An exhibition dedicated to “la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art opens today at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (17 January–28 April 2019).
Works in the exhibition have been selected from one of Spain’s leading collections of contemporary art by the Spanish novelist Enrique Vila-Matas (born 1948). During 2019 the Caixa collection will be explored at the Whitechapel in four separate displays curated by internationally acclaimed authors, who have also been invited by the Gallery to contribute a fictional text based on their selection. Vila-Matas seeks truth through fiction and values ‘the ambiguity of experience’. Among his selected works is a video by Dora García (b. 1965, Spain) featuring a girl receiving strict instruction on how to perform breathing exercises. In a staged self-portrait by Carlos Pazos (b. 1949, Spain) the artist appears lost in melancholic reverie at a Barcelona nightclub. These small dramas contrast with seemingly timeless landscapes. A mixed media painting by Miquel Barceló (b. 1957, Spain) and a digitally collaged photograph by Andreas Gursky (b. 1955, Germany) take a ground level and an aerial perspective on the land, where the human figure is absent or minute. Click here for more information.
At 7pm on 17 January Vila-Matas will be in conversation in French (with English translation) with his long-time friend the artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and signing copies of his specially written novel Cabinet d’Amateur. Click here for further information and tickets (£9.50).
Final venue of a tour around America for this exhibition, considered to be the first comprehensive retrospective in the USA of the Brazilian artist (1937-1980). Ranging from geometric paintings to immersive interactive environments and wearable works of art, the exhibition is also the first to explore in depth his New York years (1971-78) and his return to Rio (1978-80). It includes a restaging of his installation Eden, which was first revealed at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, in 1969, and which included a pool of water, a sand-box in which visitors were encouraged to sit and a tent where the audience could listen to music and read magazines. Eden was an expression of Oiticica’s view that in order to encourage creativity one needed time to relax and think. The installation is reconstructed with help from the artist’s nephew César Oiticica Filho, the curator of the Project Hélio Oiticica in Brazil. A fully illustrated catalogue covering the artist’s entire career with essays by authors from the USA and Latin America accompanies the exhibition.