Tuesday, 21 May 2013


outside of Henry Klumb's House in the outskirts of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Jorge Gonzalez introducing his project at Henry Klumb's house, where he learned the gardening techniques from Klumb's gardener Mr. Agustín Pérez, and dedicated himself to learn and take care of the gardens at the house.

walking through the garden to the house

outside Henry Klumb's house

'Plano Reflectivo' (Reflective Plane), Jorge Gonzalez; intervention at Henry Klumb's house, a wooden structure to support glass panels which reflect the ruined house, the vegetation surrounding it, and the visitors to the house

tropical rain falling outside the house

see previous visit to Henry Klumb's house organized by Pablo Leon de la Barra and Beta Local on December 2011 here, and Beta Local's visit to Klumb's Foreman House in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico here.

and a visit to Jorge Gonzalez studio in San Juan, Puerto Rico

a 1:1 model of the wooden structure he installed at Klumb's house

traditional Plant Dryer, method for drying plants specimens in expeditions

Jorge Gonzalez studio, bookshelf and table legs done following Enzo Mari's DIY Autoprogettazione instructions. Herbarium Cabinet after G.T. Rietveld's cabinet for Doctor Hartog. 

and a Manual of Tropical Hervaria

Understory, a project at Henry Klumb's House in Puerto Rico
by Jorge González

This project emphasizes on the commitment amongst individuals through the acknowledgement of a craft. As part of a fellowship with Beta Local, an organization that is committed and involved in aesthetical practices, a proposal was initiated to promote a relationship founded on its didactical platforms. This principle corresponded with the initiative of Pablo Leon de la Barra of making possible an adjunct excursion to the house of Henry Klumb. When this visit was published, it dispensed exposure to a historical recollection, allowing an actual reference to the place. This led to a fieldwork that introduced me to its caretaker and gardener, Mr. Agustín Pérez.

Henry Klumb was a German-born architect that established in Puerto Rico as a leading professional. He provided a modernist language that encouraged an architectural practice that was motivated by ethical principals, which correspond to popular traditions in consonance with the nature of a place. This investigation takes close attention to the Klumb House located in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, a modified hacienda-house that provides an understanding of the ideological principles of his design, where nature gives a leading role to all its spatial sequences. My interest stems from the palpable care of the gardens of this designated Historic Site, which holds its edifice in an advanced state of deterioration.

Since 1976 the estate of Casa Klumb, which comprises various acres, has been attended by Pérez. He also worked closely with the architect to project and sustain a practice on the landscape that compliment the architectural principles upheld. My engagement becomes present in a moment when Pérez assumes his retirement as an employee of the University of Puerto Rico, custodians of the property since the passing of the architect in 1986. Therefore, the process of documentation acquires a discourse on the validity of his efforts of providing a well-informed labor to a patrimony, which has come to oblivion.

An evaluation of the ecological term “understory”, which refers to the plant life beneath the forested canopy, has been acknowledged to abound on a measure of a place where conversations have initiated. To correspond to this and to assume practices of my interest, a constructive approach was engaged to solicit a temporary installation in the interior of the house. The work proposes the assembly of a reflective plane made of wood and glass, which is conceived to the dimensions of one of the walls of the living room space. Due to the exposed characteristics of the removal of the exterior walls of the house, a reflection of the gardens come to sight from within its core. Thus, permitting to elaborate a discourse on the compromise sustained by the gardener for over 36 years.

The opportunity to have a reunion for the presentation of this work was granted by the School of Architecture of the University of Puerto Rico, an entity that has endorsed our proposal throughout the course of this project. This faculty has acknowledged, thenceforth, my initiative of continuing the maintenance of these gardens.

This research was made possible with the aid of the School of Architecture of the UPR, Beta-Local and Mr. Agustín Pérez, gardener of Casa Klumb from 1976 to 2012. With thanks to my fellow colleagues from La Práctica, for supporting and contributing to this dialogue and to Pablo León de la Barra for his visit and continuous contribution to our affairs.

about Jorge González
Puerto Rico, 1981

My work is based on observation. From such activity stems a process of identifying, gathering and collecting plants for the purpose of creating a path of knowledge aimed at the assessment of the historical, social and cultural profile that reports the study of Botany. This research, in turn, results in a labor of archivist that goes together with taxonomical plant classification and which is established by means of a system which assimilates the methodology of Herbarium.

Collected and dried specimens are preserved mounted and identified on paper. This classification emphasizes and correlates a constructive activity of its devices worked in wood. The connection between the object of study and its physical framework articulates the literary content that defines the self-formative nature of this practice. In this way, I put forth a systematic basis that informs my work process.

These interests arise from questioning materiality, ascribed to a sculptural analysis, which has led to a study on natural history as a model of abstraction. Therefore, my work intends to call for an evaluation of the ideological construct of the landscape and its proximity to the built environment. This approach allows me to establish an analysis of the history of art and its expository development. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013


A ∩ B ∩ C, a Project by Amalia Pica at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City

exhibition text:
A ∩ B ∩ C 
A Project by Amalia Pica
April 9 to July 14 2013

A intersection B intersection C is the title of the project Amalia Pica presented at Museo Tamayo, which responds to the museum’s space. The artist reads the gallery as a kind of arena where the steps link one gallery to the next functions as a tribune where people can observe what takes place in this part of the museum. In other occasions—her last year’s show at Sankt Gallen, Switzerland, the stands were made ex profeso—Pica also uses the stairs to create another perspective of the space, turning them into a meeting point. 

A∩ B ∩ C takes its title from the language used in set theory, in which the symbol refers to elements shared between two or more groups of objects.

The artist previously worked with this theory, specifically with the Venn diagrams, which are the graphic representations of a group of elements. However, Pica’s interest in the subject is not in the use of mathematical representations or language, but in the new meaning that is produced by juxtaposing two or more languages. 

In 2011, Amalia Pica produced a light-based work, Venn Diagrams (Under the Spotlight), inspired by the mathematical model of the same name. Next to the light projection of two circles of different color, depicting the diagram, she placed a caption on the wall explaining that Venn diagrams were banned from elementary school instruction during the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983), because they promoted collective dynamics and modes of collaboration. 

From the idea of the artist that a narrative changes the perception of certain geometrical or abstract forms, Pica proposes the intervention of performers at Museo Tamayo. The artist aims to humanize these forms when they are manipulated by a group of people who create different combinations using the figures, allowing communication between the various objects. The figures, no longer isolated entities, become part of a conversation struck up by those performing the action, involving them in a non-verbal dialogue, a theme found in many of the artist’s works.

At A∩ B ∩ C three performers in various moments during the day activate the series of flat geometrical forms, made out of acrylic, of various colours. The performers will create new compositions with this objects that refer to the Venn diagrams, and to other more complex forms. When the piece is not activated it will have a sculptural character formed by these acrylic objects lying on wooden structures evoking the stairs of the room.

A ∩ B ∩ C responds to the museum’s gallery itself. The space becomes a kind of arena in which steps that link one gallery to the next, and which leads visitors from a larger to a smaller room, function as a tribune where members of the audience can observe the action taking place

The project uses a figure employed in the world of mathematics and logic to speak about the social phenomenon of communication and the shared experience. Terms from set theory such as “intersection”, “union”, or “belonging” tell us about social relationships. With this work, the artist takes the language of exact science to a more human realm.

Amalia Pica (Neuquén, Argentina 1978). Lives and works in London. She studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires and in 2003 entered the kunsten Beeldende Rijksakademie van Amsterdam. Among his recent solo exhibitions include Amalia Pica at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2013), Chisenhale Gallery (2012); Chronic listeners, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland (2012), Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles (2011), C-out, 
Malmo Konsthall, Sweden (2010), Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam (2010). Her work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions including The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York (2012), Silence, The Menil Collection, Houston, (2012), ILLUMInations. 54th Venice Biennale, Venice (2011); Map Marathon, Serpentine Gallery, London (2010); Word Event, Kunsthalle Basel (2008) and Drawing typologies, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007). Pica was awarded with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for Artists, in 2011, and has been nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize Pinchuk Foundation in 2013.

curated by Magnolia de la Garza

Saturday, 11 May 2013


The new MAR, Museu de Arte do Rio, to the left the new building which will house the School of Sight, the old building to the right houses the Museum, the relationship between school and museum being fundamental to the conception of MAR. The project designed by Rio’s architects Bernardes + Jacobsen.

the roof and bridge connecting the two buildings

the view from above

terrace of the school building

the floating corridor bridge that conects the education building with the museum building

the first exhibition, on the fourth floor of the museum, Rio de Imagens (River of Images) Uma Paisagem em Construcao (A Landscape under Construction), curated by Carlos Martins and Rafael Cardoso

early airline posters for travel to Rio

a history of landscape paintings of Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara bay

open storage: the collection of the MAR museum on view, from souvenirs to 'art'

Rio Barbies and ceramic parrots

panoramas of Rio

Rio landscape by Alberto da Veiga Guignard

early XX century souvenirs

and early postcards of Rio and the Rio de Janeiro 1922 International Fair

souvenirs boxes made using marquetry technique

multilayered etched cameo vases by Emile Galle

model for the head of the Cristo Redentor by Paul Landowski, in the background a beautiful Tarsila de Amaral I wasn't allowed to photograph

documents and postcards on the construction of the Cristo Redentor

Luiz Alphonsus, Paisagens Cariocas

Caio Reisewitz, Guanabara, 2009

Guga Ferraz, Map of Rio signaling places where riots have taken place

The Collector, Brazilian and International art in the Jean Boghici Collection curated by Luciano Migliaccio

the Boghici collection in a hanging spiral display

Constructive Will, works from the Fadel Collection curated by Paulo Herkenhoff and Roberto Conduru

selection of constructivist works from the Fadel Collection

the great highlight of the MAR, a series of previously unknown beautiful drawings for the sets of the film 'A Cangaceira Eletrônica' done by Helio Oiticica in 1970

and in words of DGF the Gioconda of MAR, a drawing of Helio Oiticica for 'A Cangaceira Eletrônica', two hammocks in the desert

and the fourth exhibition on the first floor: O Abrigo e o Terreno, Art and Society in Brazil I, on the relationship between the right to housing and artistic practices in Brazil, curated by Clarissa Diniz and Paulo Herkenhoff

Raul Mourão

Dulcinéia Catadora (the Brasilian version of Eloisa Cartonera)

Projeto Morrinho

Cildo Meireles

Cláudia Andujar

Adriana Verajao and Rochelle Costi

André Komatsu and Helio Oiticica

Helio Oiticica and Ernesto Neto


Helio Oiticica's Topological Ready Made Landscape N4, Homage to Lygia Clark

Marcio Almeida, Fast House, construction materials for a house

exhibition views

press release:

The Museum of Art of Rio (MAR) is a space dedicated to art and visual culture. Launched on March 1st, 2013, the Museum holds temporary exhibitions which allow the study of the city’s history from different perspectives which cut across its social fabric, its symbolic life, challenges and social expectations. Located at Mauá Square, the Museum is at the epicenter of the urban and cultural transformations of the Maravilha Port, a broad project promoted by City Hall to revitalize Rio’s port area.

The MAR is housed in two buildings: the older one, a listed heritage building in eclectic style, holds the exhibition pavilion; and the neighboring construction, in modernist style, where the School of the Gaze is located. The project, conceived by Rio’s architectural firm Bernardes + Jacobsen, joins both structures with a fluid concrete roof, which calls to mind a wave, and a covered ramp, located behind the museum, through which visitors have access to the exhibit areas.

With approximately 15 thousand square meters, the MAR holds eight exhibit halls – measuring around 300 square meters each –, an educational area, auditorium, library, panoramic restaurant, café, shop, administrative offices and technical support areas. As well as its own collection, the MAR also shows works from some of the best public and private collections of Brazil to fulfill its purpose and program.

Set in the port area, where Rio was born and from which it grew, the Museum will also have the role, through education, of being the link between a divided city – which, though ongoing urban, social and economic changes, tries to renew itself. The MAR intends to be a place of meetings, interaction and exchange.

A museum next to a school, or a school next to a museum, which has an annual goal of collaborating with two thousand teachers and receiving 200 thousand visitors – including 100 thousand students from the city’s public schools.

The School of the Gaze is an environment designed to investigate visual culture and education amidst the dynamics of contemporary life. Through the School, the MAR aims to develop a reference in educational programs in Brazil and abroad, using as a foundation the curatorial conception which directs its exhibition calendar. This program is intent on implementing, developing and organizing educational efforts using as a premise art in relation to the city, to local communities and to the institution’s diverse public.

The MAR’s educational program, developed in partnership with the Municipal Secretariat of Education of Rio de Janeiro, will act upon ongoing qualification of the city’s teachers and receiving students from public schools, who will be guided by specially trained mediators. The goal is to annually collaborate with two thousand teachers and receive 200 thousand visitors – including 100 thousand students from the city’s public schools – and to transform Rio’s relationship with art into civic edification processes.

The School of the Gaze will develop programs for young artists; a curator qualification program; partnerships and collaborations with Rio de Janeiro’s universities aiming at nurturing and supporting research, seminaries and publications; curatorial and educational efforts in the museum’s surroundings; and a reception and discussion program for the general public.

The MAR is a joint initiative of Rio de Janeiro City Hall and Fundação Roberto Marinho. The Museum is sponsored by the private companies Vale and Organizações Globo, with the support of the Government of Rio de Janeiro State, Porto Maravilha Cultural Program and the Ministry of Culture, through the Federal Law for Cultural Incentive.