Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce Sandra Vasquez de la Horra's first solo show of drawings at the gallery. The show will comprise 80 works, all done especially for this occasion, installed side by side, in vertical or horizontal constellations.
Vasquez de la Horra's wax-dipped pencil drawings are at once personal and universal. Her work explores such vast themes as Chile's history (her native country), religion, sex, myths, social realities, folk culture and death; some of which are recurring throughout her practice. The viewer is drawn into her universe of fantastic creatures haunted by carnal and psychological concerns, as portrayed in the titles of some of her works on view: The Birth of Sin, The Last Journey, The Pregnant Woman, As Fast As Possible, Few Friends Less Quarrels, etc. The figure is almost always placed on the center of the page that is usually no larger than 35 cm high. The sheets of paper are old, yellowed or lined, some with torn edges. Once the drawing is completed, Vasquez de la Horra dips each one in molten beeswax, conferring a materiality to the fragile sheet of paper.
Clearly influenced by literature, and more specifically Chilean poet Nicanor Parra's antipoetry, Vasquez de la Horra's pencil drawings convey the same humor, irony and irreverence typical of Parra's radical anti-lyricism. The artist's imagery reflects the serious, the comic and the ordinary of the common man's everyday existence depicted in a visual language that is high-spirited, coated with black humor and rooted in popular culture.
As in Parra's use of banal language and humorous turns of phrase to depict often tragic or pathetic situations, Vasquez de la Horra's work embodies the same irony and humanism.
In some of her works, the titles are written in large letters within the drawing itself, becoming an integral part of the imagery, in Spanish, English or German. The way in which the artist combines text and image comes close to the aesthetics of visual poetry.
Sandra Vasquez de la Horra was born in Chile in 1967 and currently lives in Cologne (Germany). In 1994 she graduated from the University of Design in Viña del Mar (Chile). From 2000 to 2002 she attended the prestigious Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf where she studied under Rosemarie Trockel. In 2003, she completed an MA at the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions including The End of the Line: Attitudes in Drawing, a Hayward Touring exhibition traveling to Blue Coat, Liverpool and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2009); [email protected], Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009); Micro-narratives, tentation de petites réalités at the Saint-Etienne Museum of Modern Art (2008); Drawings from the UBS Art Collection, Tate Modern, London (2007). She has had a major solo museum exhibition, Mitologica, at the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf (2008) and will have another important solo show in 2010 at the Bonefanten Museum in Maastricht. In 2009, Vasquez de la Horra was awarded the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation Drawings Prize. Her work is included in museum collections in Germany, Switzerland and France, as well as prestigious private collections.