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Mariana Sammartino’s “INFINITO Into Space” Exhibit Showcases the Ingenuity of Contemporary Craft

For Mariana Sammartino, the work she created for INFINITO™ Into Space represents a dynamic new proposal, one that combines art, design and craftsmanship in a unique way. “The creative process for this project may not be so different from the one I have always undertaken, but the outcome represents a departure of sorts. By design, the work’s interactive nature offers an open-ended creative cycle that does not end with the artist. INFINITO™  is what I like to call ‘contextual art.’ The work is defined in relationship to its context. INFINITO™  invites the viewer to engage in a process of creation and re-creation. The work itself is transformed through interaction.” 

The INFINITO™ Into Space exhibit at Serrano Gallery features an art installation comprised of multiple modules or units made from stainless steel woven wire mesh. What is so intriguing about this work, according to Valentina Serrano, Owner and Artistic Director of Serrano Gallery, is that each unit can function as a standalone work of art, or can become the starting point for something else. She says “today’s tabletop sculpture can become tomorrow’s wearable art, or can become a vastly reconfigured art installation. You decide. You elect the context. You become the curator.”

As an accomplished metalsmith and product designer, Sammartino was inspired by the material itself. “The module (or individual unit) has no beginning and no end,” says Sammartino. “It is hand-fashioned from one piece of stainless steel woven wire cloth without seams. Each unit almost “makes itself” by revealing and suggesting different shapes and forms as it twists and turns during the process of guided manipulation.”

The art installation currently on view at Serrano Gallery is site-specific, and was configured through a collaboration that incorporated the artist’s vision and the curatorial expertise of Valentina Atkinson, owner and creative director of Serrano Gallery.

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INFINITO™ Into Space

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 9, 4 to 7 PM.

On view: Saturday, December 9 through February 28, 2018.

View more work by Mariana Sammartino.

For more information on INFINITO™ Into Space, or to schedule a visit, please contact Serrano Gallery, 713 724 0709.

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Luisa Duarte: An Artist’s Rendition of a Sense of Place for the Texas Biennial

As one of 33 artists selected for participation in the sixth edition of the Texas Biennial (out of 1,217 applicants), Luisa Duarte says she found the open call intriguing. The call focused on several elements, including the notions of deconstructing the Texas identity and exploring the state as a border zone. With independent curator Leslie Moody Castro at the helm as Artistic Director, the statewide survey of contemporary art featured an open call for artists around the state as well as artists living within 10 miles of a Texas border.

As a Houston-based Venezuelan visual artist who has made Texas her home since 2003, much of Duarte’s work employs line and color as structural bases for exploration of themes related to fragility, identity and personal/public spaces. The works selected for the Biennial in Austin include two black and white monotype prints on paper and a site-specific installation. The monotypes invite the viewer to take a closer look, to find ‘subtle’ borders created by indentations in the paper that are not immediately evident. The site-specific installation was conceived as a structure created with wax thread and thumbtacks.

Luisa Duarte, at the Texas Biennial Opening Event in Austin.

Luisa Duarte, at the Texas Biennial Opening Event in Austin.

“Building the site-specific installation was great, because I was creating this thing that’s all about borders. These limits are fragile. They are tools for perception; they can establish limits for protection, just as they also might be used to trace a playground,” said Duarte, who is an architect by formal training. “Borders can be erected with imaginary walls, and can disappear as soon as we imagine something different. Whether you mark these borders with words, or objects is really not that different.”

Luisa Duarte’s works will be on display at the Texas Biennial in Austin, from September 30 through November 11, 2017.

View more of Luisa Duarte's work.
To schedule a studio visit in Houston, please contact Serrano Gallery.

Images: Carlos Ocando.

 

 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Declares September 13 "Rolando Rojas Day"

During a special reception hosted by the Consulate General of Mexico in Houston, the Mexico Tourism Board and Serrano Gallery, Oaxacan artist Rolando Rojas was recognized with a special honor by the City of Houston: Mayor Sylvester Turner declared September 13 "Rolando Rojas Day."

The proclamation reads:

"The presence of Rolando Rojas in Houston, whose influential work resonates within local and international contexts alike, not only marks a new source of inspiration for Houstonians, but also contributes to ongoing conversations about what is possible and desirable within our community, and continues to build on our city’s reputation as a creative destination and important hub for Latino and Latin American art."

The event, which was attended by representatives from the local artistic community and the consular community (with senior representatives from seven countries in attendance), marked the one-year anniversary of the opening of the artist's studio in Houston, and showcased the artist's most recent work.

"To have an artist of the caliber of Rolando Rojas here at Silver Street Studios is always worth celebrating. Today, we are pleased to see Rolando's presence and contributions to our great city recognized in this special way by Mayor Turner" remarked Valentina Atkinson, of Serrano Gallery.

View new works by Rolando Rojas available in his Houston studio.
Contact Serrano Gallery for more information, or to schedule an appointment.

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Headed to Paris After Houston: Works by Alfonso Bonilla

Following a successful exhibition of his work in New York, and the current exhibit of his works in Houston, Colombian photographer Alfonso Bonilla will be taking his work on the road --to Paris. The exhibit, just announced via Bogota's Portafolio Magazine, is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2018, with details to follow.

In Houston, Bonilla is represented by Serrano Gallery. His latest work can be viewed at Silver Street Studios through October 3. The works on display, curated by Valentina Atkinson, include a series of digital prints that evoke childhood memories and layered, dream-like impressions of distant places.

Read the full article in Portafolio (in Spanish) here.

Photo credit: Alfonso Bonilla.