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Exhibition of new works by the Chilean artist Felipe Mujica opens at von Bartha, Basel
Felipe Mujica, Installation view at von Bartha, Basel, 24 January - 9 March 2019, courtesy von Bartha, photo by Ben Koechlin.

BASEL.- Von Bartha, Basel announces an exhibition of new works from the Chilean artist Felipe Mujica, running from 25 January to 9 March 2019. Appropriating its title from a 1967 Velvet Underground song, the exhibition presents three projects which intertwine and complement each other, conceptually, spatially and historically: a selection of recently commissioned curtain-works, a collection of studies made by the artist since 1995, and an artist-book in the form of homage to the Argentinean concrete artist Claudio Girola. The show marks the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery.

There Are No More Exotic Countries in Latin America (2018) unites a series of 20 curtains made collectively by a group of volunteers for the exhibition Shout Fire!, curated by Mariangela Mendez-Prenke at Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg, Sweden last Summer. Created as part of an open workshop where individuals of different ages and levels of embroidery expertise (mostly women) worked side by side with the artist, the process became a horizontal and collective learning experience. Over the course of two weeks, textile knowledge and personal histories were exchanged between Mujica and the embroiderers, at moments interrupted by Fika - the traditional Swedish coffee break – whereby the artist witnessed the curtains gently adapt to the context of their production.

The collection of Mujica‘s studies on display at von Bartha represent a selection from a larger body of work by the artist, comprised of drawings, collages, computer drawings/printouts and documentation in the form of colour photographs, slides, and video. Preparatory work for Mujica’s final installations, they reveal a process of evolution from mostly 2-D mural pieces towards more objectual, spatial and architectural works – encompassing time spent by the artist working across Santiago and more recently, New York.

The final work, an artist-book titled Un Argentino perdido en Chile [An Argentinean Lost in Chile] (2018), pays homage to the Argentinean artist Claudio Girola, who moved to Chile in the early 1950s and became a teacher at the school of architecture and design within the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso. Divided into three chapters, the book presents the lesser-known aspects of Girola’s sculptural experiments. The text and visual essay serve as a very personal, semi-factual, semi-fictional interpretation of Girola’s history and motivations.

Felipe Mujica (b. 1974, Santiago, Chile) began his art education at the Universidad Católica de Chile and later co-founded the artist-run space Galería Chilena (1997 – 2005). In the 2000s, Mujica moved to New York City where he is currently based. His works have been exhibited internationally including solo shows at Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin (2018), Galería Gabriela Mistral, Santiago de Chile (2018), Casa Triangulo, São Paulo (2017), Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico D.F. (2014), Christinger de Mayo, Zürich (2012) and at Message Salon, Zürich (2010-2008). His works were recently displayed at the XII Bienal FEMSA in Zacatecas (2018), Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenbrug (2018), CRAC Alsace, Altkirch (2017-2016) and at the 32a Bienal de São Paulo (2016).

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