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
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