July 7 – October 21, 2007
Josefina Guilisasti is one of the leading contemporary artists working in Chile. Her work typically consists of multi-part painting installations that reflect on the history of art and issues surrounding representation in realist painting. For this WorkSpace, Guilisasti presents a major installation of eight canvases called Marfa/Puerto Viejo. This series was provoked by a trip the artist took to Marfa, Texas, in 2005. Looking at Donald Judd’s large-scale geometrical works in the landscape, she was struck by how similar they were formally to the precarious summer homes erected by low-income families who live in the northern Chilean desert. Marfa/Puerto Viejo presents four pairs of images rendered in a delicate realist manner on large canvases. Each pair shows an almost identical scene taken from photographs, but it is virtually impossible to tell which corresponds to Judd’s heavily–subsidized west Texan desert dream or to the tenuous illegal summer camps of Chile. The formal equivalence shown by the images, aided by the physical similarities between west Texas and northern Chile raises important questions about the context of artmaking, and the relationship between art and landscape.