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March 24 2009 3 24 /03 /March /2009 11:21

From March 19th until March 22, the Artparis Fair took place in the Grand Palais in Paris; we went to interview three different galleries, included the David Nolan Gallery, which presented the winner of the Guerlain Price, Sandra Vasquez de la Horra

Interview of Katherine Chan, Director of the David Nolan Gallery, New York.


      So,  How is going the fair ?

      Very good, we are doing very well with the work of Sandra Vasquez de la Horra.

       Yes, could you tell us a bit about her , since she is the winner of the Guerlain price this year ? How did you met her,  isn’t she from Chile ?

       She is from Chile but she lives in Dusseldorf and we do business in Germany quiet often, because David Nolan has also a Gallery. So we met her and liked her work very much, and offered her the possibility of showing her work in New York.  So we made an exhibition in December 2007, and it was very well received, New York collectors were very positives about her work. It’s a revelation because the way she works is so unique : she does the drawings and then she deeps them in wax, that’s why they are yellow. The paper isn’t at first yellow; it is the base wax's natural color. The color of the yellow depends on the amount of cotton in the paper.
She is from Chile, she grew up when Pinochet was a dictator in the country, so she is very affected by the political climate of her childhood, and the dramatic event of that time. She left her country in 1995 and went to the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf and learned with some very important teachers. She had been working in Düsseldorf since quite a few year, she started in galleries until becoming more well known. Daniel and Florence Guerlain found her work a few years ago at the Gallery and started to buy and be very interested. And they were always very supportive.

       So they choose the work to compete for the Gerlain price.


       By seeing her drawings and referring it to Germany, it makes me think about the drawing of the Viennese Actionist Günter Brus, did she know him ?

       Günter Brus and the Viennese actionists of that time were very interested in Performance, manipulation. Sandra has some videos and performances related works, but her drawings are much more inspired by her imagination and by literary sources. Philosophy, anthropology. She is a very intelligent and cultured person. And has a very wide curiosity. But what separates her from an artist like Günter Brus is that, for her the drawings are a lot more personal and autobiographical subjects, and has I guess less to do with time, because performance is very time based, and involves an audience. But this for her is a lot more intimate.

       And, if we continue the comparison, I see some words marked in the drawings, does she plays on word like Günter Brus did ?

       Her native language is Spanish, she speaks some German and some English, and the word come into the drawings. All the language are mixed in her head. And she does have a play on word. Like for example la mala pata, that drawing looks like a duck, la mala pata also means, to have a bad day. So they are certain plays on words. Bitte nicht shiessen, please don’t shoot. The none of Monza, it’s a from a chapter of a very famous Italian book, written on the 19th century, but the none wasn’t a monster, but in her imagination she recreates, transforms the character. It’s very strong image.


       And this one over there, could you describe it to us?

       It was cold “la visionaria”, the visionary. I am not sure if there is a lot to explain about it. It is just what it is, a girl with a skeleton of a bull, and she is smoking a cigarette, and the smoke of the cigarette is like a gost.

       It leads you far in your imagination, it’s a very enigmatic piece.

       Yes, a lot of drawing, she let the meaning very open. Sometimes she has a very specific title, a very specific text that can lead you in one direction, but ultimately the interpretation, she let open to the viewer.

       In Artparis, you chose to show only drawings, but next week there is the Salon du dessin contemporain, will you be also there ?

       No, we don’t exhibit there, it is our first time in Art Paris, and it was mostly to showcase the work of Sandra Vasquez. The specialty of the gallery is the drawing, we decided to bring a selection of other artist’s works to show the gallery’s program and to create a relation between what Sandra Vasquez de la Horra does and the other artist too as well. Because there is a relation ship between them. For example we have a Georg Grosss work, and there is definitely a link between what Sandra does and what the German expressionists were doing in the 20th century. And also we like to link the historical and the contemporary art.

       To finish, you are one of the only American gallery in Art Paris, why did you choose to come here ?

       First because of the Gerlain price, it was good opportunity to meet and introduce French collector to her work but also it’s seems like a funny thing to do. We have done many fair, like Art Basel Miami Beach, art Basel, but France is a country where we don’t have a very strong collector base, and we would like to develop that, at this fair. It’s new market for us

       Have you been to the Armory Show ?

       Yes, I thought the quality was very good and there were some really great work, but I am not sure it has gone so well.

       About the crisis, how do you perceive it ?

       People in New York are very stressed, but we are doing just fine, some gallery are closing, but it is a natural part of the process. New York had a very strong bloom for many years, and we all knew that it was not going to last forever.

       Are you going to Art Basel ?

       Yes, we will be there.

       So we will meet you there… have a great success with Sandra,

       Thank you.       

Here is the first interview; in the following days you will get the one of the Xin Dong Chen Gallery, a very important Chinese Gallery based in  Beijing, and the Forsblom Gallery, a very special one from Finland.

[Pictures : Above : Sandra Vasquez de la Horra, "Forget your name", drawing deeped in wax, 2006. Courtesy of the artist. Below : Sandra Vasquez de la Horra," Girl with depression looking for a hole", drawing deeped in wax, 2006. Courtesy of the artist ]

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Published by Flora Katz - in Exhibitions and Fairs
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