Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Flex Space / 205 Hudson

7:00pm – 9:00pm

David Lamelas (b. 1946) first studied art at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina and began to exhibit his work in the lively gallery scene there in 1963. Making sculptural installations that explored minimal forms, the materials of industry and mass media, and pop, Lamelas was at the center of the experimental avant-gardism encouraged by the critic and curator Jorge Romero Brest at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella during much of the 1960s. After winning the prize for sculpture at the 1967 São Paulo Biennial, Lamelas traveled to Europe to represent Argentina in the 1968 Venice Biennial. Having won a scholarship from the British government to study art in London, Lamelas moved to London the same year, where he attended Saint Martin’s School of Art. In 1969 and 1970, Lamelas was invited to participate in groundbreaking exhibitions of conceptual art organized by Anny De Decker for Prospect and by Michel Claura and Seth Siegelaub in Paris. In 1969, Lamelas began to use film to explore relationships of time and space and themes of narrative and character development. A trip in 1974 to Los Angeles inspired Lamelas to investigate glamour, dramatic narrative, television, and to make works that highlighted the proximity of reality and fiction. In 1976, Lamelas moved to Los Angeles and during the mid- and late-1970s his work took the form of video and television projects investigating how stereotype and myth fashion reality in the United States. Collaborations with Hildegarde Duane during this period produced interrogations of gender and racial and ethnic stereotypes and videos that brought to light the entertainment quality of the news. Film and digital video have continued to be a focus of Lamelas’s work, along with his consistent engagement with sculptural projects. In 1997, after Lamelas and other progenitors of conceptualism appeared in the exhibition 1965–1975: Reconsidering the Object of Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, he was the subject of the retrospective, David Lamelas: A New Refutation of Time at the Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art). In 2006, David Lamelas, Extranjero, Foreigner, Étranger, Ausländer took place at the Museo Tamayo and Malba (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires); and in 2017 and 2018, respectively, he was the subject of one-person shows at Malba and the University Art Museum, California State University (supported by the Getty Foundation), and at the Broad Museum of Michigan State University in 2018. He continues to make work that questions boundaries and disrupts art historians’ attempts to map conventional categories onto his unclassifiable and provocative practice.

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