The new art season will be kicked off with the exhibition 360° + 5 días by Lorena Herrera Rashid, on view on the gallery’s ground floor space. Four years ago, the sculptor relocated to her home country of Mexico, where she now lives and works. She still explores themes of consumerism and the problems of mass production, but her change in perspective clearly elicits new facets in her oeuvre. Color is now foregrounded. Consumer relics made of plastic, paper, textiles, and other debris from the prevalent throwaway society remain her materials of choice. A certain levity in the artist’s approach transforms this otherwise disquieting subject into a collection of delightful objects.
With 360° + 5 días Lorena Herrera Rashid has created a stand-alone cosmos where Mother Earth - composed of a globe, bottle holders, plastic buckets, and used clothes - is decorated with twisting plastic flowers and paper fruit. The artificial plants tower from various sculptures of calcified casts of plastic and glass waste - an effigy of eternal springtime, where garbage is “in bloom” all year round. As we know, artificial life is sold to us via its immaculacy. It is this immaculacy that the artist accentuates in her concrete casts and expresses the perfect form of these plastic and glass containers, that was researched by the market for years. Plump, colorful fruits, which the artist uses as part of the installation, also allude to this pursuit of perfection. The stacked sculptures oscillate between conflicting associations such as sweet and fragile, sublime and absurd, dead and alive. Resembling still-lifes, these arrangements resurrect the idea of the vanitas, a deliberate stylistic device to encourage viewers to self-reflect. Thus, the cosmos, which initially seemed so colorful and cheerful, takes on quite dramatic traits. As alluring and rich this perfect world may seem, it also reminds us that mass products are not totally recyclable after all and are in fact en route to destroying our planet and our relationship with the natural world.
A formal novelty in Lorena Herrera Rashid’s oeuvre is the objectness of painting. She is interested in the infinite possibilities that the uses and ascriptions of color present. In her sculptures she is bound by the specified color of her materials, but painting as an object gives her the opportunity to think beyond predefined notions and to describe things anew.
Lorena Herrera Rashid (*1972 in Mexico City) lives and works in Yautepec, Morelos, Mexico City. She studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under Olaf Metzel until 2012. That year, she also won the Erwin and Gisela von Steiner Foundation Prize, which included a project grant. In 2017, Galería Marso in Mexico City hosted her first solo exhibition in her home country. (J. Singer)