Thursday, March 19, 2009

Collette Blanchard x Oscar Cueto = "Heroe"

Opening Reception
Thursday, March 19, 2009
6 - 8 pm

Collette Blanchard Gallery is pleased to present Héroe, Oscar Cueto's first exhibition with the gallery. Featuring a light table with drawings, video, and sculpture, Héroe will be on view from March 18th through April 29th.

The works Cueto has created for this upcoming exhibition incorporate restructured world maps. The drawings focus on the universal connection of the contemporary art world and the interactions of nations that have resulted in poignant conflict. Inspired by the actions of global citizens, the artist renders realigned continents in commenting upon relationships between persons inhabiting these land masses. In some drawings, recognizable territories intersect in overlapping patterns to disguise their original form with a simple red stain marking the penetration of one territory into another. Other drawings simply show a world view with some or all of the leading countries removed as if they never existed. In one drawing, the eastern point of Europe pierces the center of the United States; in another, Europe is rotated and annexed by western Canada. At once, these renderings reference the geography of Pangea and look forward to the realignment of today's land masses as they may exist in the distant future. Navigating between these extremes, the artist's positioning of the continents reflects his thoughts of monetary and political power, which supersede mere shifts in geographical landscape. Europe, Asia, and the Americas vacillate between recognizable continents and fetish objects, abstracted figures, and/or crows as their orientation and placement vary.

Within the installation, hand sewn flags are strategically placed with black coverings on each side to conceal the instant recognition of the country it represents. The only indications of each flag are sporadically placed holes on the surface and the edge of the pole where colors and patterns are carefully discerned. Cueto furthers his rendering of continental forms with two silent videos. The video animations are made from hand drawn frame to frame images on a digital notepad putting to motion the line of the corresponding drawings. In one video, Cueto portrays a series of moving maps. Dramatically reducing the scale of the continents, the artist, in a second video, contextualizes land masses as musical paraphernalia, as a rock band uses cut out maps as its instruments. A series of unframed gouache drawings entitled Brujeria/Witchcraft will accompany the other works in the show. Through his work, Cueto, without overbearing specificity, whimsically engages prescient and often painful happenings, which have continually defined human experience.

Oscar Cueto was born in Mexico City, where he currently lives and works. Cueto received the Youth Creators Grant (CONACULTA) in 2007 and his work was recently acquired by the Jumex Collection. He previously showed at the Festival la Mar de la Música in Cartagena, Spain and he has been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout Mexico. Cueto has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions internationally, has shown regularly in Mexico City for the past five years, and has also shown with the Walter Maciel Gallery. In conjunction with the Collette Blanchard exhibit, Cueto will be having a similar show on the West Coast at the Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles.

For more information please contact the gallery at 917.639.3912

Collette Blanchard Gallery
26 Clinton Street
New York, New York 10002


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