Maximillian William is pleased to announce a conversation between Magda Skupinska and Lucia Pietroiusti, curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries. Recently, Pietroiusti curated Sun & Sea (Marina) for the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, which was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. Their talk will coincide with Skupinska’s current solo exhibition, Layú. Extending Skupinska’s investigation of the natural world and its phenomena, Layú presents a series of works created with organic materials, such as ground corn for the pigments of her paints in its four original colours (white, yellow, red and blue). For the basis of her canvases, palm fibres were woven by women from the Zapotec community in Santo Domingo Albarradas – a traditional craft passed down from generations, solely among women. This technique is not only a collective activity; it is organic, meticulous and closely tied to nature – all expressions that point to Skupinska’s oeuvre. The exhibition will remain on view through 19 March.
Lucia Pietroiusti is Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries (London) as well as the Curator of Sun & Sea (Marina) by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte, the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019, awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. She is the curator (with Filipa Ramos) of the durational festival on interspecies consciousness, The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish (2018- 19) as well as the research, publication and performance project, PLANTSEX, on erotics and botany. Since 2013, she has programmed and produced research projects, artist commissions and performances, as well as film and collaborative partnerships, at the Serpentine Galleries. Pietroiusti was the co-curator of the 2018 (Work), 2016 (Miracle), 2015 (Transformation) and 2014 (Extinction) editions of the Serpentine’s yearly Marathon festival of art, science and technology; and the co-curator (with Kay Watson) and co-presenter (with Victoria Sin) of The Serpentine Podcast. Previously, Pietroiusti has been Assistant Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2007- 2009) and Associate Editor of the journal of the arts and letters, Boulevard Magenta (2008-2010). Pietroiusti is currently researching more-than-humanism, ecology, interspecies consciousness, species extinction, plant intelligence, botany and myth.
Magda Skupinska was born in Warsaw (Poland) in 1991. She completed her BA in Fine Art at London’s Central St Martins, and her MA in Painting at The Royal College of Arts, London. Through her formal and conceptual vocabulary, Magda Skupinska engages with the idea of social interaction through her investigation of the tangible and fragile quality of organic materials, namely spices and fruit, which offer enveloping sensory experiences. Skupinska’s works draw from modernist traditions of biomorphic abstraction, to arte povera and minimalism, as a way to facilitate a reconnection with the essential multisensory experiences that stimulate the basis of our being. When asked about the nature of her process, the artist states: “Time is an essence in my work, which actively allows changes and therefore brings the painting into a life of its own.” Skupinska has participated in residencies at Fundación Casa Wabi in Oaxaca, Mexico, Buenos Aires (Future Narratives curated by Juliana Gontijo, 2016) as well as Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida 2017, under the guidance of Mc Arthur Fellow Joan Synder). Her solo exhibitions include, Elements of Silence (London 2015, Presented by Maximillian William) and DAMA Project (Turin, 2016). Recent group shows include Surface Issues, Leila Heller Gallery (Dubai, 2017) and White Memory – 1989/2018 Art in Malta and Poland (Malta, 2017).
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