Over the past five decades, Anna Maria Maiolino has created a diverse body of work, continuously exploring creative and destructive processes, dislocation, alienation, longing and identity. For Ponto a Ponto (Point to Point), the first solo exhibition by Maiolino with Galeria Luisa Strina, the artist will present works she created in different media over the last five years: drawings, photographs, videos, sculptures, sound and poetry.
To produce some of them, the artist employed strictly studio, handcrafting techniques, whereas in others she used new media: photography, video and sound. As a result, there is a constant imbalance and transformation within the set: all the works convey their own meanings, sometimes moving towards one another, and sometimes moving away.
This creative realm composed of a wide spectrum of interests is articulated in Maiolino’s work both in the process of developing the series and throughout her practice. The artist’s attitude to materials and temporality produces a creative return to various stages of her career and it is because of that, the artist has named this show Ponto a Ponto:
“I thought this title was quite fitting because it emphasizes the idea of using a body of meanings connected by the diverse techniques. Since 1990 I have been working with the traditional method of molded sculpture, a process that involves three steps: first, I create a positive in clay; then I remove the clay mold and isolate it with stearin; finally, in the third and final stage of the process, I fill the mold with cement mortar or plaster, thus resulting in the final positive, the object itself. In case I decide to cast the object in metal, I create a positive in wax and then cast this positive. Sculpture molding has given me my first experience with clay. I embrace the essential nature of touch, reconnecting the work with its topological character and the possibility of an endless spectrum of shapes.
The series of sculptural installations in this exhibition were made with raku ceramic. Initiated in 2010 and titled “Prepositions,” the series features the repetition of basic shapes produced by the action of the hand over the clay. This series is reminiscent of the installations made of large amounts of unfired clay of the series “Terra modelada”(Modeled Earth) initiated in 1994. In these installations the clay is handled in situ, just as in the last dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, in 2012.
The different series of drawings result from the series titled “Codificações Matéricas”(Material Encodings) which I began in 1994. At that time, this is the title I gave the series because after I encountered clay, my drawing acquired a new material consciousness and new ways of being. In other words, I started to draw fully aware of the interrelationships between materials, of what was driving me, the paint and the force of gravity. My projects with super-8 film, video, photography and sound are experimental practices driven by a strong desire for freedom. The results are working stratagems, maneuvers for creation.”
–Anna Maria Maiolino, May 2014
Anna Maria Maiolino was born in 1942 in Scalea, Italy, and has lived in Brazil since 1960. In 1967, she participated in the celebrated exhibition New Brazilian Objectivity, organized by critics and artists including Hélio Oiticica. Her show at the Centro Cultural Cândido Mendes (Rio de Janeiro) in 1989 was presented an award by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics – ABCA. In 2012, Maiolino participated in dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany. Also in 2012 the artist received the MASP Mercedes – Benz Visual Arts Award, 1st edition, for her body of work. Participated in the prize jury were Teixeira Coelho, curator of MASP; Chris Dercon, director of Tate Modern, London; José Roca, curator of Latin American art at the Tate Modern; Paulo Herkenhoff, director of MAR – Museum of Art of Rio de Janeiro, and Moacir dos Anjos, independent curator. In 2010, Fundació Tàpies in Barcelona, Spain, organized a retrospective of her work, which then travelled to the Galician Center for Contemporary Art in Santiago de Compostela and Malmö Konsthall. The same year, she participated in the 29th São Paulo Biennial as well as in a group exhibition at MoMA in New York, in addition to solo exhibitions in London and Milan. In previous years, her solo presentations included the Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art (Cyprus), in 2007; the Miami Art Centre – MAC, in 2006, and the Pinacoteca do Estado (São Paulo), in 2005. In 2002, a retrospective exhibition of her works on paper was held at The Drawing Center in New York, together with the release of Maiolino’s book Vida Afora/A Life Line. Major group exhibitions include the 7th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, in 2009; MAM 60 – OCA, in São Paulo, in 2008, and exhibitions at MOCA, Los Angeles, in 2007; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, in 2006; Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, in 2005, and Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, in 2004.