Fernanda Laguna (b. Hurlingham, Province of Buenos Aires, 1972). Having been described as “Undoubtedly one of the most interesting artists in the Americas” (Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Artforum, December 2012), and “possibly the artist in her generation who most forcefully occupies the place of a myth” (Ines Katzsentein, Otra Parte, Vol. 28), Fernanda Laguna is one of Argentina’s most significant artists, due to her multidisciplinary approach which centers on the visual arts but includes bold poetry and novels, the creation of exhibition and gathering alternative spaces such as the influential Belleza y Felicidad (Beauty and Happiness), a watershed moment in the development of art in Argentina, and a sustained and exemplary social practice she has been carrying on for the past 15 years in the precarious, marginalized neighborhood of Villa Fiorito.
Laguna’s work is intersected by several recurring themes: desire expressed from a woman’s standpoint; the playful, spontaneous and irrational; re-valuing of local every-day popular handcrafts, iconography and inexpensive materials such as ribbons, cotton or glitter, yet at the same time an interest in classic modernist traditions such as geometric abstraction or metaphysical painting; gender issues and concern about social inequalities; a belief in art as a carrier for spontaneous expression of subjectivity and in the political weight such expression might have.
Her ongoing series, Abstract Shapes That Look Like Something, features black shapes set against a wide metaphysical horizon. which act as humans, falling in love, crying, being interested in fashion, drinking beer. The cut-out shapes and slashes on the canvases are characteristic of these works, a reminder that the actual world and social sphere always crosses through her apparently dreamlike paintings. Quoting tropes from classical Modernist pictorial traditions, Laguna desacralizes this legacy through humor and a gender specific perspective. Wickers is a series of paintings with frames made out of wicker, a traditional Argentinean handcraft. Romantic Paintings with Cotton is another ongoing series, collage being a characteristic of much of her production.
Since 1994 Fernanda Laguna’s works have been shown in close to one hundred solo and group exhibitions, including A Universal History of Infamy at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017), Take Me, I’m Yours at Villa Medici, Rome; Site Santa Fe, NM. In 2020 the Institute for Contemporary Art VCU, Virginia presented As Everybody, an anthological exhibition. Her works are in the collections of Guggenheim Museum New York; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; CA2M, Madrid; Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires and Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA), Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico, among others.
October 30th, 2020
FERNANDA LAGUNA: MIS PRIMERAS POESIAS ERAN DESCRIPCIONES DE CUADROS IMPOSIBLES DE PINTAR
go to article