Event Details

Description

                

Blaffer Art Museum is pleased to mount the first major museum presentation of Argentinian artist Analia Saban. Surveying her last decade of practice through 30 works explore everyday objects through unconventional usage of materials, the exhibition opens with a reception from 7-9 p.m. Friday, September 23, and continues through March18, 2017 at Blaffer Art Museum.

Analia Saban (b. 1980 Buenos Aires, Argentina) takes a forensic approach to media and their embedded traditions and conventions. Surveying art history as if it was a ‘murder scene,’ she peels back (researches, deconstructs, reconstructs) layers of material histories and subject matters in search of new directions and possibilities.

Saban’s initial project included tracing and annotating paint strokes of existing paintings in an analytical process that culminated in literally stripping pictures of their material substance and iconography, and culminated into a rolled up ball of colored strips of painted fabric from a plethora of unraveled paintings.

Concerns with liquidity and domesticity also mark her work in mixed concrete and marble and with ready-made kitchen and bathroom countertops demarcating sinks or tubs.

Directly attached to an otherwise blank canvas, their innate patterns and utilitarian forms, unapologetically identified in titles such as Slab Foundation (2012) or Kohler 5931 Kitchen Sink #3 (2013), replace paint to delineate abstract compositions inscribed in the realm of home renovation, cooking residues and bodily fluids. And yet, their potentially abject undertones recede behind the immaculate quality of their presentation which emphasizes form over function.

In her Draped Marble series (begun in 2014), marble is broken, glued and fastened to exquisitely crafted wooden sawhorses to evoke folded towels left out to dry. Recalling Saban’s earlier works in cast acrylic, these sculptures displace classic associations of material and application both within art history and consumer culture.

Stripe Hand Towel, Bag with Canvas, and Fitted Bed Sheet, all 2011, chart her experiments with acrylic paint cast into viscerally affecting simulations of common household objects such as towels, sheets and plastic bags attached to or containing a canvas. In her 2010-12 Decant and the more recent Bulge series (begun 2014), encaustic paint forms swelling bodies protruding from their support. Applied to canvas by pouring hot encaustic paint into plastic bags that are peeled away when the medium has cooled of and hardened, these encaustic masses proudly display the marks of their prior aggregate state as both their subject and form.

In Markings, Saban transposes material traces culled from household objects or photographs and applies them to canvas to create hybrid tableaux that both present and represent the process of their making. Whether scraping the porcelain glaze of a bathroom sink and grinding it to pigment that is sprayed onto canvas, or lifting the emulsion of a photograph to remove bits and pieces to compose an abstract composition as part of a diptych, Saban voraciously mines the material potential of everything surrounding her in home and studio to create substances to paint with. She does so in part in acknowledgement of the evolution of painting as one driven by the reinvention of material formulas and their application, but also as part of a deeper inquiry into what, if anything constitutes paint in the aftermath of what she characterizes as its ‘disembodiment’ into an ever more speculative condition.

Currently working across painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, she uses the constituent parts of each as her very subject matter. Creating dialogue between media’s historically defined conventions and their manifestations within the anatomy of individual artworks, her work is deeply inscribed in the ongoing process of conditional evolution and boundary-pushing renegotiation of the possibilities of media-based practices. What contributes to the uniqueness of her approach is a decidedly feminist sensibility, the frequent inscription of her physical and psychic self, and a good dose of wry humor.  

About the Artist
Born in 1980 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saban currently works in Los Angeles and lives in New York City. She received a BFA in Visual Arts from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2001, followed by an MFA in New Genres at the University of California in Los Angeles in 2005.

The artist has exhibited extensively at institutions worldwide, including National Museum of Norway, Oslo; Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; MARCO Museum in Vigo, Spain; among others.

Her works are represented in the collections of the Hammer Museum at UCLA, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles; Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in New York; Norton Museum of Art in Florida; Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires.

Analia Saban is organized by Claudia Schmuckli, Curator-in-Charge, Contemporary Art and Programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA and former Director and Chief-Curator at Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Janet and Paul Hobby, Howard and Beverly Robinson, Judy and Scott Nyquist, Barbara and Michael Gamson, and George and Linda Kelly. The catalogue is supported by Agnes Gund and Jill and Jay Bernstein. Additional funding is provided by our First Take patrons Leslie and Brad Bucher, Jereann Chaney, Krista and Mike Dumas, Cullen K. Geiselman, Cecily Horton, and the John P. McGovern Foundation and support from the Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Program, the Houston Endowment, Inc., the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Jo and Jim Furr Exhibition Endowment at Blaffer Art Museum, and The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation.

Image: Analia Saban, Trough (Flesh), 2012. Oil paint on primed canvas. 56 x 70 x 9 inches. Private Collection, New York. Photography by Brian Forrest.

Venue(s)

Blaffer Art Museum

4173 Elgin Street
Houston, Texas, 77004
United States

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