The Galería Elba Benítez (Madrid, Spain) brought to Frieze New York 2016 from 4th to 8th May 2016, a selection of new and recent work by Fernanda Fragateiro.
The selection of Fragateiro's work presented at the fair consisted of a series of new and recent wall sculptures that maintain a dialogue with and pay homage to the work of the ground-breaking Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920-1988) whose boundary-defying approach to art led her to explore total environments while transforming the role of spectator participation in works of art.
Fragateiro's Conjunto Habitacional, After Lygia Clark, 'Maquete para interior' 1955 (2015) took its cue from a maquette for an interior design project by Clark that highlighted the Brazilian artist's desire to expand painting beyond the two-dimensional picture field and into the spatial environment. Fragateiro translated the maquette into a fully-developed object expressed in her own distinct artistic idiom and choice of materials, while maintaining the original object's underlying impetus and aesthetic.
In the multi- part Concrete Poem (2016) and in various individual sculptures placed throughout the stand, Fragateiro responded to Clark's innovative book works while at the same time referencing Clark's central role in the Brazilian Neo-Concrete movement. Similarly, Concrete Words (2016) embedded between slabs of pigmented concrete a copy of the publication "Art Now", a 1977 survey of international art in which Clark (as well as many of her contemporaries not residing in Europe or North America) is conspicuously absent, repurposing the book into an act of sculptural homage and critique. In all these works, Fragateiro fashions complex yet delicate and aesthetically resolved objects that are at the same time criss-crossed by an intricate web of personal yet highly informed inner references.
As Fragateiro herself has said of her working methods:
Ideas are materials. Ideas are like bricks. That's what I think when I'm using other people's ideas. I build a new thing with them. You look at a building and see how it is built -- what is the volume, the texture, the colors, what materials were used in the construction. But there are also a lot of things not visible. I work with these "other things", things that are not immediately visible in someone else's ideas *.
* "'Ideas Are Like Bricks': Fernanda Fragateiro Interviewed by George Stolz", NC-Arte, Bogotá, Colombia, 2015 (exhibition catalogue).