Critics’ Picks

  • View of Patternless tapestry, 2021, scraps of theatrical set elements and mirrors on canvas, 88 1/2 x 84 x 23 1/2". Photo: Matías Romero.

    View of Patternless tapestry, 2021, scraps of theatrical set elements and mirrors on canvas, 88 1/2 x 84 x 23 1/2". Photo: Matías Romero.

    Buenos Aires

    RICAS (Clara Campagnola & Dana Ferrari)

    OSDE Foundation
    Arroyo 807
    April 8–June 19, 2021

    With this exhibition, the duo RICAS (Clara Campagnola and Dana Ferrari) inject a DIY exuberance into the upscale residential corner of Arroyo and Esmeralda Street. “Colección RICAS” explores the aesthetic potential of everyday disposable goods through objects, installations, and a video that exert a powerful visual pull, even as they project a certain frivolousness in spirit.

    The skillful deployment of these materials calls into question the lines between art and craft, while the wordplay in the works’ titles points to a more complex conceptual strategy. For instance, Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment, 2021, plays on the Spanish meaning of adorno, “ornament,” cobbling together twelve oversize flowers from blinking lamps and high heel shoes. The installation You will die, 2021, sets up six pillars of brightly colored egg cartons punctuated by shining Styrofoam spheres. Stationed in two rows of three, these columns lead to a giant pillow of pleated black polypropylene garbage bags suspended from the ceiling. Bazaar dynasty, 2019, fashions elaborate sculptures from the conelike fruits of casuarinas trees, while Patternless Tapestry, 2021, erects a giant standing screen made from the colorful scraps of theatrical props. In the layout, the artists display their expertise as professional scenographers, maximizing the limitations of a show that can only be experienced through the windows (or “Through the Crystal,” as curator Carolina Cuervo calls the exhibition series). The neo-Baroque staging recalls the Argentinean eccentricity of the 1990s and the extravagant taste that some of the country’s richer denizens still harbor today, all while maintaining a sly sense of humor.