Contemplative Topographies | ARTBO Preview

Since its 2005 inception, Bogota’s art fair has grown to be one of Latin America’s most eminent art happenings, where attention is drawn to both emerging and established artists from the continent as well as international practitioners. Here is a thematic preview of what this year’s ARTBO has to offer, through the works of four artists whose focus on the interactions of terrain and its inhabitants, from past to present, allow an introspective reflection on self and the society. 

Sandra Nakamura, Untitled 2, 2015

Showing with Lima-based Wu Galeria, Peruvian artist Sandra Nakamura explores space through collective memory and dispersions thereof. Reminiscent of  advent calendars, her time-marked photographs of landscapes are perforated with diamond-shaped holes that open like windows on a white background. Through them, memories seem to escape or, perhaps, they allow the formation of new ones. 

Natalia Castaneda, Espera Me Amarro El Zapato Series, 2015

At Nueveochenta Gallery, Natalia Castaneda’s painting from a series that translates into Wait, I am mooring my shoe, depicts a threatening atmosphere of dark blue clouds hanging over raging waves. In the midst of the turbulent streams lies an optimistic rectangle of pastel diagonals, sinking into the water like a moment-arresting dagger. The sharp object signifies a sudden interruption of everyday routine all while marking a perceptible shift of focus to things that matter. 

Ivan Comas, Untitled, 2015

The greyscale canvases of Ivan Comas presented at Steve Turner's booth bring to mind man’s deteriorative impact on urban landscapes. Their rough surfaces of ashen cement and tar reveal scraped off stretches that allude to the ruined walls of Latin America’s metropoles. Coma’s choice of media—unconventional to art but prevailing in construction, hints at the transformational power of industrialisation and therefore reconstruction. 

Yeni & Nan, Simbolismo De La Cristalizacion - Araya, 1984-1986 / 2013

At Henrique Faria Fine Art, the otherworldly images of Venezuelan duo Yeni & Nan fixate on natural cycles—mankind’s and nature’s. In Symbolism of Crystallisation -  Araya, ecological concerns over the fragility of our surroundings transpire through a contortion of the artists’ own bodies, set against the crystallising salt marshes of the Araya region in Venezuela.  A symbiotic situation emerges, where the nude figures blend with nature to become an indivisible entity. 

Images courtesy of Wu Galeria, Nueveochenta, Stever Turner, and Henrique Faria Fine Art, respectively. 

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