3+1 Arte Contemporânea has the pleasure of presenting Manglar, the first solo exhibition of the artist Juan Tessi (Peru, 1972) in Portugal.
The work of Juan Tessi has developed around the observation of the body. Not necessarily the human body, but rather the elements that compose any figure. In the same way, he explores painting itself using, other than the paint, the canvas and its limits as components of its morphology. In this exhibition, Juan Tessi evokes the mangrove as an analogy of his work. The artist relates himself to this complex and fertile ecosystem, wherefrom a vast number of species germinate and give origin to others. This idea of life, of something that begins in a primordial stage and evolves, transforms and expands, is the essence of all of Tessi’s work. However, although Juan Tessi’s artworks present a clear sequence, they do not operate under a narrative, nor do they seek to perfect themselves. It is with this approach that he achieves his pictorial language.
As Mariano Mayer puts it: “The paintings, drawings and vases that make up Manglar correspond to the kind of situated pieces: located in a precise geographical and temporal axis. In this case, they are not found within a country, continent or neighborhood, rather in one of those lands that cover the large tides with salt water and in whose estuaries grow trees and species of all types. The mangrove is the habitat of a great botanical diversity and at the same time the juvenile stage of hundreds of species, able to develop a biological intelligence and to experiment diverse anatomical adaptations. The mangrove is open, free, accommodative and its grounds are soft. Therefore, it is not difficult to see this estuary of high productivity, according to Wikipedia, as the area where Tessi’s painted, molded and drawn corporalities are located. His entities are rarely complete, many of them even propose a new order, where feet, hands and head occupy an indeterminate place. The interest in building such a group of corporalities through lines and not occupying the whole canvas is the margin they need to develop. The bodily artifacts, never natural, always artificial, elude any hint of realism. These forms, at the service of invention, are experienced by the artist as a prototype of a species. Its shapes and volumes are mutating, but also the number of extremities, forming an amphibious species. In such an abundance of inventories, a vase maintains its morphology, but its function has mutated, to be more precise, it has been interrupted. The Manglar vases, made in Pedro Pacheco’s workshop in Caldas, are closed forms, solid blocks in which the feathers, to adorn them, must overcome the difficulty offered by the set of sealed lids.” *
* Excerpt from the text “Sobre Manglar de Juan Tessi” by Mariano Mayer.
Juan Tessi (Lima, Peru, 1972) lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied painting with Ricardo Garabito in 1989. In 1991 he won a scholarship to study at Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, where he got a BFA in 1994. He participated in the Yale/Norfolk Summer Residency in 1993 and in 1998 returned to Argentina, where he began to exhibit in both solo and group shows. In 2010 he participated in the Beca Kuitca/UTDT. Between 2009 and 2010 he organized and coordinated, in collaboration with Cristina Schiavi, the project Mark Morgan Perez Garage. Amongst his solo shows: Frame Section, Frieze NY, with Nora Fisch Gallery (2018); Cameo, Fundación Malba, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016); Solo Projects, ArtBo, Bogotá, Colombia (2015). Selected group exhibitions include: Ultramar: Fontana, Kuitca, Tessi, Museo Thyssen, Madrid, Spain (2017); Premio Braque, Muntref, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); Praising the surface, chapter II of the spring exhibitions, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, EUA (2016); Empujar un ismo, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2014); Ultimas tendencias II, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012); Elogio da Diversidade. Arte Contemporanea Argentina, O Instituto Brasil – Argentina del Consulado General de la Reb. Argentina, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2010); Persistência, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2006); Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2000).
18.01.19 – 09.03.19
Opening 18.01.19 19h – 22h