These 3 Latin American Women Artists Are Tackling Social and Material Norms in Their New Summer Shows

The shows are opening in New York and São Paulo.

Berna RealeI, I Kneel And You Pray (Eu ajoelho e você reza) (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.
Berna RealeI, I Kneel And You Pray (Eu ajoelho e você reza) (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.

If asked to name a Latin American woman artist most people would probably cite Frida Kahlo. But now that the Mexican artist’s show at the Brooklyn Museum has come to a close, it seems like an opportune time to turn our focus to a few of the many contemporary Latin American women artists who have solo exhibitions open right now. Tackling subjects ranging from bodily autonomy to material gestalt, here are three artists you should know. 

 

Frida Baranek at Galeria Raquel Arnaud

Frida Baranek, liminality 1 (2019). Courtesy of Galeria Raquel Arnaud.

Frida Baranek, liminality 1 (2019). Courtesy of Galeria Raquel Arnaud.

Over more than three decades, Brazilian artist Frida Baranek has twisted, soldered, and tangled industrial materials to create sculptures that explore tensions in states of being. Baranek’s new exhibition “Liminality” at Galeria Raquel Arnaud delves deeper into questions of materiality and space with large-scale ribbon sculptures composed of the metal screening typically found in household windows and civil construction. 

Frida Baranek, liminality 2 (2019). Courtesy of Galeria Raquel Arnaud.

Frida Baranek, liminality 2 (2019). Courtesy of Galeria Raquel Arnaud.

These light, cloud-like shapes are composed of playful folds and seem to billow throughout the gallery, contradicting the weight and relative inflexibility of the material itself. Baranek named her recent experience of taking a zero-gravity flight as part of her inspiration, as well as bololô, a Portuguese concept relating to the entanglement or confusion of elements.

“Frida Baranek: Liminality” is on view through June 8 at Galeria Raquel Arnaud, Rua Fidalga 125, São Paulo.

 

Cristina Camacho at Praxis Art

Cristina Camacho, Opening Night (2019). Courtesy of Praxis Art.

Cristina Camacho, Opening Night (2019). Courtesy of Praxis Art.

Colombian artist Cristina Camacho slices her colorful canvases to create works that are, in their decorative elements, reminiscent of fringed cowboy jackets, embroidered shirts, and chinoiserie fabrics, but purposefully shaped to call to mind the vulva.

Cristina Camacho, Draped Vase (2019). Courtesy of Praxis Art.

Cristina Camacho, Draped Vase (2019). Courtesy of Praxis Art.

For Camacho, the canvases operate as a reclamation of the female body through form, rather than through the language so often used to expropriate women’s bodily autonomy. A delicacy characterizes the works as color, line, and shape intersect in a textured, fluid beauty.

/ˈvʌlvə/ ” a solo exhibition by Cristina Camacho is on view through July 6 at Praxis Art, 501 West 20th Street, New York.

 

Berna Reale at Galeria Nara Roesler

Berna Reale, Everybody look at the cats (Todos olham para os gatos) (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.

Berna Reale, Everybody Look at the Cats (Todos olham para os gatos) (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.

In her solo show at Galeria Nara Roesler, Brazilian artist Berna Reale casts an imaginary, non-binary character called “Bi” in a series of videos and photographs. The figure, faceless in a peach-toned bodysuit that emphasizes attributes of both the male and female anatomies, is depicted in vividly hued and occasionally sensuous settings that belie the harrowing and hateful circumstances they navigate. As various injustices befall Reale’s Bi, the show’s more humorous tone falls away and its title, “While You Laugh/Enquanto você ri,” resounds as a more accusatory call to action.

Berna Reale: While You Laugh/Enquanto você ri” is on view through June 15 at Galeria Nara Roesler, 22 East 69th Street 3R, New York.


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