HAPPY BIRTHDAY! YES CONTEMPORARY TURNS 5 The Robert S. Wennett and Mario Cader-Frech Foundation
19 years supporting Salvadoran contemporary art
Founded in September 2014, YES Contemporary debuted with the exhibition Transgressions. Five years later, YES Contemporary boasts an exhibition, art trip, grant, symposium program, a growing contemporary art library as well as a new art loan program. We pay tribute to the vision of founders Mario Cader-Frech and Robert S. Wennett who have brought more than 50 curators to El Salvador over the past 15 years and contributed to Salvadoran contemporary art for 19 years. This would not have been possible without the support of the YES Contemporary council, partners and the artists with whom we work.
YES ART LOAN PROGRAM BORDERS OF FREEDOM TALK AT LOCUST PROJECTS
OCTOBER 2 : 12-1:30PM
For the Locust Projects Miami lunchtime conversation series on October 2, Borders of Freedom exhibition curator Patricio Majano will be live from El Salvador introducing the show. This will be followed by a conversation between YES Team's Claire Breukel and YES councilmember and special guest Carolina Alvarez-Mathies.
Borders of Freedom explores themes of freedom and considers what the artists identify as constraints of freedom and ways in which to deal with these issues. The exhibition aims to centralize creative dialogue by artists located in El Salvador and the United States, and Includes videos by Abigail Reyes, Crack Rodríguez, Fredy Solan, Guadalupe Maravilla and Sayre Quevedo.
Borders of Freedom is part of the YES Contemporary Art Loan Program with work from The Mario Cader-Frech Collection, and will be on view in Miami until October 12, 2019. Space is limited.
YES ART LOAN PROGRAM SEE SIMON VEGA'S GEMINI CAPSULE
IN WASHINGTON D.C.
Image courtesy the Mario Cader-Frech Collection and the artist. Photo by Mateo Serna Zapata.
Simon Vega's Gemini Capsule is featured in the exhibition Single-Use Planet at the IDB Cultural Center from September 25, 2019 - February, 2020. On loan from the YES Contemporary Art Loan Program, Simon's work is featured alongside work by artists from the Americas including Vik Muniz, Mandy Baker, Blue Curry, Frederico Uribe, and more. Single-Use Planet advocates for environmental awareness, featuring works that comment on consumerism, and which creatively transform discarded materials.
YES ONLINE STUDIO VISIT : SEPTEMBER GOES IN PERSON DURING ARTBO, BOGOTA
MELISSA GUEVARA AND LAURA COPELIN
This month YES's online studio visit program goes "in person" connecting artist Melissa Guevara and Ballroom Marfa Executive Director Laura Copelin in Bogota.
Salvadoran artist Melissa Guevara (left) is currently at Flora Arts + Natura in Bogota, working with the collective The Fire Theory, of which she is a founding member. Read more about Melissa's work here.
Laura Copelin (right) is the Executive Director and Curator of Ballroom Marfa, Texas. Copelin joined the organization as Associate Curator in 2014. Read more about Laura here.
THIS HAPPENED YES ART TRIP + WRITER'S SYMPOSIUM
The 2019 YES Art Trip Over four days, guests Ana Tome, Bryan Barcena, Kathryn Weir and Natasha Egan attended the opening of the Borders of Freedom exhibition, visited the Museum of Word and Image (MUPI), the Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTE), the Anthropology Museum, the Spanish Cultural Center and La Casa Tomada, artist spaces and studios including La Unica, La Fabrica, an artist pop-up in Downtown San Salvador, the studios of Simón Vega, Walterio Iraheta, Ronald Moran, and Muriel Hasbun at Laberinto Projects. In addition, the group was hosted by collectors and friends of the program, and had dinner with design super-duo Harry and Claudia Washington who shared their working process. Guests had the opportunity for individual meetings to further their areas of research.
YES thanks the Crowne Plaza Conference Center and Carolina Alvarez-Mathies for their support.
The 2019 Artist Academy: YES Arts Writers symposium The first YES Arts Writers symposium comprised of one day of presentations by Gabriela Poma, Bryan Barcena and Alexia Tala (via video) who set the tone by providing insight in to academic, museum publication and curatorial writing. This was followed by collective workshopping of abstracts with invited participants Jaime Izaguirre, Dalia Chévez, Eugenia Perez Guardado and Eduardo Créspin with Gabriela Poma. Congratulations to these participants who have been commissioned to write articles for YES Contemporary in 2019/2020.
YES thanks Alicia Meyer at the National Theater in San Salvador for providing an ideal meeting location.
BEATRIZ CORTEZ AT MUSEO DE ARTE MODERNO (MAMBO), BOGOTA
Salvadoran artist Beatriz Cortez and artist Rafa Esparza collaborate on Nomad 13, a solo installation at Museo de Arte Moderno (MAMBO) in Bogota, Colombia as part of the exhibition Universos Desdoblados curated by La Usurpadora. An "unconventional space capsule", Nomad 13 is also a garden of plants indigenous to the Americas. Nomad 13 is on view until November 4, 2019.
Read more about Beatriz's work here.
Image: Nomad 13 at Craft Contemporary Museum. Photo: Gina Clyne. Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council.
GUADALUPE MARAVILLA AT JACK BARRETT GALLERY, NEW YORK
Guadalupe Maravilla's solo exhibition Saga
opened at Jack Barrett gallery on September 6 in New York. Saga features a new work that continues Maravilla's interest in the struggles of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers. Including a headdress sculpture surrounded by agave leaves representing healing, Maravilla will play the work to generate therapeutic sound. Saga is on view until October 20.
Read more about Guadalupe's work here.
Image: Courtesy Jack Barrett gallery and the artist.
RAFAEL DIAZ AT LA CASA ENCENDIDA, MADRID
Salvadoran artist Rafael Diaz opens his solo exhibition Esclimética [Asclimethics], curated by Christian Dominguez, at La Casa Encendida. Esclimética explores themes of palliative care, memory loss, faith vs science, AIDS and its connection to the pharmaceutical industry and addiction, and is on view as part of the IDEM festival, until Sep 29, 2019.
Read more about Rafael's work here.
MAURICIO ESQUIVEL AND MURIEL HASBUN AT GILLESPIE GALLERY OF ART, VIRGINIA
Salvadoran artists Mauricio Esquivel and Muriel Hasbun are featured in Migration Aesthetics, an exhibition curated by Gabriela Rosso of ROFA Projects, at the Gillespie Gallery of Art at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The exhibition includes 11 contemporary Latin American artists whose work has been influenced by personal experiences of migration. Their artworks "reject borders but share common experiences of departure, discovery, abandonment, uprooting, rupture, pilgrimage, and reconstruction." Migration Aesthetics is on view until Sept. 28, 2019.
Read more about the exhibition here.
Image: Mauricio Esquivel, Displacement Line, 2015. Hand-cut Coins. Courtesy ROFA Projects and the artist.
FREDY SOLAN SITE SPECIFIC PROJECT, MADRID
Salvadoran artist Fredy Solan debuts his site-specific project Landscape: Horizon Line in an abandoned building "Fabric" in Madrid Spain.
Comprised of a single curved wall chiseled to reach a point where it can be curved by gravity, the work questions the idea of a wall as immovable and static.
See more of Fredy's work here.
ALEXIA MIRANDA AND ABIGAIL REYES AT POPOROPO, GUATEMALA CITY
Salvadoran artists Abigail Reyes and Alexia Miranda are featured in the exhibition "Domestica Instalaciones" at the renowned alternative space Poporopo in Guatemala City. Curated by Manuel Urbina, the exhibition features Miranda's installation " Intimate Fabric 1" from the series "Collective Fabric", Drawing and weaving in the air with sterile gauze.
Image courtesy Poporopo and the artist.
EDDIE APARACIO AND BEATRIZ CORTEZ AT LOS ANGELES CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS
Salvadoran artists Eddie Aparacio and Beatriz Cortez are featured in the group exhibition Paroxysm of Sublime at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) in partnership with France Los Angeles Exchange (FLAX). Paroxysm of Sublime brings together international artists to address definitions of home, environment, and change as it relates to human's relationship to the natural world in an uncertain time.
Read more about the exhibition here.
Image: Beatriz Cortez, "Our Roots", 2019. Courtesy the artist.
MELISSA GUEVARA OPEN STUDIO AT FLORA ARS+NATURA
Visit Salvadoran artist Melissa Guevara in her studio at Flora Ars+Natura, along with the other residents of Escuela Flora 2019, during ARTBO Art Fair in Bogotá. Melissa Guevara is participating in a year long residency at Flora after being awarded The Luis Javier Castro Scholarship.
See more of Melissa Guevara’s work here.
Image: Melissa Guevara, “Inflection Point”, 2014, from the series Relics. Golden cervical vertebrae". Courtesy the artist.
EL SALVADOR NEWS
SINÉCDOQUE AT SPANISH CULTURAL CENTER SAN SALVADOR
Coordinated by Salvadoran artist and curator Walterio Iraheta, the exhibition Sinécdoque rethinks the portrait, self-portrait and art photography as a genre. Artists from Guatemala and El Salvador, including Iraheta, Jorge Chavarría, Roberto Anaya, Andrés Asturias, Rafael Díaz, Mario Santizo and Nadie, offer new reflections on photography in the information age. Read more about Sinécdoquehere.
Image: Courtesy the CCESV
SIMÓN VEGA AT LA ÚNICA GALLERY
La Única Gallery presents Simón Vega’s solo exhibition Destroyers of the American Dream. The exhibition includes videos, drawings, sculptures and installations derived from the Star Wars franchise. Vega connects materials and architecture from the Salvadoran region with the fictional futuristic universe of Star Wars, to contrasts different notions of technology. Destroyers of the American Dream is on view until December 7, 2019.
See more of Simón Vega’s work here.
Learn more about La Única Gallery here.
Image: Simón Vega, “Heavy Metal Destructor de Estrellas”, 2019. Courtesy La Única Gallery and the artist.
“ENSAYO Y ERROR” PROJECT OPENS PROBETA RESIDENCY IN EL SALVADOR
Apply now! “Ensayo y Error” is an independent project and space opening in El Salvador. It's Probeta Residency Program comprises of two residencies for visual artists to take place between November 2019 and December 2020. The Residency will provide three weeks of living space and assistance with developing a project. The winner will be accompanied by a guide also selected through an open call. Applications open from October 4 - 20.
Apply to the residency here.
LUIS CORNEJO AT THE MUSEUM OF ART OF EL SALVADOR
Salvadoran artist Luis Cornejo opened his solo exhibition The Eyes of the Forest at the Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTE) as part of MARTE Contemporary. Cornejo presents a series of paintings inspired by Walt Disney’s representation of Snow White, juxtaposed with elements and characters from a tropical forest. The Eyes of the Forest is on view until November 3, 2019.
Read about the exhibition in El Diario de Hoy newspaper here.
Image: Luis Cornejo. Detail from painting part of “The eyes of the Forest” exhibition. Courtesy the artist.
HUGO RIVAS AT THE MUSEUM OF ART OF EL SALVADOR
The Museum of Art of El Salvador presents Intimate an exhibition by Salvadoran artist Hugo Rivas. Intimate features a series of murals depicting character from Salvadoran political history as well as the everyday, reflecting on how the image of a nation is constructed. Intimate is on view until October 27, 2019. Read more about the exhibition here.
Image: Hugo Rivas. Detail from mural painting part of “Intimate” exhibition, 2019. Courtesy the artist.
“BASE 8” GROUP EXHIBITION AT LA ÚNICA GALLERY
From August 28-31, La Única Gallery presented Base 8, including work by Salvadoran artists Miguel Rubio, Patricia Orellana-Solares and Dany Ruiz. Curated by Patricio Majano, Base 8 showed artworks which considered the condition and status of emerging artists within the Salvadoran context. Read more about the exhibition here.
Image: Miguel Rubio, “Art will not feed you”, performance. Courtesy La Única Gallery and the artist. Photograph by Caroline Lacey.
PATRICIO MAJANO ON RADIO
YES Team member Patricio Majano was interviewed in La Radio Tomada and Arte y Vida (Láser 92.9) radio programs about the exhibition Borders of Freedom, which debuted at the Spanish Cultural Center on September 6. Borders of Freedom is part of the YES Art Loan Program and is currently on view at Locust Projects, Miami until October 14, 2019.
Listen to the interview at La Radio Tomada here.
GUADALUPE MARAVILLA IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Guadalupe Maravilla's exhibition Saga at Jack Barrett Gallery in New York, is featured in the New York Times Art Review section. Jillian Steinhauer writes " It’s hard to know what hits you first when you enter Guadalupe Maravilla’s exhibition at Jack Barrett gallery — the sight before you or the feeling it evokes." Read the full article here.
MURIEL HASBUN IN CULTURESPOT
Salvadoran Washington D.C-based artist Muriel Hasbun exhibits her work at Gallery B as part of the finalist exhibition for the 2019 Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards. Her story and artwork, exploring Identity, Migration and Memory, is featured online in Montgomery County's Culture Spot.
Read the full article here.
Muriel Hasbun, Self-portrait from “At the Center of the Labyrinth” from the series “si je meurs/if I die”, 2016. Courtesy the artist.
GABRIELA NOVOA FEATURED IN LA PRENSA GRAFICA
Salvadoran artist Gabriela Novoa is interviewed in the La Prensa Grafica's Seven Questions section. Novoa shares her approach to the female form in her work, her thoughts on the abuse of power in society and how, to her, the personal is political.
"Rhythm and (p)leisure"
at ArtPace, San Antonio
BY REYES RAMIREZ
Houston-based artist Francis Almendárez creates intimacy between art and audience through immersive experiences informed by love and vulnerability. His latest installation at Artpace in San Antonio, as part of their Artist-in-Residence program, solidifies Francis as an important emerging artist who builds grander and more gorgeous work with each exhibition.
I first saw Francis’ work in Houston. He used bulky CRT monitors to display presentations of food and buildings; you could sit in a rocking chair, put on headphones and hear Francis speak softly. In a performance, Francis recited a monologue while massaging Vicks VapoRub onto his mother’s hands as she sat in that rocking chair.
That tenderness scared me because I didn’t know how to be this vulnerable in my work, if I’ve ever wanted to be so. Francis told me it took a lot of time and effort to get his practice there. That’s what’s endearing about his art: you learn to love alongside him. This in mind, I opened the double doors at the rear of Artpace that contained “rhythm and (p)leisure” like a locket.
Several things hit me when I entered the darkened room. The smell of wood arose from pallets and crates that were laid about with garments folded neatly atop, some still attached with thrift store price tags.
Sound shouts from videos playing on two opposing projectors and several of those CRT monitors. The projected videos depict progressing footages of: street drummers playing for passing dancers and bystanders; food cart vendors preparing tortillas; a family working a plot of land; a man making a counterfeit Nike shoe; a woman sweeping; matriarchs preparing meats. They are all artists, too. The videos on the CRT monitors are either zoomed into different aspects of the projected images (such as the hands of the tortilla maker kneading the masa) or provide alternate angles of the same scene(s).
The videos’ glow dreamily illuminate the space. At the far end are two hanging light bulbs that shine like a miner’s lantern on two pallets carrying piled clothes. Francis notes that all the clothes will continue their journey after the deinstallation of the exhibition to whatever fate has culled for them. Such is this life.
There’s peace in this darkness that’s lulled by the everyday lives of Central Americans. It’s as if being in someone’s brain, the videos acting as the mind’s eye of whatever that person’s thinking. Here, the brain belongs to Francis and the attention to detail shows how much love he has for the process of work and leisure that workers of the world engage in. I, son of an immigrant housekeeper, wanted to sit down on a pallet, fold clothes, and watch people laugh and dance in the night heat, comforted by their joy, to know that this is what we know to do to celebrate life and each other in the face of capitalism, exploitation, and violence. I’m sure that’s what Francis intended, so I can love these forms of rebellion in the same way he does.