giampaolo abbondio gallery

Olu Oguibe Form with Steel and Wood, 2019, Found objects (steel), from the exhibition CUBA PROJECT (2019),
courtesy the artist and Galleria Giampaolo Abbondio

biography

Biography

Formazione
PhD, Art History, University of London, 1992

Premi, Riconoscimenti, Borse di studio selezionati
2017 Arnold Bode Prize for documenta 14
2013 Fulbright Award to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India (Declined)
2013 Governor’s Award for Excellence and Lifetime Achievement, State of Connecticut
2006 Senior Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
2001, 2002 Senior Fellowship, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School
1998 Resident Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Bellagio, Italy

Progetti in corso
2020 Project on sex work for Sonsbeek 2020, Arnhem, Netherlands

Mostre selezionate
2019 – Rios Intermitentes, Matanzas, Cuba
2018 – RuhrTriennale, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
2017 – documenta 14, Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany
2016 – 11th Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai, China
2014 – Real Art Ways, Hartford, Connecticut
2013 – FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2011 – Rupert Ravens Contemporary, Newark
2010 – Real Artways, Hartford, Connecticut
2009 – International Women Artists’ Biennale, Incheon, South Korea (Guest Artist)
2007 – 52nd Venice Biennale, Africa Pavilion Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
2006 – Trienal de Luanda, Luanda, Angola Center for Book Arts, New York
2005 – Anyang Public Art Project, Anyang, Korea Object Not Found, Monterrey, Mexico
III World Ceramics Biennial Workshop, Yeoju, Korea
2004 – Busan International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Korea Tri Postal, Lille, France New Museum, New York Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Bronx, New York
2003 – Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 2nd Biennial of Ceramics in Contemporary Art, Liguria,Italy Migros Museum, Zürich, Switzerland BPS 22, Chaleroi, Belgium
Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Washington Square Gallery, San Francisco
2002 – Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Lazzaretto Sant’Elia, Cagliari, Italy Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Norway M21, Langenlois, Austria En Ruta, Loiza, Puerto Rico Tramway Gallery, Glasgow


2001 – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Charlottenborg Museum, Copenhagen Apex Art, New York
2000 – 1st Echigo-Tsumari Public Art Triennial, Tokamachi, Japan 7th Havana Bienal, Havana, Cuba PS1, New York, 2000 Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada Castello di Rivoli, Turino, Italy Koldo Mitxelena, San Sebastian, Basque Country Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands Gorney Bravin + Lee, New York
1999 – Palazzo della Triennale, Milan, Italy
BildMuseet, Umea, Sweden World Health Organisation Headquarters, Geneva United Nations Headquarters, New York
1998 – SESC Pompeia, Sao Paulo, Brazil
University Galleries, FAU, Boca Raton, Florida
1997 – 2nd Johannesburg Biennale
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C
The Bronx Museum, New York Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida
Schlossmuseum, Linz, Austria Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
1996 – Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen
Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden
Malmo Kunsthalle, Sweden Setagaya Art Museum. Tokyo, Japan Institute of Contemporary Arts, Johannesburg, South Africa University Galleries, Gainesville, Florida
1995 – Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1986 – 1994 – Solo and Group Exhibitions and Projects in Africa and
Europe

project

Cuba Project

“Il recente lavoro di Olu Oguibe a Cuba ci spiega l’approccio e il rispetto che ha per le persone. L’artista ha lavorato con materiali semplici, prodotti di scarto di un processo di produzione ad alto impiego di manodopera, e li ha riconfigurati in un modo che fa pensare al significato e alla cruda bellezza sottostanti il processo del produrre, e le mani e le anime coinvolte in esso. Il rispetto per gli operai, per il lavoro, per il processo, tutto si realizza insieme alla capacità quasi alchemica di trasformare materiali quotidiani in oggetti soffusi di significati.”
– Will Wilkins

I 25 pezzi che compongono questo gruppo d’opere sono il risultato di alcune settimane trascorse presso l’acciaieria UEB “Noel Fernández” Conformat di Matanzas, Cuba, nel febbraio 2019.
Ho visitato la fabbrica per la prima volta nel dicembre 2018 in compagnia dell’artista cubana Marìa Magdalena Campos-Pons, decidendo di tornarci quasi subito per lavorare con gli scarti metallici di produzione che in genere vengono gettati o destinati a essere riciclati. L’acciaio è un mezzo che non ho usato molto in passato, e lavorare nella fabbrica mi ha dato l’opportunità di esplorare il materiale senza la difficoltà dei lavorarlo. Non avevo intenzione di “costruire” oggetti, ma piuttosto di seguire il materiale, così come si presentava, e qualunque cosa esso suggerisse, che a mio avviso è un modo molto liberatorio di creare.
Per un periodo di circa nove giorni il mio traduttore, Mr. Matos, ed io abbiamo perlustrato i pavimenti della fabbrica per reperire rottami metallici che abbiamo poi assemblato in una grande area di stoccaggio della struttura. Oltre alla forma, che era il mio obiettivo primario, mi interessava anche l’ampio spettro delle possibilità cromatiche nell’acciaio industriale che non richiedono ulteriori interventi. Anche la gamma di ruggine è affascinante, e certamente suggerisce che la tendenza monocromatica di molta scultura minimalista è forse manierista e inutile.
Questo corpus di opere è significativo sotto molti aspetti. Sebbene non rappresenti una direzione completamente nuova nella mia pratica, questa è, tuttavia, la prima volta che ho riunito un gruppo così ampio di sculture o installazioni scultoree in un unico progetto, e come già osservato, è certamente il mio avventurarmi più significativo con l’acciaio.
L’opera può essere vista in molti modi diversi; scultura minimalista, recupero creativo di materiali “poveri”, o esercizio di archeologia del lavoro. Tutto ruota ancora intorno alla potente risonanza della forma, ma gli oggetti documenteranno per sempre un momento unico nella storia del lavoro industriale nella Cuba tardo rivoluzionaria.

Olu Oguibe

“Olu Oguibe’s recent work in Cuba exemplifies his approach and respect for people. He worked with simple materials, scrap products of a labor-intensive manufacturing process, and reconfigured them in a way that brought to mind the meaning and rough beauty underlying the process of making, and the hands and souls involved in it. A respect for working people, for labor, for process, all come through, along with the nearly alchemical ability to transform quotidian materials into objects suffused with meanings.”
– Will Wilkins

The 25 pieces in this body of work are the result of a few weeks spent at UEB “Noel Fernández” Conformat steel factory in Matanzas, Cuba in February 2019.
I first visited the factory in December 2018 in the company of Cuban artist Marìa Magdalena Campos-Pons, and decided to return soon after and work with the scrap metal from the factory floor which is usually discarded or sent for recycling. Steel is a medium that I have not used much in the past, and working at the factory offered an opportunity to explore the material without the encumbrances of fabrication. I did not intend to “construct” objects, but rather, to follow the material as found, and whatever it suggested, which in my thinking, is a very liberating way to work.
Over a period of nine days or so my translator Mr. Matos and I scoured the factory grounds for scrap metal which we then assembled in a large storage wing of the facility. Beside form which was my primary focus, I was interested also in the broad spectrum of color possibilities in industrial steel that do not require additional intervention. Even the range of rust is fascinating, and certainly suggests that the monochrome tendency of much minimalist sculpture is perhaps mannerist and unnecessary.
This body of work is significant in many ways. While it does not represent an entirely new direction in my practice, this is, nonetheless, the first time that I’ve put together such a large body of sculptures or sculptural installations in a single project, and as already noted, it’s certainly my most significant venture into steel as a material.
The work may be viewed in any number of different ways; as minimalist sculpture, as creative recuperation of “poor” materials, or as an exercise in the archaeology of labor. It all still revolves around the potent resonance of form, but the objects will always record a unique period in the history of industrial labor in late revolutionary Cuba.

Olu Oguibe

Installation view

works

Works

Olu Oguibe Altar (for Olabisi Silva), 2019 Steel
Olu Oguibe Composition with 24 Steel Rings, 2019 Steel
Olu Oguibe Composition with Steel Discs, 2019 Steel (40 elements)
Olu Oguibe Forms with blue tower, 2019 Steel
Olu Oguibe Composition with Blue, Red and Yellow, 2019 Steel
Olu Oguibe Untitled, 2019 Watercolor on paper 112 x 80 cm (paper) 123 x 87 cm (frame)
Olu Oguibe Composition with Red Stool (Homenaje to Danilo), 2019 Mixed media
Olu Oguibe Form with Steel and Wood, 2019 Mixed media
Olu Oguibe Untitled, 2019 Mixed media