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Graciela Hasper

Recent Paintings

November 18 – January 31, 2011

Graciela Hasper, Recent Paintings, Installation view, 2011.
Graciela Hasper, Recent Paintings, Installation view, 2011.
Graciela Hasper, Recent Paintings, Installation view, 2011.
Graciela Hasper, Recent Paintings, Installation view, 2011.
Graciela Hasper, Recent Paintings, Installation view, 2011.
Graciela Hasper, Untitled, 2011, Acrylic on canvas, 76.87" x 80.7"
Graciela Hasper, Untitled, 2011, Acrylic on canvas, 74.8" x 114"
Graciela Hasper, Untitled 2010, Acrylic on canvas, 34.6" x 73.6"

Press Release

Sicardi Gallery is pleased to announce our first exhibition featuring work by the Argentine artist Graciela Hasper. We will have an opening on Friday, November 18, from 6 to 8 p.m., when the artist will be joining us for a cocktail reception.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1966, Graciela Hasper studied painting and theory, and was part of a generation of artists who emerged in the 1990s, just a few years after the end of the military dictatorship. She was one of the first artists to receive a Beca Kuitca (1991-93), a program supporting young visual artists directed by painter Guillermo Kuitca. In 2000-01 she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Apex Art Residency in New York and in 2002, was awarded a residency by the Chinati Foundation in Marfa. Hasper works in a variety of media, including video, installation, photography and painting; she is currently based in Buenos Aires.

This exhibition includes a collection of new paintings on canvas. Colorful and animated geometric forms create engaging abstractions, part of an extended lineage of non-representational avant-garde practice, from early twentieth century European modernism to the rise of abstraction in Argentina in the 1940s. Although fully abstract, her works are sometimes built up from shapes that resemble Mobius strips or DNA helixes; she is also inspired by abstractions found in the street, in those anonymous patterns or designs that she discerns in the chaos of modern life. Hasper’s careful juxtapositions of color and shape are largely designed to engage the viewer through the pure act of looking, where contemplation leads to meditation.

At the same time, however, Hasper’s work does not necessarily share the utopian impulse that shaped so many avant-garde modernists on both sides of the Atlantic. As the leading Argentine art historian Roberto Amigo recently noted, for Hasper abstraction is both a limitation and an open field of possibility. “In a certain way, painting is a moment of alienation in which the [artist] accepts the dominance of tradition… [but] her work is also a positive force with transforming ability as regards the environment, especially when this environment has been submitted to social deterioration.” Thus, though hardly didactic, her work can be seen as a response to loss: to the absence of teachers and intellectuals forced into exile, to the political and economic problems that buffeted the country. Beauty, form, balance: sometimes these were the only possible answers.

Graciela Hasper has exhibited widely; her works have been included in several major exhibitions, among them “Recovering Beauty: The 1990s in Buenos Aires,” Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2011); “Arte argentino actual en la Colección de Malba: Obras 1989-2010,” MALBA, Buenos Aires (2011), and “From Confrontation to Intimacy: An Exhibition of Argentine Contemporary Artists, 1960/2007,” Americas Society, New York (2007); and “Lo[s] Cinetico[s],” Madrid and São Paulo (2007). She also did an Untitled intervention for the Project Row Houses in Houston in 2003. Her work is included in the MALBA, Buenos Aires; the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Madrid; the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires (MACBA); Deutsche Bank, New York; the Bill Gates Foundation; and the Patricia Phelps Cisneros Collection.

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