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.