(lighter than air)
November 14, 2014 - January 16, 2015
opening reception Friday, Nov. 14 (6-8pm)
|A Philip Guston IV, 2012, magnesium aluminum, 57.75 by 98 by 64 in. (147 by 249 by 162 cm)
Susana Solano (born 1946 in Barcelona, Spain) is one of the protagonists of the new Spanish sculpture who gained international acclaim during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her 1980 solo exhibition at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona marks the beginning of a career which will lead to her work being included in many important international events, such as Documenta 8 in Kassel, Germany, Skulptur Projekte Münster in Münster, Germany (both in 1987), the São Paulo Biennial (1987), the 43rd Venice Biennial in 1988 - the same year she was awarded the prestigious National Prize for Sculpture in Spain, the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas, and Documenta 9 in Kassel, Germany (1992).
While Solano has made abstract works on paper throughout her life (shown on left: Untitled, 2007, collage on paper, ca. 9 3/8 by 9 1/2 in.), she began creating sculptures - for which she is best known - as early as 1979. Her aforementioned first solo exhibition in 1980 at the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, included a group of brass-and-wood sculptures, as well as wall mounted sewn-canvas works. Thereafter her work continued to encompass a range of materials typically associated with modernist sculpture, such as iron, steel, lead, glass, and wire mesh. Through her manipulations and juxtapositions of these materials, however, her sculpture developed to become more evocative of structures found in nature or in domestic settings, such as a bridge or a table. She focused on their potential symbolic meanings by creating works that are formally rigorous and imposing in scale and materiality, and her human-scaled works are often handmade; the traces of her processes - welding marks, folds, stains, and scratches - are frequently left visible on the surface.
Solano's first major exhibition in the United States was at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1988), followed by solo exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (1989–90), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1991), and Solano's first retrospective was hosted in 1992 by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía's Palacio de Velázquez in Madrid. The following year she had solo exhibitions at Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden, and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. The McKee Gallery hosted her first New York solo show (1996). That same year her work was featured at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin,Germany, and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK), Vienna, Austria. Solano's drawings, sculptures, photographs, and installations have also been exhibited in solo presentations at the Museu d'art contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain (1999); Sintra museu de arte moderna, Sintra, Portugal (2001); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (2003); the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), Madrid, Spain (2007); and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2011).
Susana Solano’s work is included in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands; and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria; among others.