Gallery The 9.99 is pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibition: “The Corrections,” first solo exhibition by the Guatemalan artist Diana de Solares.
Her exhibition at The 9.99 includes a series of works created in 2013 and 2014. As with her former work, these are also informed by the interest of the artist in literature. The title of the exhibition is related indirectly to the memory of texts she has read, texts that reverberate in her mind to become titles of exhibitions or of the works themselves. Frequently, there is not an obviously logical link between them and the works, because they are not descriptive of the parts. “The Corrections” is an appropriation of the title of a book by American writer Jonathan Franzen, whose novel The Corrections recounts the family drama of a couple and their three adult children in the last decades of the Twentieth Century. Diana associated the novel’s title with the new work precisely because of its enigmatic and ambiguous nature. Reading, creating, and thinking are closely related in the artist’s personal and professional life.
The works that make their debut in The 9.99 mostly continue the development of her past work. The use of sports shoes laces is the common thread among some of the works such as Esfera (Construcción suave No. 4) [Sphere (Soft Construction No. 4), 2013-2014] and Súbitamente un mundo frente al mundo comenzaría a transpirar (Construcción suave No. 3) [A World Suddenly in Front of the World Would Begin to Perspire (Soft Construction No. 3), 2013], in which the artist exploits the physical qualities of the material, exploring its possibilities and limitations, hence the works can be seen as painting, sculpture, and object. These works also have a direct relationship with textiles and therefore with the handmade, since she was a child the artist has had an interest in handwork. It is also important to emphasize that the foundation of her university studies is in architecture and design. All this continues to have a prominent place in her professional career.
The totems are a modality that Diana had been making in recent years. They are made with sticks and pieces of mdf that stand on the ground, not higher than the average person, with all the attributes of a tridimensional sculpture, in the manner in which it inhabits the space infusing it with new energy. For the artist, the relationship of the object or sculptural piece with the body and the hand is important because the viewer not only contemplates the work from the outside but walks within this space. The totems invite visitors to interact with them, to touch them, to clasp a section of them, to experience a connection with them, attracted by their fragility and precarious balance. For Diana, the totems are a metaphor of the human being in a space that he/she inhabits through their embodiment.
Curiously, the totem included in the exhibition, Esfera (Construcción suave No. 4) [Sphere (Soft Construction No. 4), 2013-2014] does not look like a sphere as its title indicates; its structure directly allude to Brancusi’s infinite column in both its zigzagging countour and verticality. In this case, the work takes its name from the magnum opus of Peter Sloterdijk, the German philosopher and cultural theorist. It is in the first book of the trilogy, Bubbles: Spheres Volume I: Microspherology, where Sloterdijk develops his theory of the microspheres. According to Diana, she sees Esfera (Construcción suave No. 4) as a microsphere—according to Sloterdijk’s theory, a microsphere would be the uterus that protects the fetus in relation to a state or nation, with the subsequent protection of the citizen, which would be characterized as a macrosphere.
Diana’s art is strongly skewed toward geometric abstraction. A strong spatial quality is present in both her two-dimensional and three-dimensional work as notions of space and place have mostly defined it in recent years, leading to a restrained and reductive expression. Construcciones fijas Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 [Fixed Constructions Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, all 2014] have both a great materiality and an affinity with architecture that contrast with their subtle and fragile appearance. This is the side of the artist’s personality that leans toward order and rationality. While the aesthetic and organic qualities of works like Sin título [Untitled, 2014] and Implosión de la esfera [Implosion of the Sphere, 2014], made with components that have a strong association with nature, expose her rebel and primitive side, a characteristic that the artist thinks she does not need to reject. In part these expressions are supported by an economy of resources.
Art, architecture, philosophy, literature, and design together with her studio work and her walks through streets and marketplaces converge with ease in Diana’s work because according to her way of thinking, she does not pursue the finished object but the knowledge discovered and literally des-veiled in the process.
Born in Guatemala, Diana de Solares (1952) lives and works in Guatemala City.
Solo exhibitions: “Prótesis,” Piegato Arte and “En tránsito,” Sol del Río Arte Contemporáneo, Guatemala (both 2013); “Dibujos calculados con líneas encontradas,” Fase II of “El color de la sombra,”Carlos Woods Arte Antiguo y Contemporáneo, Guatemala (2008); “Aquel mundo existente,” Arte La Fábrica, Guatemala (2006); “La máscara en el sentido,” Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy; “La casa vacía,” Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala (1999) and “Corazón de Tierra,” Galería El Túnel, Guatemala (1994).
Group exhibitions: “Estar parado en el encuentro de dos eternidades, el pasado y el futuro que es precisamente el momento presente”; Concepción 41, Antigua Guatemala and “Y… Entonces?,” The 9.99, Guatemala (both 2013); “Nuestro paisaje,” Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala (2009);“Ensayo,” Edge Zones, Miami (2005); “REGISTRO #2,” Sol del Río Arte Contemporáneo, Guatemala (2004); “En el filo,” Museo de Arte Moderno de Mérida “Juan Astorga Anta” Mérida, Venezuela (2003); “artISTMO,” Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo (MADC), San José, Costa Rica (2002); “Contexto: Arte contemporáneo guatemalteco,” Sala Municipal de Exposiciones de la Iglesia de las Francescas, Valladolid, Spain and “Artistas jóvenes guatemaltecos,” Salón de la Plástica Mexicana Centro Histórico, Mexico D.F., Mexico (ambas en 2001); “Arte contemporáneo guatemalteco,” Sala Juan Ismael Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain and “Diana de Solares y Juan Paparella,” Schneider Gallery, Chicago (both 2000); “1265 KM.,” Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba (1998) and “Women Beyond Borders,” Santa Barbara, California (1997).
Diana de Solares has participated in the Bienal de Paiz (1996, 2000, 2008, 2010, and 2014); VII Bienal de La Habana, Havana, Cuba (2001), III Salón internacional de estandartes, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico (1998); V Bienal Internacional de Pintura, Cuenca, Ecuador; and Primer encuentro integracionista en el arte centroamericano, Parlamento Centroamericano, Panamá (both 1996).