Mana Monumental, Dirty Geometry, GLE at Mana
December 2 – 7, 2014
For its Miami art fair debut, Mana Contemporary presents a compilation
of special projects all reflecting an organizational mission of collaboration and community. Held on Mana’s Wynwood campus, the exhibitions will take place in conjunction with Art Basel Miami
Featuring Aboudia, Doug Argue, José Bedia, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Stanley Casselman, Ofri Cnaani, Sante D’Orazio, Carole A. Feuerman, Kate Gilmore, Ron Gorchov, Kaoruko, KAWS, Ben Keating, Eugene Lemay, Alfred Leslie, Yigal Ozeri, Milton Resnick, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, Ray Smith, Edvins Strautmanis, and Maxwell Snow.
Scale, spectacle, and community star in this staggering survey of large-scale works by twenty-one artists associated with Mana Contemporary. Titled Mana Monumental, the exhibition features projects that utilize colossal proportions as a means to connect with viewers in a personal, meaningful way — much like Jackson Pollock and Sol Lewitt, whose sizable work effectively enveloped viewers with the sheer experience of confronting them. For Pollock and Lewitt, as with the artists in Mana Monumental, scale contributes to meaning rather than the grandiose, and aims to create an elemental impact that is at once magnificent, heroic, and influential.
Mana Monumental also references Mana’s mission to foster a sense of community in the contemporary art world. By showcasing a diverse roster of artists who have a studio in, have exhibited at, or are otherwise connected to the bourgeoning arts organization, the exhibition acts as a platform that unifies and empowers its participants as group. The project is curated by artist Eugene Lemay, the founder and director of Mana, whose artwork doubles as visually engulfing displays that invite viewers to not only look at, but enter into, their enticing expanse. Through Mana Monumental Lemay, together with a talented troupe of peers, demonstrate the enduring relevance of Barnett Newman’s belief that, in a contemporary context where traditional art subjects and styles are made invalid, it is the sublime that will save us.
Featuring Emilia Azcárate, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Cecilia Biagini, Sigfredo Chacón, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Willys de Castro, Diana de Solares, Marcolina Dipierro, Eugenio Espinoza, Jaime Gili, Mathias Goeritz, Juan Iribarren, Bárbara Kaplan, Ramsés Larzábal, Raúl Lozza, Beatriz Olano, César Paternosto, Alejandro Puente, Luis Roldán, Osvaldo Romberg, Joaquín Torres García, and Horacio Zabala
Curated by artist Osvaldo Romberg, Dirty Geometry showcases work that demonstrates what he sees as a rebellious attempt to separate itself from the tight, rigid theoretical framework perpetuated by traditional notions of geometry. The exhibition’s twenty-three participants, all Latin Americans working in geometric abstraction between 1950 and today, explore a kind of creolization of orthodox geometric style. They effectively reinvent geometry into a notion that is free from theory—a “dirty war,” according to Romberg. Like the controversial French philosopher Georges Bataille, who believed that “divine filth” leads to pure ecstasy, Romberg believes geometry can be made erotic through primal dirt.
Romberg’s Dirty Geometry subverts the strict, systematic, straightforward qualities of geometric forms pioneered by Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian artist and art theorist credited for creating the first purely abstract paintings. While a number of artists, including Mark Rothko and Frank Stella, have experimented with this bold approach, Romberg feels Latin American artists offer some of the most prominent examples of it.
By twisting and reinventing classic shapes using contemporary cultural prisms, the organic, pared-down works in the exhibition question the role of art in the human experience. Playful, colorful, and subtly sexy, the featured practitioners display a solid consciousness of artistic-cultural identity together with a sense of new possibilities.
GARY LICHTENSTEIN EDITIONS AT MANA
Featuring Bob Gruen, Charles Hinman, Robert Indiana, Richard Meier, Yigal Ozeri, and Jessica Stockholder.
Mana Contemporary is pleased to present GLE at Mana, an exhibition of limited-edition prints selected from Lichtenstein’s most recent collaborations made in his studio, Gary Lichtenstein Editions (GLE). Now based in a 10,000-square-foot space at Mana, GLE is dedicated to making high-quality, limited-edition prints. GLE at Mana features a selection of work made in collaboration with the visionaries GLE has attracted thus far, showcasing the venture’s creative potential.
Over the course of his forty-year career, Gary Lichtenstein has created a wide range of screen-printed images with industry legends. Known for his distinctive use of color, reflection, and light absorption, the artist’s experimental work is part of permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Chicago Art Institute, among others.
During Mana Miami, Mana Sessions will feature a daily program of roundtable discussions led by prominent art world insiders. These conversations grant visitors an in-depth analysis of critical and current issues facing artists and art professionals. The themes of the talks reflect Mana’s organizational mission of collaboration and community. A full program will be announced soon.