Critics’ Picks

View of “Constellations,” 2014.

View of “Constellations,” 2014.


Mateo López

Museum of Modern Art of Medellin
Ciudad Del Río Carrera 44 Nº 19A-100
July 30–November 3, 2014

For a year, under the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, William Kentridge mentored artist Mateo López. Now the two exhibit in adjacent galleries (Kentridge in MAMM’s main rooms and López in the project space), and while López’s exhibit, “Constellations,” features two works made in collaboration with Kentridge, it focuses less on how the pair’s time together unfolded than on where López’s practice is and where it’s headed.

One of the two collaborative works is an animation: Titled Dictionary from K to L, 2013, the piece depicts a book whose pages turn to reveal the figures of Kentridge and López, pacing back and forth as if thinking, each always isolated from the other. The other work by both artists is the aptly titled figurative sculpture Brazo de Carbón (Arm of Carbon), 2013. Both signal new directions in the oeuvre of the younger artist, whose drawing practice has expanded, incorporating new techniques such as stop-motion animation as well as new approaches to the very material used in drawing—graphite—presented here sculpturally in its raw, natural state.

The studio continues to be one of López’s central themes, which the exhibition highlights through its inclusion of objects that recall a working area; an exhibited drafting table, writing desk, and stool are all on view, abutting—and merging with—López’s own drawings. The exhibition thus offers up a participatory situation, such that visitors, in a sense, become the artist himself, learning how to engage with and behave around the objects that inhabit his studio-like space.