Undo List, the new exhibition by Mateo López
The Drawing Center presents Mateo López: Undo List, a multidisciplinary installation that will be the Colombian artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States and that will feature works on paper, sculpture, performance, and projected film.
Trained as an architect in his native Bogotá, López has long used drawing as a conceptual tool to cross disciplines and aesthetic categories. Drawing is more than an artistic medium for López; it is a way of conceiving and indeed inhabiting the world. Simple drawn constructions that can be manipulated in various ways; trompe l’oeil paper renderings of two and three dimensional objects (for example, near-exact replicas of lined sheets of paper); drawings made out of the leftovers produced by cutting into other works, these are just some of the devices López uses to reveal that, as he says himself, just as everything manufactured was at one point a drawing, so too, “an image is not flat; it is an atmosphere, it contains time and space.”
Inspired by the experiments of Bauhaus artist and choreographer Oskar Schlemmer and his investigations into the problematic of the figure in space, López’s latest work moves beyond the page to acknowledge and activate the resistance of bodies. If López has consistently exploited precise control in rendering the imagination visible, he has recently begun confronting the ideality of the drawn line with the physical limitations of its presentation.
For Undo List, Lopez will create an installation of interlocking rooms in which the viewer encounters strategically placed drawings and sculptural objects, many of which take this tension between aspiration and material resistance as their subject.
Two films, each featuring sequential drawing exercises, will be projected on the wall. At set times during the run of the exhibition, choreographer and dancer Lee Serle (b. Melbourne, Australia 1981), whom Lopez invited to collaborate after the two met through the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, will physically accompany the films with responses to the gestures invoked therein and with occasional rearrangement of the objects on view.
In some cases, these objects, or variations of them, will appear in the films as they are subject to mind-numbing repetitions (the monotonous folding and refolding of a notebook page, the endless rearranging of sheets of colored paper) that speak both to an anxiety for control and the fragility of the medium used to achieve it. Taken as a whole, the installation explores the relationship between stasis and animation, accessibility and inaccessibility, resolution and failure.
ABOUT MATEO LÓPEZ
Mateo López (b. 1978, Bogotá, Colombia) received his BA from Universidad de Los Andes Bogotá in 2003. In 2012, López was awarded the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative as William Kentridge’s protégé in Geneva, Switzerland. López has participated in exhibitions internationally, at venues such as Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2016); Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland (2016); MANA Contemporary, Jersey City (2016); The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2015); Drawing Room, London (2015/2012); The Museum of Modern Art, Medellín (solo, 2014); Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2014); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami (2013); The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2013); and The Jerusalem Center for Visual Arts (solo, 2012). The artist's work belongs to the collections of The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, Venezuela and USA; Berezdivin Collection, Puerto Rico; and the Banco de la República, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá. His limited edition artist book XYZ was published by S/W Ediciones in 2015.