FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA is a curated section of the fair highlighting galleries and projects from across Mexico, Central and South America.
In 2016, Art Toronto continued its exploration of art from Latin America with a second installment of FOCUS: Latin America. In collaboration with curator Isabela Villanueva, FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA investigated the urban culture and theme of the ever-changing city. In addition to the curated program, leading galleries from across Latin America presented work for sale.
About Isabella Villaneuva
Isabela Villanueva is an independent curator and cultural producer based in New York City. Villanueva recently curated the exhibition Basta! at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at John Jay College (2016), the Masters and Pioneers section for ArtLima 2016, Stanislav Kolíbal: The Fundamental Element of Drawing at Merzbau Gallery in Miami (2015) and Impronta at the Centro Cultural Capuy in Caracas (2015). She was part of the Curatorial Team of the 30th Sao Paulo Biennial titled The Imminence of Poetics and organized its itinerant exhibitions throughout Brazil (2013).
From 2006 until 2011 she served as Assistant Curator for the Americas Society's Art Gallery; where she worked in several exhibitions including: Ad Usum: To Be Used. An Exhibition of The Work of Pedro Reyes, Carlos Cruz-Diez: (In)formed by Color, Dias and Riedweg... And It Becomes Something Else, Marta Minujín: Minucodes and Arturo Herrera: Les Noces amongst others. Villanueva recently served as part of the Advisory Committee for the recent Bienal de las Fronteras (2015); and has participated in several symposia and panel discussions including: Biennials in alternative locations at El Museo del Barrio (2014), Calle Tomada: The Street in Latin America at Columbia University (2013), Contemporary Latin American Installation Art at Arte Americas, Miami (2010) and the International Contemporary Latin American Art Forum, at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (2009).
Villanueva holds a M.Litt in history and art connoisseur-ship from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and a Master’s Degree in Modern and Contemporary Art: 1860 to Present Day from the University of Cambridge.
Artist Project Series
The 2016 FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA Artist Project Series, curated by Isabela Villanueva, presented a selection of artworks that ponder on architectural, spatial, and urbanistic issues. This special exhibition gathered a group of artists dedicated to exploring social and political issues within the context of urban architecture and the built environment.
Stefan Benchoam and Christian Ochaita began the Buró de Intervenciones Públicas (Bureau of Public Interventions, BIP) when they began to notice the lack of public spaces in their native Guatamala City. BIP was invited to create a special intervention, they used their language of ad hoc public furniture, to create inviting and whimsical spaces for people to converse and relax at Art Toronto.
Vivian Caccuri from Brazil, presented pieces from her Pagode series. Works built out of street construction nets used in Rio de Janeiro that the artists subjected to a "negative weaving" process that generated new patterns, she also combined them with musical instruments which are a common element of her work.
Carlos Garaicoa from Cuba, is known for investigating and questioning architecture as a mirror for social developments. He presented the installation “El Mapa del Viajero” (The Traveler’s Map), a work inspired by writings who throughout History have bought us closer to unknown places.
Luciana Lamothe from Argentina showed work that extends into sculpture, assemblage, and installation. The artist created a new piece for Art Toronto that revolves around the dialectic of construction and destruction.
The Mexican American artist Mario Navarro pondered about the relations between architectures and forms. He presented new artworks built with the remains from built environments, that revealed the materiality of architectonic structures.
Federico Ovalles-Ar from Caracas, Venezuela created a site-specific installation that borrowed from the modernist and abstract geometric heritage of Latin America, while questioning the formal and informal architecture that surrounds us.
Ishmael Randall Weeks from Peru, presented an installation that used found objects, recycled elements and environmental debris, to reflect on issues of urbanization, transformation, regeneration, escape, collapse and nomadic existence.
16 Participating Galleries
ABRA (Caracas, Venezuela)
Josée Bienvenu Gallery (New York, USA)
Gachi Prieto (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Ginsberg Galeria (Lima, Peru)
Galería Enrique Guerrero (Mexico City, Mexico)
Galeria Leme (São Paulo, Brazil)
Marión Gallery (Panama City, Panama)
ESPACIO MINIMO (Madrid, Spain)