The Museum of Contemporary Art of Niterói inaugurates on August 31st the exhibition “Tempo aberto” [Open Time], by Costa Rican artist Federico Herrero.It is curated by Pablo León de la Barra and Raphael Fonseca.
For the main hall of MAC Niterói, Federico Herrero realized an exhibition dealing with the relationship between painting, installation, site specificity and ephemerality. The work blurs the line where the exhibition commences and ends, not only in the sense of space, but also in its relation to time. This is Herrero’s first individual exhibition in a Brazilian institution.
In Oscar Niemeyer’s iconic architectural project at Niterói, Federico’s work unravels on the wall of the exhibition space. The walls can represent fragments of a bigger whole, with open-ended meanings and linked by formal poetics and narratives. These fragments spread as fields outside the museum, complementing the landscape, and vice versa. The sudden and unpredictable forms depend on the interaction with space and its surroundings. “The exhibition I prepared for MAC focuses on painting and temporal relationships occurring between the building and the its immediate landscape: an exercise of moving from the specific location to a specific aspect of time of the painting”, explains Herrero.
For the artist, some properties of the paint, such as color, hue, brightness, lightness, transparency, fluidity, and the physical phenomena that reconcile in the space, are like people and societies. In Herrero’s words, “Just like colors, we are constantly being affected by our environment, whatever is next to us in space can trigger great differences in our personality. Painted in a straight line, with dense and pure colors, the images evoke mental landscapes, perspectives which relate to both the architecture and the place where the building is located, in the city of Niterói, in Rio de Janeiro; embraced by mountains called Sugar Loaf and forms that leave the horizon line abruptly, but with grace and beauty. Moving through the museum, the building guides you with a choreography, allowing you to enjoy some of the highlights of the landscape”.
Born in 1978 in San José, Costa Rica, where he currently lives and works. Studied painting at the Pratt Institute, New York, from 1997 to 1998. In 2001, he won the special prize for young artists at the 49th Venice Biennale. He also participated in the Fare Mundi exhibition / Nuevos Mundos in the Latin American Pavilion of the 53rd Venice Biennial in 2009.
Herrero’s artistic practice includes painting on canvas, painting of public murals, and sculptural installations. His works have been exhibited internationally in institutions such as the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art; Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA; Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica; Kunstverein Freiburg; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil; e Para / site, Hong Kong. In 2014, he participated in the exhibition Under the Same Sun: Art of Latin America Today at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, which traveled to the South London Gallery in London in 2016. Federico Herrero is represented by Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, and James Cohan, New York.
Herrero sees his paintings, ranging from small canvases to monumental urban spaces, as open landscapes which never end: always growing and becoming something new. In a sense, these works grow beyond the canvas or vertical wall, and extended to horizontal surfaces like the floor and ceiling, spreading their abstract colored fields to urban spaces and public life. Color is approached by the artist as sound and volume. To create this work, as well as his other compositions, Herrero considers the color’s weight, as well as the different types of energy color can absorb or is able to express.