Geometries and sensations: A homage to Margarita Azurdia

 

February - August 2016

“What we should note and take into account, because it has its consequences even in the Genesis of Spirit, is the indisputable relationship that genetically associates the atom to the star”. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “The Phenomenon of Man”

(Phrase selected by Margarita Azurdia -then known as Margot Fanjul- written by the great French philosopher, to be used as an exergue for her exhibition of geometric paintings at the DS Gallery in Guatemala in 1968.)

As a homage to one of the most important artists in guatemalan art history, NuMu presented scaled-down reproductions of two paintings by Margarita Azurdia from the series “Geometric Abstractions” (1967-68), which are currently missing.

The paintings from the series “Geometric Abstractions” are a clear reference to the way in which Azurdia approached life and art, with honesty and sensitivity, with an infinite curiosity and a profound connection to Guatemala. Her colorful and vibrant compositions are the result of an abstraction process based on guatemalan mayan huipiles, from weaving to painting. The result is highly sophisticated artwork for its time, which oscillates perfectly between the Mayan Cosmovision and international geometric abstraction.

As part of the exhibition’s public program, NuMu  headstarted a long-term oral history project, by engaging in a series of interviews with people who, in one way or another, knew and spent time with Margarita Azurdia. This project seeks to extend and disseminate the information available on Margarita Azurdia, as well as the access to art and Guatemala’s cultural heritage in general.

 

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Installation details

 

North Wing

Scaled-down reproduction of “Abstracción Geométrica” by Margarita Azurdia (disappeared), 30x26 inches, oil on canvas, 2016.

 

Details of the original work:

Series: “Abstracción Geométrica”

Dimensions: 200x180 cm

Medium: Oil on canvas

Year: 1967/68

 

 

 

 

South Wing

Scaled-down reproduction of “Abstracción Geométrica” by Margarita Azurdia (disappeared), 32x24 inches, oil on canvas, 2016.

 

Details of the original work:

Series: “Abstracción Geométrica”

Dimensions: 219x161 cm 

Medium: Oil on canvas

Year: 1967/68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details of the reproduction process:

 

For the recreation of the artworks, NuMu commissioned the artist Akira Ikezoe.

The scaled-down replicas presented in “Geometries and Sensations” were created in New York by the Japanese artist Akira Ikezoe. In doing so, Ikezoe researched Azurdia’s visual methodology, and relied on images found in the catalogue “Tres Mujeres, Tres Memorias: Margarita Azurdia, Emilia Prieto y Rosa Mena Valenzuela” (TEOR/éTica, 2009).

The replicas have been reproduced with oil on canvas, and have similar dimensions to a small group of geometric abstractions of smaller scale that Azurdia created in the late sixties. After closing the exhibition, and as a symbolic gesture of friendship and gratitude, NuMu will donate replicas to Milagro de Amor, S.A.

 

At the closing of the exhibition, the museum will donate both works to Milagro de Amor, S.A., which pertains to Azurdia's familia and estate.

 

For the realization of this exhibition, images published by 

TEOR/ética in the catalogue “Tres Mujeres, Tres Memorias”, 2009, pgs. 38-39, were utilized as reference. This publication includes an essay by Rosina Cazali and images courtesy of Milagro de Amor, S.A.

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Margarita Azurdia (Guatemala, 1931-1998), also known as Margot Fanjul, Margarita Rita Rica Dinamita y Anastasia Margarita, lived ahead of her time. She was a multifaceted artist with an innate interest in fluctuating between diverse artistic languages and distinct geographic points around the world.

Throughout her trajectory, Azurdia produced an extensive body of work that ranged between painting, sculpture, performance, ritual, dance, artist books, collage and poetry. Although she produced most of her work in Guatemala, she received an honorable mention at the II Biennale in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1969, participated in the II Coltejer Art Biennale in Medellín, Colombia, in 1970, and presented her work in various exhibitions in Guatemala, the United States and France.

 

Akira Ikezoe (b. 1979) is a New York-based artist born in Kochi, Japan.  As an artist from Japan, where ancient animism and leading technologies merge, Ikezoe creates works in diverse disciplines, including drawing, painting, video and performance, in relation to the balance between the forces we think of as outside or before ourselves, and the “civilizing” of ourselves. In Ikezoe’s works, the human figure is presented as his alter ego and woven into a metaphysical and mythological context that depicts a timeless melting point between human and natural boundaries. His solo exhibitions include el fin del este coincide con el fin del sur,Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City (2015); Drawing, Ise Cultural Foundation, NYC (2012); Repeater, Sanagi Fine Arts, Tokyo (2010) and Ephemeral Garden, Esso Gallery, NYC (2009). His group exhibitions include The School of Nature and Priciple, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts' Project Space, NYC (2015); 100 painters of tomorrow, Christie's Ryder Street Gallery, London (2014); Proyectos Ultavioleta presents…, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Costa Rica (2013); Play with Nature-Played by Nature, Satoshi Koyama Gallery, Tokyo (2013); Kiss the Heart, Isetan Shinjuku, Tokyo (2012) and Future Primitive, Ma2 Gallery, Tokyo (2010). After majoring in printmaking and graduating from Tama Art University in 2003, he received the Tomio Koyama Gallery Prize and Naruyama Gallery Prize at GEISAI #10 in 2006 and the 1800 Tequila Award at ZONA MACO in 2015. He was also selected as one of the artist member of 100 Painters of Tomorrow by Beers Contemporary and Thames & Hudson in 2014.