 2018); 12th Gwangju Biennial (South Corea, 2018); Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (USA, 2018); Emerald City, K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong (China, 2018); Condemned To Be Modern, part of Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA – LAMAG, Los Angeles (USA, 2017); Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas, part of Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, California Museum of Photography – University of California, Riverside (USA, 2017); Lives Between, Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv (Israel, 2017), KADIST, San Francisco (USA, 2017); Meta Modern, The Palm Springs Art Museum (USA, 2016), Orlando Museum of Art (USA, 2015), SMOCA Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (USA, 2015), Krannert Art Museum, Illinois (USA, 2015); United States of Latin America, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (USA, 2015); Unsettled Landscapes, SITE Santa Fe Biennial (USA, 2014); Made in L.A. 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (USA, 2014).
Collections holding her work include: Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco/Paris; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton and Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge.