Exhibition brings together the work of different artists who regularly use clay as part of their practice

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Exhibition brings together the work of different artists who regularly use clay as part of their practice
Installation view.

MONTERREY.- Water and earth are invariably linked to the idea of origin. From creation myths to the first use of tools, clay has been not only one of the essential ways of making sense of the world, but also of reshaping it. Its continuous transformations don’t seem to deplete, but rather evolve — soil is not primitive, but timeless.

Cold Pleasure, Warm Touch brings together the work of different artists who regularly use clay as part of their practice. Taking ceramics as the starting point, the links that arise between their different plastic and conceptual explorations are thus the consequence of the project, rather than its cause — and yet the affinities between the different bodies of work are inevitable. The intersections between the natural and the organic, the oscillation between abstraction and representation, and the sculptural qualities of the apparently utilitarian object are just some of the possible confluences that emerge from the group of artists comprising the project.

This exhibition functions, ultimately, as a deployment of what can be — in spite of everything that has already been.

Lorena Ancona is a visual artist working with sculpture and ceramics, weaving through the historiography of Mesoamerican dyes, pygments, natural materials and places. Her work is the result of a research-based practice that questions intangible displacements from forgotten traditions, heritage and identities. Using speculative techniques as an artistic methodology her works seek a potential for knowledge in the analysis and identification of mineral and ethnic bio-cultural surroundings. Recent projects have taken a particular interest in the archeological contexts and technological evidences of a synthetic organo-mineral (clay) pigment known as Mayan Blue, a research understood as part of an extended narrative in which the artistic gesture can give form to potential representations and stories which reintroduce forgotten materialities that would otherwise be lost in history.

Tomás Díaz Cedeño is a Mexico City-based artist whose practice focuses on questions relating to the body, how the body is or how it can be represented. Díaz Cedeño probes the limits between object-hood and humankind by examining the expressive range material objects can embody when forced into previously unknown relationships in an obsessive artistic encounter. Although his works have a  reflective quality they are not mirrors, but  are intended to meaningfully reflect varied – and often repressed — human desires and fears. Formally, the sculptures are intended to evoke, frontally, the scale and presence of large human bodies; that the pigmented plaster of the sculptures suggests a white flesh is also no accident. The artist  examines these questions through a delicate, tenuous–even grotesque–visual language rooted in a committed, intimate dialogue with the materials he uses.

Ryan Flores works in the medium of ceramics and installation to explore the line between truth and fabrication. Employing the luscious language of ceramics, the artist entices the viewer with imitations of fruit. Through those forms, Flores likens the art object to consumables, acknowledging the relationship between art and commodity. They are objects placed in vessels, which act as spaces within the place, and amplify the collection of consumable stuff. Interested in window displays and their relationship to still life, Flores investigates the seduction of consumption - in which the objects are a signifier to the act of consumption and therefor, depletion.

Anabel Juarez's work delves into notions of personal and collective memories, cultural heritage, and her experiences as an immigrant living in the USA. Anabel's recent work titled Huella (footprint, 2019), is a sculpture inspired by small Mesoamerican ceramic stamps found throughout Mexico. For this piece, the artist created a rolling ceramic stamp that imprints a continuous undulating line on a bed of wet clay. This curvilinear contour is reminiscent of the tracks of a snake and draws a parallel between ancient imagery and contemporary approaches to abstraction.

Gabriel Rosas Alemán’s ouvre attempts to analyze the different modes of interaction and communication that operate within the context of galleries and museums. Rosas Alemán defines certain paradigmatic moments such as the initial encounter with the work of art, the dynamics of movement within the exhibition space, and the dialogs that emerge from the esthetic contemplation. These situations are broken apart in order to isolate the gestures, the social agreements and the emotional dimensions that live together in these contexts.

The stagings of Rosas Alemán involve the creation of narratives, some of which speculate on the contemplative experience and its repercussion on interpersonal relationships, others address the possibility of a secret life of the works of art, as autonomous entities that do not depend in the spectator to remain active. The intentions and the emotional motives that exist as the substrate under works of art, spectators, artists and other characters, are elaborated into participatory fictions. The possibility to channel these experiences has as the objective to reveal the sensitive tapestry that underpins this type of cultural institutions and its respective peculiarities.

Leonel Salguero's interest in the perception of time and his relationship with the solidity (or softness) of things is one of the main engines that drive his explorations in a wide variety of media (sculpture, drawing, painting, performance, photography, music, etc.). This predilection for the "tempo" of the means and materials, that is to say, by the way in which different disciplines impose rhythms of thought and production, it allows great mobility in formal terms, freely fluctuating between disciplines, between soft or chaotic rhythms, between abstraction or figuration. His work tends to generate non-static, but fragile and dynamic objects, which shift attention to the temporal dimension of things, making the instability (or softness) of reality evident.

Sangree is an artistic collaboration between René Godínez Pozas (b. 1986) and Carlos Lara (b. 1985). Between iconoclasm and minimal aesthetics, anthropology and Land Art, the work of Sangree investigates humans’ traces in nature. Through performance, sculpture, photography, video, and large-scale interventions in public space, the artists have established themselves as emerging artists on the international art scene.

The work of Sangree revolves around popular culture, the history of art, perspectives of contemporary art, and some human concerns. Their most recent projects intertwine the past with the present from an exercise that plays casually with different historical times, altering and blurring the indexes by which we recognize the timed origin of the pieces. The creation of a lapse of confusion, of a moment of uncertainty in the face of what is going on, is a strategy that characterizes the work of the collective.

Lucía Vidales's work comes from the imagination of painting. Her extension to sculpture and ceramics affirm the coordinates that all her work shares with the operations of thought that appear in it: the sign of living beings and the dead not only as the fragments that make it possible to discern fluids, limbs and organs, but its immediate transformation into identifiable painting phenomena such as directions, colors and accumulations. The artist is interested in the subject and its complicity with the construction of moods capable of merging the tragedy and survival of the living into something new; a world of past and present beings, and fictions whose mission lies not only in the formation of another world, but also in the comfort of certain wounds. The physical weight of Lucía's work is also that of the history of these disciplines, the use of traditions in their most recognizable forms and the effort to give them relief.

The exhibition is on view at Peana through February 14, 2020.

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