SICARDI | AYERS | BACINO PRESENTS THREADS OF MEMORY BY GUATEMALAN ARTIST SANDRA MONTERROSO
This is the gallery’s first solo exhibition of Monterroso, and it is accompanied by a curatorial text by art historian Isabela Villanueva.
For over two decades Monterroso has been recognizing, investigating, and immersing herself into the Maya Q’eqchi’ ancestry to produce a body of work, according to Villanueva, “that researches and scrutinizes the role of the indigenous in Guatemalan heritage and its contemporaneity, gender roles in the face of traditions, and the process of conversion and subjugation."
Monterroso’s exhibition will present a group of artworks utilizing the ancient Mesoamerican materials Achote (annatto) and Indigo. The Mayans worked with these materials to dye baskets, leather, and feathers and to paint murals and pottery. “Monterroso uses several techniques to work with the materials: she submerges cloths into them, experiments by mixing them with acrylic paint in order to create new effects on canvas, and dips yarn and later dissolves them with water to achieve a degradation effect. Monterroso was born in the middle of an exceptionally sinister civil war that ravaged Guatemala and devastated the Central American country’s indigenous Maya communities. The artist is part of the postwar generation that took control of discourses of both social commitment and art production,” notes Villanueva.
“The German social psychologist Heiner Keupp introduced a new term to the discourse on identity: patchworking as a metaphor for identity construction. According to Keupp, identity ceases to be a youth issue and becomes an endless, biographically open process. This conceptual framework can be aptly applied to comprehend the oeuvre of Sandra Monterroso, who over the course of decades has created an array of complex and thought-provoking artworks that integrate a profound reflection of her identity formation while at the same time reversing that narrative of colonization.”, Villanueva adds.
Sandra Monterroso (Guatemala, b. 1974). began her career in performance art in 1999. She earned a B.A. in graphic design in Guatemala in 2001, followed by a M.A. in Design from Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado in Puebla, Mexico. In 2020, Monterroso earned a PhD in Art Practice from the Academy of Arts, Vienna, Austria. Monterroso has represented Guatemala in more than twelve biennials, including the 56th Venice Biennale, the 12th Havana Biennial, and the Frestas Art Triennial in Brazil. Today, Monterroso lives and works in Guatemala City.
Her work is included in the permanent collections of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Yes Contemporary, Miami, FL; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MADC), Costa Rica; Essex Collection of Latin American Art, London, UK; Fundación Ortiz Gurdián, Managua, Nicaragua; Paiz Foundation, Guatemala; and many private collections.