Art Cologne Collaborations
Pequod Co. & Sperling
Hall 11.2 / Booth A 303
Thu, Nov 16, 12 am–8 pm, by invitation
Fri–Sat, Nov 17 & 18, 11 am–7 pm
Sun, Nov 19, 11 am–6 pm
Info Joaquín Segura
Info Malte Zenses
Departing from the joint representation of Ana Navas, Pequod Co. (Mexico-City) and Sperling (Munich) developed a collaborative project for Art Cologne thought of as a conversation around Modernism. However, as open as this subject can be, the complexities of the works of Ana Navas (who grew up in Ecuador and Venezuela, lives and works in Rotterdam, NL), Joaquín Segura (Mexico) and Malte Zenses (Germany) produce a strong, intertwined narrative that expands beyond the individual properties of the exhibited pieces. The presentation consists of a series of new paintings by Malte Zenses, a pair of 2-dimensional works by Segura, and a selection of sculptures by Navas that encompass a geographical circuit of North and South America and Europe. Connections like this can be traced to the beginning and mid-20th Century through the development of the Avantgarde and then the expansion of Modernism all through Latin America, with Joseph and Annie Albers being among the most famous and relevant figures of these inter-cultural exchanges.
Ana Navas’ work merges with these paintings by her interest in Modernism and the dream of a future that never became reality in countries such as Venezuela or Mexico (a country in which she has developed a relevant part of her career), where decades such as the 50’s and the 60’s brought a political, architectural, social, and artistic initiative to build the cities of the future. Then, due to reasons intrinsic to the complex nature of these countries, several aspects made these national projects collapse. Navas’ sculptures contain textiles and motifs that echo artistic movements from the vanguards that distort the line between high and low art and that deal with the notion of the future from the perspective of the everyday user.
Joaquín Segura’s recent paintings are based on the covers of books in which the recognizable elements such as text and images have been suppressed, leaving only color compositions that clearly evoke Latin American Geometric Abstraction. This is not fortuitous, as he has carefully selected books written by authors that have served as conceptual and historical frameworks for collapsed political systems, particularly in Latin America but also expanding throughout the world. His hand-woven tapestries illustrate redacted documents in which important information is exchanged between governments and security entities, and that speak about these same subject matters.
The new paintings by Malte Zenses are deeply rooted in the vocabulary of Abstraction and New Realism while commenting the current zeitgeist, using fragments of everyday life such as notes, tags or comic book imagery. They will wrap up this conversation within the booth, in which the painterly traits of Zenses’ works, mixed with his iconography and certain ambiguity, are perfect for opening a synergy between the spectator and the other two artists. At the same time the sort of anachronistic past that has turned into mythology that both Navas and Segura address clashes with Zenses’ interest in mixing different temporalities through the analog and the digital to blur these timelines into the future.