Miguel Angel Rojas and John Sparagana are exhibiting works in the show “El Cuerpo Sutil” at Sicardi Gallery until Saturday, February 22nd. With these large tactile pieces, the artists magnify the time and labor associated with domestic craft while situating them in a contemporary political context.
In “Crowds and Powder,” a series of large works made of woven paper, John Sparagana, the Chairman of the Department of Visual and Dramatic Art at Rice University, creates dueling images of white noise and political activity. These pieces which comment on the juxtaposition of media and individual action in the contemporary polis are created from paper that Sparagana works with his hands until it is soft like fabric and can be cut into strips flexible enough to be woven.
“Por Pan,” which takes up an entire wall of the gallery, is a work by Colombian-born Miguel Angel Rojas. With both sculpture and video included in the work, Rojas documents the utilization of a now nearly extinct grass which was used as a regional building material in Colombia. These fibers, which were found 15 years ago in a home demolition, were a ceiling component that had stood strong for centuries. They articulate the historical, community and craft driven construction process in the region. Through this work, Rojas is particularly interested in the role of the indigenous people as the fabricators of the material and the role they played within the strata of the community. The video included in the work shows Rojas braiding material in honor of the craft and its workers.
“El Cuerpo Sutil” is on view at Sicardi Gallery until Saturday, February 22nd. 1506 West Alabama, Tuesday – Friday (10-6), Saturday (11-5)
Founded in 1994 by María Inés Sicardi, Houston-based Sicardi Gallery supports mid-career and established artists whose work is marked by its formal and conceptual strength. These artists are major participants in international abstract, kinetic, conceptual, and constructive art movements, and they work in a wide range of media; many of them share a connection to Latin America.