NoguerasBlanchard is pleased to present the third solo exhibition in the gallery by Wilfredo Prieto (Sancti-Spiritus, Cuba, 1978). Negro, mate, seco (Black, matte, dry) is articulated around several works which suggest a landscape. With this thematic focus, Prieto makes a reference to the history of art and explores the genre of landscape from another artistic practice. Negro, mate, seco represents the first in a series of “landscapes” that the artist intends to investigate.
For this exhibition, Prieto employs several objects which could be found in a building site: a level, a flashlight, a helmet, a match (discarded after lighting a cigarette), and places them at different points around the gallery. With an imperceptible gesture, depriving them of their original contexts and functions, Prieto gives each of these objects a new identity, they become signifiers of other meanings with great poetic power. In this way, a red beam laser projected in a continuous horizontal line, 360 degrees around the walls, becomes Un segundo de horizonte (A second of horizon), a lighted flashlight is Eclipse, and the burnt-out match becomes Estrella muerta (Dying star). All the objects in the exhibition are arranged to evoke a landscape at dusk, with the exception of the work that gives the exhibition its title: Negro, mate, seco refers to the absence, the non-landscape, and unlike the other works, the title emphasizes its formal presence and sculptural qualitites, negating any further meaning.
The poetry of fragmented things – in which the artist displays hints that insinuate a circumstance that is not present in the installation – is manifested in this exhibition. Accidentally, as if by chance, Prieto recreates a symbolic landscape but at the same time, the viewer is in the middle of a workplace environment, between the leftovers of a past action and the allusion to a future one.
Prieto generates through his work a questioning, an inherent contradiction, a reflection, bringing out the meaning contained in the image of the object, the banality of a gesture, or circumstances that take place in the obscurity of every day life. Prieto’s minimal interventions, shrewd and critical in their statements, open new readings and unexpected interpretations that subtly break with the normative and standardized.
Wilfredo Prieto’s solo exhibitons include: Mountain, SMAK, Ghent, Belgium, 2008; Ángulo Muerto, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2006; Mute, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Canada, 2006; Laboratorio 987, MUSAC, León, Spain, 2006. Recent group exhibitions include: 29 Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2010; I’m Not Here. An Exhibition Without Francis Alÿs, De Appel Boys’ School, Amsterdam, 2010; Exhibition, Exhibition, Castello di Rivoli, Torino, 2010 (curated by Adam Carr); Thessaloniki Biennial, Greece, 2009; Stowaways, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, 2009 (curated by Jens Hoffman); That Was Then…This is Now, PS1 MoMA, New York, 2008 (curated by Neville Wakefiled).
He has been selected for the 2010 Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev, Ukraine. In 2008 he obtained The Cartier Foundation Award, London. Future projects include solo exhibitions at CA2M, Madrid, 2011 and at the MARCO, Vigo, Spain, 2011. In 2012 his first survey exhibiton at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, USA. He currently lives in Barcelona.