The Xippas Gallery is pleased to present Ricardo Lanzarini’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland, a pivotal artist in the Uruguayan art scene.
In Ricardo Lanzarini’s drawings Nietzsche, religious leaders, “picassos”, priests, artworks, museums, prisoners, Karl Marx and hospitals appear wrapped in his universe conforming raw metaphors about power. Brotherhoods and herds of males designing the world’s politics and relations, building what is called ‘the system’. His compositions end up being deliriant constructions full of humor in their pathos.
In Lanzarini’s works the historic and autobiographic coordinates come together. While there are non- specific autobiographical details or historical references, both of them constitute a beginning. The oppressive experience lived during the periods of Latin American military dictatorship has also left an imprint on his art: enraged men abusing others, shouts and sex are mixed, conforming packs struggling to demarcate their territories. Insecurity and familiar experiences are also present: insanity has taken over the houses, some characters stand on chairs attempting to avoid the situation, others climb the chairs to hang themselves, others use the wardrobes to hide in. In other cases chairs and wardrobes play the role of the torturer or the jail.
For this exhibition at Galerie Xippas Genève Lanzarini presents “Línea negra sobre fondo blanco”, a series of forty drawings. The title refers to a thesis he is elaborating on the idea of what comes behind the purism of the “vanguardists” and of the cassocks.
Each drawing encloses a certain tension produced by the existential drama and the absurd of the situations described by those characters who are alone in the sheet of paper. They’re performing actions that is uncertain if they are conditioned to carry them out or if they’re doing them by their own will. For moments they seem to be in their intimacy or freed of their social roles but sometimes it seems to be a context that conditions their actions but never comes into scene.
Lanzarini was born in Uruguay in 1963 where he lives and works and has widely exhibited since 1992. Major exhibitions include: VI and VII Havana Biennial (1997–2000); Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (1997); Comer o no Comer (Salamanca 2002); III International Biennial of Standards (Tijuana, Mexico, 2004); The Drawing Center of New York (2004); 29th Biennial of Pontevedra (Spain 2006); 1st Encounter Between Two Seas: Bienal de Sao Paulo-Valencia (Spain, 2007); DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Garden (Massachusetts, 2008); Syracuse University (New York, 2009); IV and VII Mercosul Biennial (2003– 2009); 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012); 1st; and 2nd. Bienal de Montevideo (2012-2014); 5th. Biennale of Moscow (2013); MSK Gent (Museum of Fine Arts of Ghent) (2014).
Relevant publications include: Emma Dexter’s Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing (Phaidon Press, 2005) and Roger Malbert’s Drawing People (to be published by Thames & Hudson in 2015).
His work is represented at the Museum of Fine Art of Ghent (MSK Gent), The Deutsche Bank Collection, New York Public Library, Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection, La maison rouge-Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Centre National des Arts Plastiques, FRAC des Pays de la Loire, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Centre National de l’Estampe et l’Art Imprimé, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, among others.