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Announcement
November 9, 2013

Panel Discussion – Against the Context

Americas Society
Installation view of Cristóbal Lehyt: Iris Sheets at Americas Society (2013). Photograph by Rodrigo Lobos.

Americas Society’s Visual Arts Department will co-host with Parsons Fine Arts, School of Media and Technology a panel discussion on Monday, November 11 at 7pm. Maria del Carmen Carrion  (Independent Curators International and art critic), Andrea Geyer (Artist and Associate Professor and Interim Director of Graduate Studies, Parsons Fine Arts), Cristobal Lehyt (Artist) and Gabriela Rangel (Chief Curator of Visual Arts at Americas Society) will examine the context as a contested locus for the exploration of contemporary forms of subjectivism displayed through drawing, painting, sculpture and appropriation. Speakers will discuss issues related to the currency of site-specific sculpture in the exhibition Iris Sheets by Cristobal Lehyt, on view at the Americas Society through December 14, 2013. Lehyt’s approach to site-specific questions the immediate perception of sight (and the site) presenting it as a device of cultural translation: what you see is not what you get. Although diverse, all the elements combined tackle the tensions of an artist who is not interested in undertaking an essentialist celebration or in restaging political mythologies from the Cold War. Even though the monumental wood sculpture soaked in wine echoes the shape of the geography of Chile, Lehyt frames his ideas and visual strategies through the blend of multilayered references to Conceptualism, Land Art and Minimalism.

Abstraction has become the default canon in New York and Europe for thinking about Latin American art. Conversely, Iris Sheets is nurtured by an exploration of contemporary forms of subjectivism through the use of allegorical elements such as wine, sand, an appropriated portrait of Violeta Parra are interspersed to create an experiential puzzle. Being an artist born in 1973, Lehyt’s works are informed by the repression of memory after Chile’s dictatorship and its trivialization caused by the gap between traumatic experience and the past. He grounds his research in history as an abstracted fact muted by language, oblivion. For Lehyt, the sculpture occupies the exhibition space as a difficulty rather than a participatory encounter with the audience.

Cristobál Lehyt: Iris Sheets is currently on view at Americas Society’s art gallery located at 680 Park Avenue (at 68th Street). For more information about gallery hours and other events associated with this exhibition please visit www.as-coa.org/visualarts.

Cristóbal Lehyt: Iris Sheets is made possible by the generous support of the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation Boris Hirmas Said, The Tinker Foundation Inc., and ProChile. In-kind support is graciously provided by The Care of Trees, Concha y Toro, Arte al Día, and Johannes Vogt Gallery. The Fall 2013 Visual Arts Program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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