The Thin Line
Galería the 9.99 is pleased to announce The Thin Line. The exhibition brings together a group of young emerging artists, led by Aníbal López (A1-53167), one of the most important exponents of contemporary Guatemalan art and recently deceased. The Thin Line takes as its starting point the basic mark that is usually executed by putting pencil to paper, focusing on three main elements: the point, the line, and the plane, the latter is conceived not only as a surface, but also as a space of time and place.
The group conformed by Guatemalans Boror, Tepeu Choc, Jorge Linares, Antonio Pichillá, Gabriel Rodríguez Pellecer, Diego Sagastume, and Inés Verdugo, by the Salvadoran Mauricio Esquivel, and the American Adam Winner presents a broad view of how each artist uses the line in its expressive and conceptual potential. The line is both the common denominator that unites all the works presented here and that which gives the exhibition its title. The exhibition is the space where the thin line is also proposed as a disappearing boundary between various disciplines, where works that can be considered drawings were drawn from photography, sculpture, live actions, installation, and video.
Born in 1991, Diego Sagastume is the youngest of all the artists. The work reflects his love of new technology. Self-taught Sagastume takes tablets and smartphone applications like Google Maps and uses them as a starting point to produce idiosyncratic, clever, and playful works like “Sunset” (2014). Despite his recent incorporation into the artistic milieu–his first exhibition was the “Video políticas de construcción y reacción ” that took place in the Tecleño Museum (MUTE) of Santa Tecla, El Salvador in 2012—Sagastume has quickly captured the attention of foreign curators with exhibitions in Colombia and Chile, and of course also in his native Guatemala.
Mauricio Esquivel’s work has a performative component that is not always obvious. In “Líneas de referencia” (2010), the artist is photographed showing a young and smooth-skinned torso divided vertically in two by a subtle red line. Made by a professional tattoo artist, the line indicates how the coroner will conduct an autopsy on the artist when the time comes. Shocking in its straightforwardness, the work draws inspiration from Rembrandt’s paintings of medical scenes; the image is also reminiscent of that of a crucified young Jesus Christ.
Showing a marked body is also part of the work of Inés Verdugo who, with the help of video, captures the marks left in her skin by tight underwear. In contrast to Esquivel’s action who will have the chest tattoo for the rest of his life, Verdugos’s scars are temporary; they will gradually disappear after the undergarment is removed. However, “Persepciones” (2014) shows us that these marks do not vanish completely; their recording represents the concretization of mental scars that become part of the female psyche as women struggles to adapt, unable to discard this uncomfortable garment.
Tepeu Choc adopts a similar process to that of Alarcón Lam when he employs painted aluminum elements of varying sizes to build a mural whose starting place is the point and the line utilizing materials found in construction. While the work of Lam Alarcón is completely abstract, monochrome, and contained, Tepeu Choc articulates “(Section or Fragment) line” (2014) as a dynamic mural that expands or contracts depending on the size of the available space.
Making their debut at the galería the 9.99 are Jorge Linares with “Calle Martí ” (2013), a large format digital photograph; Gabriel Rodríguez Pellecer with “Hoja” (2013), a sculpture made up of just two hinges that delicately hold the paper up elevating its plane to the realm of the three dimensional; Antonio Pichillá with “Punto de fuga” (2004), an old TV whose screen is bisected by a bright line—the artist’s use of a television set is a direct reference to Nam June Paik, the Korean artist known as the “father” of video art, and the first to use this device to acknowledge the importance of new technologies; Marilyn Boror with “Kaqchiquel-slash-kaxlan” (de la serie para no olvidar sus nombres) (2014), a repetitive and insistent action like man’s memory responding to social injustice; and Adam Winner with two abstract paintings, “Untitled” and “Untitled XII” (both 2014), on which geometric planes are layered with oil paint.
Galería the 9.99 regrets the recent passing of his visual artist, Aníbal López (A1-53167) and pays homage to his career with the works “Línea recta” and “Sin título” (both 2013) and the edition ” Línea en bronce ” (2014). Visceral in appearance and perception, “Sin título” consists of six pieces of wood marked by a burst of machine gun. The impact of the projectiles is an accumulation of points sequentially revealing a series of lines left by the trajectory of the bullets on the wood’s surface. A marble version of this work also exists. An antecedent to this work is (Untitled, 2007), a piece that was included in the exhibition “Ejercicios de lo efímero ” and which consisted of shooting with a gun at an interior wall of the Centro Cultural de España building.