Teresa Burga, internationally one of the most established Peruvian artists, has largely influenced Peruvian Pop as well as Conceptual Art with her works. Recently Burga was honoured in an extensive retrospective show at the Migros Museum in Zurich, which travels to the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover.
Currently, her works are featured within the historical overview exhibition “Radical Women: Latin American Art”, 1960–1985 which tours from the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles to the Brooklyn Museum in New York and to the Pinacoteca in São Paulo.
The gallery exhibition “Insomnia” concentrates on Burga’s conceptual works of the 1970s in which she clearly positions herself within newly developed radical conceptual strategies of the late 1960s, distancing herself from traditional artistic expressions and striving to a systematical analysis of the condition in which art forms could exist. Burga conveyed her thought processes and aesthetic programme by the means of text, (project proposal) drawings and technical sketches for objects.
Since the rediscovery of Teresa Burga’s oeuvre in the early 2000s, it has been the gallery’s goal to research and trace lost and unknown works. Objects were produced according to vintage instructions, installations re-created and re-enacted. In this context, the gallery was able to produce an early work, the “Heartbeat Machine” according to a vintage drawing of 1970. The machine constitutes the artist’s first attempt to construct a self-portrait out of medical data. Two years later, this idea was incorporated at the core of the larger installation Autorretrato. The “Heartbeat Machine” had its debut in 2018 in Burga’s solo show at the S.M.A.K. museum in Gent and was later presented as part of the Radical Women exhibition.
The series “Insomnia Drawings” was started in the late 1970s and continued into the 1990s. Teresa Burga had spent decades to develop a system of doodle drawings which depict hypnotic patterns and optical illusions with an astonishing immersive spatial quality. The patterns evolve according to a predetermined system of endless permutations. This series can be seen within the context of conceptual drawings by Sol LeWitt, who published his famous “Sentences on Conceptual Art” in 1969. He defined the difference between idea and concept in a way that “ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical”.
It is in this context that Galerie Barbara Thumm is now able to realize two vintage drawings as large-scale wall works. They are made by freehand colour pencil drawing and premier in the gallery show “Insomnia”.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)