Metis takes a look at Latin America through the works of five contemporary artists. Through their works, these artists interrogate the region’s rich histories, cultures and landscapes. They are informed by their heritage while keeping an eye on the possibilities of the future, a fine balance which is reflected in their dynamic practices. 

Oscar Murillo

Oscar Murillo, manifestation (detail), 2019, oil, oil stick, cotton thread and graphite on velvet, canvas and linen. Image courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.

Colombian artist Oscar Murillo’s muscular paintings capture the tension of the contemporary age in vivid strokes. While the initial impression one gets from the works is that of unbridled energy, there is an underlying sense of contemplation to them — one that is evident when the viewer lingers closely on the richly-textured details. Murillo’s works and projects have been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide.


Sol Calero

Sol Calero, Solo Pintura II, 2018, acrylic and mosaïc on canvas, 178 x 150 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Prxi Jean-François Prat.

Cultural shorthands — vibrant colours, exotic fruits — abound in Venezeulan artist Sol Calero’s paintings. Calero is interested in interrogating the preconceptions surrounding Latin American art, and her playful canvases often underline weighty questions such as belonging, culture, and the tensions between Latin America and Western Europe. A recipient of several international awards, Calero has exhibited widely in Europe and Venezuela.  


Thiago Rocha Pitta

Thiago Rocha Pitta, seascape with cyanobacteria, 2017, fresco, 71 x 91 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery.


The Brazilian Thiago Rocha Pitta’s multimedia practice is born out of a reverent approach to the natural world. Pitta’s use of subtle colour and organic movements is deeply evocative, leaving the viewer both humbled and with a renewed sense of curiosity for the world around us. Pitta has taken part in multiple solo and group exhibitions across various continents, and has attained honours and awards from Brazil and Switzerland.


Hulda Guzmán 

Hulda Guzmán, I m for the birds or Fiesta en la Selva Triptych, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 256 x 5 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Dio Horia.

Dominican Hulda Guzmán draws deeply from the lush, tropical landscape for her lucid works. Vibrant colours and arresting imagery make for intriguing narratives that appear to the viewer like a fever dream. Guzmán’s inspiration comes from the bold visual languages of Mexican folk art, and the artist has appeared in numerous shows spanning the Americas, with her work appearing in permanent collections around the globe. 


Allan Villavicencio

Allan Villavicencio, Pulpo, 2019, oil on canvas, 170 x 140 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Galería Karen Huber.

Colour takes centre-stage in the works of Mexican Allan Villavicencio. The artist is interested in the state of constant transformation, which he expresses through the “visual interruption” of colour. The artist has been awarded the Honorary Distinction for the XVIII Rufino Tamayo, amongst other honours and residencies, and has exhibited across Latin America and Spain.

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