Tempe Digital limited edition print project
I worked with Tempe Digital on a limited edition print project that can be found here, http://www.artsy.net/tempe-digital/artist/laura-mosquera
My work is included in issue 5 of Create Magazine.
Work featured on Artmaze Magazine
Known Unknowns at 86 Orchard Street, 2nd floor, New York
I am happy to be a part of a pop-up group exhibition "Known Unknowns" this Sunday night from 8-11pm at 86 Orchard Street, 2nd floor. There are a lot of great artists participating. I hope you can make it.
Known Unknowns explores uncertainty as a creative catalyst. It is an attempt to represent the unanticipated, mistaken, and peculiar. The show features work that is oblique but implicitly promising - making visible the discomfort of not knowing, while managing to find convincingly positive outcomes.
Featuring work by:
Rob de Oude
Anna Sophia Vukovich
Organized by: Cait Carouge, Eleanor King, and Michael Woody
"White On" group exhibition at Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL.on blouinartinfo
"Flatbed Picture Planes" 3-person show at the Center for Art & Theatre
"White On" group exhibition at Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL.
Structural Underpinnings, group exhibition at LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University
Group Exhibition at Ceres Gallery, NYC
If you're in Chelsea tonight please stop by Ceres Gallery from 6-8. I have this painting in a group show there at 547 w 27th, room 201.
Selected Work on view at I Love You Bedford at 294 Bedford in Brooklyn
Homegrown exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago
I am honored to be included in the "Homegrown" exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.
A little press for the Pulse Miami Beach art fair. I hope to see you there.
I was recently interviewed by the English Room Blog. You can read it here,
I am participating in the Last Brucennial with an opening reception Thursday, March 6th, 6-10p
The Last Brucennial
837 Washington St,
March 6 - April 4th
Opening reception: Thursday, March 6th 6-10p
Group Exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Ary in Bedminster, NJ
If you happen to be near Bedminster, NJ tomorrow night stop by the Center for Contemporary Art and check out my painting.
I was interviewed by Lily Lampe about my work. Thank you to Lily and Burnaway Magazine
Art in Embassies Program
I am happy to say that "One Splat Band" and "Stop Left Blue" will be leaving tomorrow to be a part of the Art in Embassies program and living in Liberia for the next few years.
I leave in 3 weeks for my residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I'm looking forward to very active studio time and discussion with other artists.
"Spectrum" group exhibition
If you happen to be in Savannah, GA on August 12th come by for a group exhibition at Gutstein gallery on Broughton Street. I will have a new painting in the show, "Around and Over".
Hope to see you there.
Spending this summer working on the newest body of work. I am looking forward to posting installation shots in late September. Stay tuned...
Selected Works from the MCA Collection: Focus on UBS 12x12 January 9-31, 2010
If you happen to be in Chicago next month stop by the MCA and check this group show.
This exhibition features selected work from the MCA Collection by artists who have previously participated in the MCA's ongoing project series UBS 12 x 12: New Artists / New Work. This series of consecutive exhibitions (with a different artist presented each month) is designed to highlight new work by emerging artists who are based in Chicago, providing a fresh, up-to-the minute view of new developments taking place in the studios of our city. Now in its ninth year, the series has presented the work of ninety artists or collectives.
Artists featured in the exhibition include Angelina Gualdoni, Paula Henderson, Rashid Johnson, Laura Mosquera, and Greg Stimac.
Verge Art Fair
If you happen to be in Miami the end of this week stop by the Verge Art Fair at the Catalina Hotel, 1732 Collins Ave at the ANTIDOTE project space. Have a great time.
Group show in Sacramento
If you find yourself in Sacramento, CA on August 1- 30th stop by:
1517 19th St
The reception is on the 8th between 6-9pm.
a juried group show I'm in.
Back in Chicago for the MCA
MCA as Muse: Contemporary Art’s New Faces
Saturday, October 27, 1-2 pm
Contemporary art is, by definition, the art of our times. NBC's Leann Trotter hosts a discussion with Time Out Chicago art critic Ruth Lopez, and Ken Fandell, and Laura Mosquera -- the new generation of artists in the MCA Collection -- as they discuss the trends and directions in art today using recently-created works from the MCA Collection.
Registration is not required for this program.
So I move to the south and a group show in Alabama ensues. If by some chance you find yourself in Birmingham on August 31st stop by:
UAB Visual Arts Gallery
900 13th Street South
UAB Visual Arts Gallery presents "Double X: Women Representing Women"
Featuring works by Mona Kuhn, Malerie Marder, Katy Grannan, Elizabeth Young, Diana Shpungin and Nicole Engelmann, Melissa Dadourian and others. (I am in the others group : )
The Big Move
Well, after many many years I'm off to try something new. I'm leaving Chicago July 31st for Savannah to teach full-time at the Savannah College of Art and Design. If you ever find yourself in my new neighborhood drop me a line.
in the deep end - reviews
Art Forum, December 2006
This must have been an annus horribilus for Laura Mosquera, so forlorn and melancholic are the images in her exhibition, called “in the deep end.” Best known for large and sometime ebullient paintings of young men and women posed against sharply defined abstract backgrounds, the artist here showed only a single painting. Eleven mostly small drawings made up the rest of the show, suggesting that, for Mosquera, hunkering down over a small piece of paper, using colored pencil or graphite, working with knuckles and wrist rather than elbow and shoulder, is more in keeping with her mood than painterly business than usual.
Certainly the content of the work bore out such a hypothesis. As is the case with most of us sooner or later, it’s love, apparently, that’s at the center of Mosquera’s problems, love and the misery that it often leaves in its wake. The drama of human coupling, especially when it goes awry, is her theme, and, though she avoids any overt narrative, these works throb from the hurt that results from the breakdown of passion. The smallest drawing here, part of the two-piece Blurring the Line Between Love and Lust (all works 2006), would seem to be a memory of better times – a couple lies on a sofa bed, their intertwined bodies covered by a sheet. This drawing is paired with a larger one, depicting a woman in profile who literally turns her back on the lovers, lost in thought, her face largely obscured by a swath of her black hair, which suggests a mourner’s shroud. The taut embrace in Can You Risk It, in which the woman’s face and body are obscured and enveloped by the person she kisses, her presence indicated only by hands that caress her lover’s head and shoulders, also feels ephemeral, as if she momentarily grasps here what she will not retain.
The sumptuous meandering pattern in the background of this drawing, as in several of the works, is less a depiction of wallpaper than a reduced echo of Mosquera’s usual abstract fields, a revisiting of her own signature process, slowed down and made pensive. In most of the drawings, and in her one painting, Mosquera’s female protagonists (three of the drawings are self-portraits) are depicted as eerily passive and inert, as if prostrated, worn out by inner pain, lying alone, prone on a couch or a bed, or staring blankly into space. There is a kind of shock and awe to the agony the artist chronicles, one that manifests itself not in histrionics or bluster but in the steady torment of living quietly through anguish.
Mosquera’s project manages to negotiate its way around personal therapy or a simple appeal to pity. Her eschewal of narrative allows us to emphasize more readily. There is a frankness here, and a sensitivity toward some of the intimate passages of life that transcends autobiography to achieve something universal.
- James Yood
GALLERY EXHIBITIONS - Mary Ellen Mark
“Laura Mosquera: in the deep end”
Through Oct. 14
This five-year-old gallery, one of the first to bring serious credentials to Chicago’s relatively new West Loop gallery district, has a reputation for showing emerging local and international artists on the brink of making it big. Its latest exhibition—the second solo show of works by Guatemalan/Chicagoan Laura Mosquera—reaffirms the gallery’s prescient eye.
Composed of one painting and several drawings done with colored pencil and graphite, this intimate show explores everyday moments captured in cinematic fashion. Mosquera uses snapshots in constructing her work, and what results is akin to a movie still—but with an added emotional layer brought on by the artist’s perception that there is a “melancholic awareness that the present is always what is in the process of coming apart, of ceasing to exist.”
At first glance, Mosquera’s work, which is held in such public collections as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Centro de Arte de Salamanca in Spain, is vaguely reminiscent of Alex Katz in the way her people fill the canvas.
But instead of being merely an observer, the viewer is pulled into the room with her subjects in their most intimate moments. Whether it is a kiss in Can You Risk It, a solitary, pensive mood in A Shift in Thinking or the moment of truth in a relationship in I Want Something More, all the works succeed in vividly evoking both loss and longing.
West Loop art shows explore anxieties of romance
September 13, 2006
BY KEVIN NANCE Art Critic
As Tammy Wynette reminded us, sometimes it's hard to be a woman -- especially if there's a man around. Or if he's not. Either way, it's fertile ground in contemporary figurative art, as three terrific new shows now in galleries in Chicago's West Loop (Laura Mosquera at moniquemeloche, Wonsook Kim at the Thomas McCormick Gallery and Robert Colescott at the G.R. N'Namdi Gallery) amply demonstrate. In their own very different ways, these artists explore the troubled psyches of women in relation to the presence or absence of men -- not the most politically correct of topics, perhaps, and just as well; they pull at you with the potent undertow of romantic melancholy.
That pull is most harrowing in Mosquera's "in the deep end," an exquisite series of drawings in colored pencil and graphite that amount to a searing portrait of love's pathos: risk of rejection, acceptance of entanglement, jealousy and obsession, and, in the series' poignant climax ("...again"), devastating loss. Mosquera, a Guatemalan who lives in Chicago, is a subtle, sensitive colorist with an eye for decoration -- she's learned a thing or two from the Fauvists, especially Matisse -- and a flair for off-balance compositions that seem borrowed from independent art cinema.
But the connection to the movies extends to her keen sense of high drama, which, pushed along by on-the-nose titles such as "I Want Something More" and "All There Is Is You," flirts with melodrama. Unlike, say, Roy Lichtenstein's thought balloons, there's no sense of irony in the titles, even though they can sound like the names of the "women's pictures" of Douglas Sirk. (If that sounds condescending, remember that Sirk was one of the few Hollywood directors of the mid-20th century who treated women seriously -- he showed them thinking, which is what Mosquera's women, locked in perpetual dialogue with themselves, do just as much as feeling. Theirs is an intelligent suffering.)
Kim's women, in "Loves of Outsiders," are of a different time and place -- the 500-year Chosun dynasty of Korea, which ended in 1910 -- but their predicament is as symbolically up to date as Mosquera's. Courtesans trained to serve as intellectual and sexual companions to the male elite, the "kisaeng" were highly educated, and therefore more than smart enough to appreciate the tragic dimensions of their lives: excluded from respectability and family life, forced into facsimiles of love, longing for the real thing.
They want something more: genuine human connection and, its offshoot, a home in the world. In these images -- mournful figurinelike sculptures, large acrylic canvases so thinly painted that they feel like watercolors and a series of oils on small wood panels shaped like what might be houses, complete with overhanging eaves -- the courtesans live, breathe and dream the idea of true love, even as they recognize they can never have it. The result is poetic, seductive and ineffably sad. (In one of the oil panels, "My Boat," a woman casts off into a moonlit sea in a crude skiff that remains tethered to a tree.)
It might seem strange, in this context, to include the work of Colescott, whose selection of charcoal drawings from the 1980s is at first blush a merry bunch. Several of his women -- the seemingly happy hooker with abundant and oh-so-rippling flesh of "Hi Sailor," the hosiery-removing temptress of "Stripper" -- are both lush and louche, rendered in a looping freehand that's both improvisational and precise, like tightly controlled jazz. But aren't prostitutes and strippers close cousins to Kim's courtesans? Isn't it possible to glimpse, in the blotchy planes of their faces, a dark knowledge behind the fun? And what are we to make of the pensive woman in "Waiting," lounging with a certain resignation next to her smoking (and possibly Caucasian) lover? The cigarette suggests a post-coital moment, but if so, what preceded it doesn't seem to have hit the spot. If not -- if what she's waiting for is yet to come -- you give them two weeks, tops.
Beauty In the Breakdown - review
Los Angeles Times, Friday, March 4, 2005
Women in a vulnerable state
Chicago-based artist Laura Mosquera is one of a number of young figurative painters who turn moderate, sometimes even clumsy drawing skills to unusually effective ends. Her L.A. solo debut at sixspace shows mostly women in abstract environments, seemingly in a state of suspended animation.
Mosquera paints or draws the environments and clothing as flat, linear patterns. A reclining figure in a blue striped shirt has no actual lower body, just a line green shape that fills in the blank. A woman at a window clasps awkwardly drawn hands that, rather than being hidden by an artist aware of her technical limitations, are emphasized by “jungle-red” spots of crimson nail polish. Another woman is shown reclining on a bed, the wiggly blue dots and lines on the pillow behind her rising like bubbles from a scuba diver’s air-tank.
About three dozen figures populate the show’s five latex and acrylic paintings and nine ink or graphite drawings. Almost all the women are depicted looking away from us, or either their eyes are closed, downcast or averted.
This compositional device is cinematic, used in movies to suggest intimacy between a singular subject and a mass audience. It transforms a viewer into an odd type of voyeur – the self-conscious observer of situations that, in Mosquera’s case, are neither sordid nor sensational, but refreshingly vulnerable.
We Know What Makes You Feel Good - review
New Art Examiner, January - February 2002
by John Brunetti
Delivering a hard-edged neo-pop jolt, Laura Mosquera’s figurative paintings place her in a tradition defined by artists such as Alex Katz and David Hockney. Like these artists who saw in their immediate worlds of the cultured hip and casual elite a rich subject to extend the dialogue of painting. Mosquera casts her own one-act dramas from the artistic community that surrounds her. The resulting paintings are visually cinematic – the cold, clinical voyeurism epitomized by the films of Stanley Kubrick crossed with the lush, metaphorical color and street choreography of Cinemascope musicals such as West Side Story. Mosquera creates tableaux of twenty-first-century, upper-middle-class alienation, recreating the palpable physical and social inertia of gallery openings where people search for familiar faces across clusters of semi-turned, anonymous bodies. Her protagonists exude an external coolness through their garishly patterned retro ‘70’s clothing and casual stances. Yet the self-assuredness of these figures is not all that it initially appears to be. People are often grouped together in twos and threes, but nonetheless appear psychologically isolated. This quality is emphasized by the large expanses of abstract designs that serve as the ground plane for her standing and seated figures. Formally separating and linking figures from background to foreground, these sweeping arcs and cocktail-lounge-inspired geometries define the social arena as a void of ambiguities.
Mosquera successfully recreates the awkward feeling of social gatherings where one warily sizes up fellow guests from across the room based on the coded signals of body language, physical attraction, and style of dress. Through the postures of her figures, Mosquera conveys the personal purgatory of those seeking social acceptance in an often shallow world where who is in or out can be defined by the most subtle nod or gesture. Her people are in a perpetual limbo of reevaluating their own social status, to little visible resolution. Their loud clothing – striped pants, jungle-print skirts, and madras jackets, to name only a few of Mosquera’s Op Art referential fashions – act as an exaggerated external compensation for their seeming inability to achieve an intimate and emotionally fulfilling exchange. Heightening these individuals’ social awkwardness are their contraposto poses so effectively captured by Mosquera’s strong drawing skills. Through the slouches of bent knees and nonchalant waist turns one sees the contemporary bastardization of classical Greek sculpture, as filtered through the fashion poses endlessly replicated in mainstream entertainment media. Mosquera’s images suggest that one’s posture can be worn as much as one’s particular choice of fashion: How you stand says as much about where you come from as who you want to transform yourself into.
Mosquera’s wall painting at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Interesting Things Will Begin To Develop, implies through it’s floor to ceiling scale a promise that the viewer can have a stronger physical, and thus psychological, interaction with the artist’s worlds. One seemingly should be able to immerse oneself in the psychedelic environment of swirling ribbons of exaggerated color and tragically hip people. Yet, while it is an accomplished example of Mosquera’s complex compositional integration of pattern and human gesture, the work appears forced into a scale that subtly undermines the successful proportions of her other paintings. By contrast, the successful panoramic canvases at Monique Meloche gallery, while large in scale, are just slightly smaller than life-size, which separate the images from reality despite their fastidious attention to detail. As a result, the compositions remain contained, echoing the letterbox format of a movie screen and thus making one aware of the invisible barriers that surround people in their privately constructed worlds of artiface.
Mosquera’s painfully quiet, small-scale pencil drawings that were on display in both exhibitions reveal an unexpected and additional dimension to her work. The drawings surprisingly and quite effectively substitute the intense color of the paintings with the stark whiteness of drawing paper, as well as with the subtle tonal values of judiciously selected areas of pattern. The images rely heavily on Mosquera’s skill at using contour line to transform blank areas of paper into the bare flesh of faces, arms, and legs. Her figures always seem on the verge of disappearing into the enveloping, blinding whiteness of their grounds. Through the silvery tones of these understated surfaces, Mosquera conjures images of human chameleons shedding their skins to adapt to their desired environments.
Love What You Don't See - review
The Campus Chronicle, October 26, 2001
Pinnacle Gallery at the corner of Liberty and Habersham Streets provides a striking invitation into Laura Mosquera’s exhibition "Love What You Don’t See," as the large-scale work is clearly visible from the sidewalk. The sleek, contemporary style of Mosquera is encompassed in a complex and yet user-friendly group of paintings that invite the gallery visitor to look up close and into the company of the figures portrayed.
"Love What You Don’t See" is essentially a contemporary psychological examination of moments frozen in time. Mental relationships are the primary focus for this selection of paintings. Mosquera provides viewers with a tangled web to unravel through analyzing patterns and space.
The importance of spatial relationships is what makes the work so entrancing as she establishes events and communication between figures and color fields. The figures wear clothing that may someday act as archival. For now, though, they tell much about the individual who wears animal prints, fishnet stockings or a pin-stripe shirt.
The figures seem to have no established narrative but appear to be on the cusp of an action or moment. The dialogue that is created with the viewer is therefore an important factor in the work. The viewer imagines situations based on response from the tension created, or dismissed, by space and color.
"My interest lies in describing relationships from figure to figure, edge to edge and pattern to plain surface," writes Mosquera in her artist’s statement. "These elements, along with color and composition, are used to describe spatial, architectural and psychological relationships."
"Invented for You," enamel, latex, acrylic on fabric, for example, offers a situation in which an individual will invent a facet of themselves for another. The clothing worn by the characters is an indication of the cover with which contemporary people re-represent themselves with some sort of camouflage.
"The space the figures occupy is not defined, but is still familiar. The people in the paintings are not identified, but the viewer still knows who they are," said Connie Pinkerton, assistant director of galleries. "There is a familiarity inspired by their clothing and hair. It’s like having a dozen SCAD students in Pinnacle Gallery all day."
The statement issued by the Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, Ill., which represents Mosquera, is a bit of a task to wade through. However, the work stands willfully behind every word. The arduous effort to decipher and ponder existential thoughts presented by the paintings is well worth the challenge.
You Got Your Wish - review
You Got Your Wish, Art In America, January 2001
Laura Mosquera is a young artist and an astute observer of human behavior who brings a fresh approach to figurative painting, whether working on a monumental or intimate scale. For her recent solo at Bodybuilder and Sportsman, a storefront space that was once a gym, the artist created a large, site-specific mural in the gallery's interior. Also on view were a single canvas and six small drawings that explore the same interpersonal and spatial relationships set forth in the more epic work, a commentary on the anxieties of social interaction.
Mosquera's figures appear youthful, self-conscious and fashionably hip. Extrapolating from photographs taken at parties and art openings, the artist clothes her subjects in the latest styles from Prada and Versace, then arranges them alone and in conversational groupings against sparse backdrops. Her paintings are executed in vibrant palettes and flat, broad shapes, their reductive surfaces reminiscent of advertising billboards, as well as the cool, illustrative portraits of Alex Katz.
Commanding the gallery's north and east walls was the 10-by-26-foot mural Somehow You Just Know, painted in latex, enamel, acrylic and glitter glue on drywall. Strategically placed against its expansive, violet background are six members of the "arterati," positioned alone at different vantage points within the picture plane. Two women, one at each of the composition's left and right margins, stand with their backs to the viewer, while another woman, caught in mid-conversation, sits facing forward in a comfy citrus-orange chair at the painting's center. Other figures (one of whom is critic Jerry Saltz) pose in profile, looking out across an empty abyss. These various shifts in perspective create an uneasy tension among the figures, and between figure and ground, while simultaneously enveloping the viewer in the psychological and architectural spaces of the painting. At the same time, Mosquera's use of various framing devices, such as cropping and the interjection of patterned and geometric fields within the formal narrative, allow her characters to function also as pictorial elements, reinforcing the sense of alienation they exude.
Mosquera has a keen sensitivity to color and design, yet nothing is lost in the accompanying drawings, which employ an economical line to similar ends. Done in black pencil on stark white paper, these works likewise evoke feelings of detachment, emphasizing body language and taking careful note of the voids among the various groups and individuals. At once existential and literal, Mosquera's vignettes are visually seductive, successfully engaging both our need to belong and our sense of self.