Miguel Amado

  • View of “Emily Hesse: The Witches’ Institution (W.I.).” Photo: Jules Lister.
    picks August 22, 2022

    Emily Hesse

    Soil is at the core of Emily Hesse’s practice. In “The Witches’ Institution (W.I.),” the British artist’s largest exhibition to date, it appears in the form of clay, often unfired. Here, the material becomes an unexpected, potent tool used to build a new worldview through narratives of witchcraft that recognize being in non-human physical substances.

    In the Tetley’s monumental atrium, two distinct yet related works (both 2022) set the show’s tone. CLÆG is a walkable, deep, and malleable layer of earth—sourced on site as well as from the rivers Aire and Tees—that covers the entire floor. Alternative

  • João Pedro Vale + Nuno Alexandre Ferreira, 1983, 2022, Installation view. Photo: Vasco Vilhena.
    picks April 15, 2022

    João Pedro Vale + Nuno Alexandre Ferreira

    The location of the gallery hosting João Pedro Vale + Nuno Alexandre Ferreira’s latest exhibition could not be more fitting: The Conde Redondo quarter, in Lisbon’s city center, has historically been a hub of underground sexual activity. Once stigmatized as a kind of ghetto for the LGBTQI+ community, Conde Redondo street has recently been reclaimed as a place of liberation. The artist duo’s practice has always explored the tension between the dominant, mainstream attitudes toward sexuality, as inscribed in patriarchal law and lifestyles, and the celebration of an alternative, even deviant

  • Marianne Keating, Landlessness, 2017, two-channel video projection, color, sound, 26 minutes 53 seconds. Installation view.
    picks September 11, 2019

    Marianne Keating

    “The Ocean Between”—the Atlantic—connects Ireland and the Caribbean, two territories here explored by Marianne Keating in a group of films. Keating built Landlessness, 2017, the exhibition’s key work, out of archival materials sourced from the National Archives in England, Ireland, and Jamaica. In this two-channel video projection, she excavates the social conditions that generated a wave of emigration from Ireland to Jamaica between 1835 and 1842, in the aftermath of the abolition of slavery in colonial Jamaica in 1834.

    One screen depicts the Irish landscape overlaid with subtitles drawn from

  • Kindel (Joaquín del Palacio), Alejandra de la Sota–designed village of Esquivel, Spain, 1952, gelatin silver print. From “Campo cerrado: El arte español de la posguerra.”

    “Campo Cerrado: Spanish Art of the Postwar Period”

    Campo cerrado” (Closed Field) surveys Spanish cultural production from 1939—a date that marks not only the commencement of World War II but also the end of the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of Franco’s dictatorial rule—to the mid-1950s. Work from this period has, for the most part, been critically disregarded until recently, thanks to its conservative strain and its association with the fascist Francoist regime. This exhibition promises to shed new light on the epoch, highlighting the emergence of a modern Spanish sensibility. The show

  • Helena Almeida, Estudo para um enrique-cimento interior (Study for Inner Improvement) (detail), 1977, acrylic on six gelatin silver prints, each 19 1/8 × 11 5/8".

    Helena Almeida

    This major survey promises to assure Helena Almeida’s stature as a significant post-Minimalist artist. Featuring roughly seventy-five works made between 1966 and 2015, the exhibition focuses on Almeida’s take on the relationship between representation and performance, underscoring the role of the body in her output. It will highlight the painted black-and-white photographic self-portraits depicting movement sequences for which the artist is recognized but will also explore lesser-known aspects of her practice, including early paintings, drawings,

  • Maria Thereza Alves, The Return of a Lake, 2012, installation, dimensions variable.
    picks May 08, 2015

    Maria Thereza Alves

    This survey of Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves’s practice intelligently includes her seminal work Seeds of Change: A Floating Ballast Seed Garden, 1999–. Here, panels with pictures, maps, and texts dedicated to European port cities document her scrutiny of the connection between trade, the scattering of ships’ ballast flora, and landscape. Alves’s interest in ecology is her trademark, but this exhibition addresses her range through a selection of works focused on colonial themes, including the subaltern condition of native peoples across history. Take for example NoWhere, 1991, which combines

  • View of “Marcos Ávila Forero: Unruly Landscapes,” 2015.
    picks April 06, 2015

    Marcos Ávila Forero

    A key characteristic of French-Colombian artist Marcos Ávila Forero’s practice is an ethnographic engagement with political subjects and contexts. In this exhibition, the installation Zuratoque, 2013, is exemplary of that method. Zuratoque is a shantytown in the Santander region of Colombia, mostly occupied by peasants who fled the countryside due to the ongoing warfare between the Colombian government, revolutionary guerrilla movements, and conservative paramilitary groups. Forero collaborated with them to produce this work, wherein the refugees wrote testimonies to their experiences on jute

  • Simon Ling, Untitled, 2011, oil on canvas, 48 x 72".
    picks March 24, 2015

    Simon Ling

    In this survey of British painter Simon Ling’s output from the past half decade, Untitled, 2011, is part of a series that depicts a concrete foundation overgrown with patches of moss and grass, somewhere in the English countryside. The painting is a minute close-up of its subject, and such a scale suggests Ling’s interaction with it, both intellectually and physically. Fittingly, it was also featured in this venue’s previous exhibition “The Noing Uv It,” which speculated about the dynamics between objects, their portrayal, and the world.

    The artist often examines urban landscapes, particularly

  • View of “Ce qui ne sert pas s’oublie” (What Cannot Be Used Is Forgotten), 2015.
    picks March 19, 2015

    “Ce qui ne sert pas s’oublie”

    The exhibition’s curator, Catalina Lozano, addresses the changing status of objects from a social perspective, considering how items encapsulate subaltern narratives, particularly from colonialism. Take, for instance, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s contribution: five rods made from ten melted copper Katanga crosses. In the past, populations of central Africa utilized these articles as currency, and the metal’s abundance in the Katanga region attracted Belgian colonizers. Today, the pieces resemble Minimalist sculpture. In both cases, value is of significance.

    Elsewhere, Jorge Satorre’s Matar vasijas

  • Armando Andrade Tudela, Camion, 2003, sixty 35mm color slides, 5 minutes.
    picks March 09, 2015

    “Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society, 1915-2015”

    The spectre of Kazimir Malevich haunts this exhibition. Black Quadrilateral, c. 1915—one of his compositions of shapes, including the square, painted against a white background—is the first of a long, dense display that surveys the twentieth-century developments and current trends of geometric abstraction across time and place. Malevich’s way of making art explored spirituality, and various artists followed him in this. Josef Albers, for example, created the series “Homage to the Square,” 1950-75, which emphasized an experience of the transcendental. But Malevich was also a pioneer of a

  • Carlos Garaicoa, Untitled (Chocolatería) (Untitled [Chocolate Factory]), 2014, pins and threads on digital C-print, 49 x 63”.
    picks February 16, 2015

    Carlos Garaicoa

    Proyecto frágil (Santander) (Fragile Project [Santander]), 2014, is the key work of Madrid-based artist Carlos Garaicoa’s latest survey. The installation consists of several thin curved layers of glass, united by magnets at various heights, representing a port town. The piece intelligently explicates Santander’s shipping economy as symptomatic of capitalism’s association of modernity with industrialization and its organization of globalization and trade.

    Architecture is a key theme of Garaicoa’s output, and here he presents various photographs of streets and buildings from his native Cuba,

  • View of “Asier Mendizabal,” 2014.

    Asier Mendizabal

    Asier Mendizabal has always been concerned with the political realm, particularly both the problem of collective action as the motor of society’s transformation. In this respect, he initially considers power through symbols, inquiring into ideology and agency in the public sphere, then turns them into form. In the recent past, his interest has been the representation of the masses across history and media. In the series in “Figures and Prefigurations (Divers),” 2009–11, for instance, he draws from crowd scenes culled from the imagery of the post–World War I avant-garde to create black-and-white