LEVEL 3, GALLERY 26
MEXICO, BORN 1970
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK, BARCELONA AND MEXICO
These three untitled works on paper are part of an important project Bosco Sodi began in 2007 when he discovered some 19th century botanical publications in an old warehouse in Barcelona. The engraved plates were affected by foxing, mould and dust that had accumulated over time in a natural process of decomposition. After a gentle clean, the artist drew over the engraved botanical images with silicon, accentuating the plant forms and the cockling of the paper. In keeping with Sodi’s broader practice, these works speak to the deformation of natural substances and highlight humanity’s continuous struggle to find a balance with nature. Accumulated dust and mould started decomposing the original nineteenth-century engravings and Sodi’s reworkings signalled a new beginning for the sheets. The artist’s hand intertwines with organic matter to create these new imaginary plants that are part plastic (silicone), part paper and part nature.
Bosco Sodi is a contemporary artist who works across painting, sculpture and paper. Discovering an emotive power in the essential crudeness of his materials, Sodi focusses on material exploration and the creative gesture. He is best-known for his large-scale paintings which often appear to have a ‘geological’ appearance, replete with cracks and chasms that recall primordial landscapes and elements of the natural world. Sodi also makes large clay cube sculptures from hand-fired terracotta bricks built from local clay in Oaxaca, Mexico. Such bricks were used in his first public installation in New York’s Washington Square Park on 7 September 2017 and entailed the erection and tearing down of a brick wall over the course of a day to protest against Donald Trump’s anti- Mexico campaign. Exhibiting widely over the past thirty years in Mexico, the USA, Europe and Japan, Sodi’s work is held in public collections including the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Germany; the Phillips Collection, Washington D. C; and the Walker Art Center, Minnesota.