Thu 3 Aug 2023 to Sat 14 Oct 2023
Artist: Manuel Aja Espil
Hutchinson Modern & Contemporary presents new paintings by Manuel Aja Espil. Worlds of Exile is his first solo exhibition in New York.
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Manuel Aja Espil’s introspective practice leads him to research the history and materiality of painting. His work depicts imaginary universes that are a fusion of European and Argentine historic pictorial tradition and contemporary iconography. He blends landscape, memory, and fiction, creating familiar, while simultaneously disorienting, compositions.
Aja Espil’s intellectual practice was born of his need to create stories. Originally an aspiring filmmaker, he abandoned his initial plan and enrolled in the Artists’ Program at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires. Aja Espil’s most recent paintings include seemingly malformed caricatures, lacking identifying features, such as gender, race, or personality, who are derived from characters of his childhood cartoons, comics, and movies. The paintings’ pictorial style borders on science fiction, as deconstructed stereotypical representations inhabit landscapes of the European romantic tradition.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue that includes a text by Gabriela Rangel, a New York–based, Venezuelan curator, critic, and writer. She was the director and chief curator of Visual Arts at Americas Society from 2004 to 2019 and the artistic director at MALBA, Buenos Aires from 2019 to 2021.
Recent solo exhibitions of the artist’s work include Journeys (Los Viajes), Grasa Galería, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2020); Joseph Andreas, Quadro Arte Contemporáneo, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2018); Anton Regularis, Centro Cultural Recoleta, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2017); and Wanda vs. Azymetrikah, Imaginario Galería, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2012). Recent collective exhibitions include Marzo: Mujer, Memoria y Malvinas, Casa de la Cultura del Fondo Nacional de las Artes, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2023); Arte en Juego (Art at Play), Fundación PROA, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2022); Despues de Babel. Traducciones rioplatenses, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2021); Terapia (Therapy), Verónica Rossi and Santiago Villanueva, Museum of Latin American Art Buenos Aires (MALBA), C.A.B.A., Argentina (2021); Bienal de Arte Joven (Young Artists Biennal), Centro Cultural Recoleta, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2017); London Summer Intensive 2017 Showcase, Camden Arts Centre, London, United Kingdom (2017); and La Cosa Soy Yo, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2016). Manuel Aja Espil has held residencies at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York (2022), the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine (2019), The London Summer Intensive 2017, SLADE University of Fine Arts y Camden Arts Centre, in London, United Kingdom (2017); and the Artists’ Program, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, C.A.B.A., Argentina (2016). He was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant in 2022; the Stimulus Award from the Asociación Amigos del Museo Rosa Galisteo in 2019; and a Fellowship from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes (National Fund of The Arts), Argentina, in 2018.