buenos-aires

Santiago Villanueva, Panel 1, 2012, ink-jet prints on illustration paper, 27 1/2 x 19 5/8".

Santiago Villanueva

Abate Galería

Santiago Villanueva, Panel 1, 2012, ink-jet prints on illustration paper, 27 1/2 x 19 5/8".

The question is recurrent in art: how to escape history’s compulsion to categorize and pigeonhole? The answer given by Santiago Villanueva differs in each of his shows, thereby adding new layers of meaning. The artist seems to think art history is a sort of conspiracy, a collective attempt to falsely simplify experience into manageable parcels. Two years ago, at nineteen—an absurdly young age to be pondering the manipulations of history—Villanueva created a series of prints that read as a world art history running parallel to the official one but included only very minor works by major European painters found in Argentinean museums: his own provincial story of the evolution of painting.

The title of Villanueva’s latest exhibition, “1931,” alludes to the year a literary magazine was published in Azul, the town south of Buenos Aires where the artist was born in 1990. The

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