Month: May 2015

Truly, madly, beautifully

Portia Zvavahera’s sumptuous paintings draw on subjects from both life and dreams and combine printmaking with painting. Her vivid imagery is drawn from religious narratives from both Christian and indigenous African traditions. Her deep understanding of colour and form is evident. Zvavahera represented Zimbabwe at the Venice Biennale in 2013. The artist was born in 1985 in Juru, Zimbabwe. To continue reading about Portia Zvavahera’s work and see more images of her paintings, read the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: ©Portia Zvavahera, I Can Feel It in My Eyes [14] © Portia Zvavahera. Courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town/ Johannesburg. Photo: Mario Todeschini.

Nature overflows

Janaina Tschäpe’s organic and ethereal work reflects the abundance of nature in Brazil. Her beautiful multi-layered paintings are like nature itself. She has said she seeks not to portray a dream world, but the sensation of being inside one. Tschäpe was born in 1973 in Munich, Germany and was raised in São Paolo, Brazil. She lives and works between New York and Rio de Janeiro. To continue reading about Janaina Tschäpe’s work and see more images of her paintings, read the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: Janaina Tschäpe, Contemplating Landscape (2014), Installation View. Photo courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery.

Forgotten pioneers

The Argentine artist Flavia da Rin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1978, and still lives in the city. Her practice includes photography and painting. In a recent series of powerful photographs, Da Rin has re-created images taken in the 1920s and 1930s of mould-breaking women who had a passion for dance, including Lizica Codreanu, Giannina Censi and Mary Wigman. The Romanian ballet dancer Lizica Codreanu was a member of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and a constant fixture in avant-garde circles during Paris’ heyday. She was a favourite of the Ukrainian-born painter Sonia Delaunay, and the Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brancusi, both of whom made their careers in France and designed iconic costumes for her. To continue reading about Flavia Da Rin’s work and the forgotten female artists she photographed, read the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo: Flavia da Rin, Untitled (Codreano /Brancusi III), 2014. Photo courtesy of Ruth Benzacar Galeria de Arte.

New voices

Mawande Ka Zenzile’s bold work deals with memory, ethics, politics, the politics of representation, and history. Through compelling imagery, he often draws attention to Xhosa history and heritage. The Xhosa are the second largest cultural group in South Africa, after the Zulu-speaking nation. The artist was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa, in 1986. He is in the process of completing a BA in Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. Please continue reading about Mawande Ka Zenzile and see more images of his work in the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: Mawande Ka Zenzile, The Problem We Didn’t Create (The Death of Socrates) 2015 © Mawande Ka Zenzile. Courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town/ Johannesburg. Photo: Mario Todeschini.

Building Latin America

More than a half-century after its landmark 1955 exhibition, New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is revisiting the fascinating terrain of Latin American architecture. Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 provides a complex overview of architectural innovation spanning eleven countries: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Sprawling cities such as Mexico City and São Paulo were among the fastest growing cities in the world at this time. The region’s unprecedented urbanization was characterized by avant-garde artistic practices, often in challenging political circumstances. During this period, a number of Latin American countries experienced volatile political change. Many saw periods of military dictatorship. Bringing together the architectural achievements of such a large continent for over three decades is no mean feat. Please continue reading in the May/June issue of The Kurios, out now. Photo credits: Affonso Eduardo Reidy. Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1934-1947. ©Núcleo de Documentação e Pesquisa? Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal do Rio …

Image society

Brazilian artist Leda Catunda’s new exhibition at São Paolo’s Galpão Fortes Vilaça brings together paintings, prints, watercolours, collages and sculptures. Leda Catunda and the Taste of Others also features printed wallpaper made especially for the show. All of the works being exhibited were made following the same structure as the drawings on the wallpaper, as the artist tries to convey a sense of unity within her diverse practice. In Catunda’s work, patterns normally originate in watercolours, to then be replicated and multiplied in prints. She normally gives these same patterns body in her paintings and sculptures. The show also features a number of pop references, used by the artist as a way of questioning the concepts of beauty and exoticism. Please read more about Catunda and see more images of her work in the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo credits: Leda Catunda, MG – Mulheres Gostosas, 2014. Courtesy of Galpão Fortes Vilaça. Photo: Eduardo Ortega.

Chanting with forms

The Indian artist NS Harsha draws on a broad range of influences including Indian artistic and figurative painting traditions and popular arts, as well as western art. His quietly philosophical practice mixes personal experience with shared narratives and broader socio-political themes. The artist has described the process of producing these works as ‘chanting’ with forms, as though the process of making them were a musical composition. He has also said that the intensity of life in India, which has one of the largest populations in the world, constantly forces him to think about human form. To read more about NS Harsha and see more images of his work, subscribe to the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo: NS Harsha, Mooing here and now (detail), 2014. Courtesy NS Harsha and Victoria Miro, London. © NS Harsha.

Lunar mysteries

Eugenio Cuttica: The inward gaze at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires brings together the paintings of the Argentine artist Eugenio Cuttica from the 1970s to the current day. The first part of the exhibition presents Cuttica’s early works, in which he grappled with new forms of expression. Cuttica was part of an expressionist revival that took place in Argentina in the 1980s. This room also includes a painting by Argentina’s most celebrated impressionist painter, Fernando Fader, which Cuttica selected from the museum collection himself. The second room showcases a series of Cuttica’s paintings from the 1980s and 1990s which present large-scale mythical themes. Finally we are presented with a series of the artist’s latest works, centred on the representation of a little girl known as Luna (Moon). In these semi-fantastical paintings, the figure of the girl dissolves mysteriously into a landscape, suggesting a ghostly presence. Eugenio Cuttica is featured in the May/June issue of The Kurios. Get your copy here. Photo courtesy of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Paper people

The first solo show of the Ivorian artist Yéanzi is taking place at Cécile Fakhoury Gallery in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In Yéanzi’s mixed media paintings, he blends together successive layers of press cuttings onto canvas. He then melts plastic on top to form human images. The result is ambiguous and powerful imagery. Yéanzi is featured in the May/June issue of The Kurios, out now. Get your copy here. Photo courtesy of Cécile Fakhoury Gallery

Desert hope

An exhibition at the Museo de la Memoria in Santiago,Chile, is showing 58 photographs from the Flowers in the Desert series by New York-based photographer Paula Allen. These photographs tell the story of a group of Chileans, known as the women of Calama,who spent 17 years searching for their relatives who disappeared after the 1973 military coup of General Augusto Pinochet. In the first few months after their disappearance, the women of Calama met in secret but in time, frustrated by the lack of state information about their loved ones fates, they took to the desert themselves with shovels to try to find the bodies. The husbands, fathers and brothers of these women went missing during the infamous Caravan of Death, a term used to describe the journey taken by five soldiers to four northern cities. They murdered a total of 72 people on their way, including 26 men in the city of Calama. Their bodies were buried in a secret grave in the desert. Continue reading about Flowers in the Desert in the May/June issue of The Kurios, out …

Runaway genius

A celebrated artist in Mexico, the British-born surrealist painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was little-known in her home country for most of her lifetime. Her unique, mysterious paintings have only recently begun to garner attention in the UK, four years’ after her death. Please continue reading in the May/June issue of The Kurios, available now. Photo: Leonora Carrington, The Pomps of the Subsoil (1947). Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts University of East Anglia. ©Estate of Leonora Carrington/ARS, NYand DACS, London 2015.