The exhibition Making Love Revolutionary by Anna Maria Maiolino  at Whitechapel Gallery

The exhibition Making Love Revolutionary by Anna Maria Maiolino at Whitechapel Gallery

On the 12 th of November I firstly visited the Whitechapel Gallery with my tuitour and some colleagues. Among other displays such as ‘’la Caixa’’ collections, Archive Sense Sound and Fluxus exhibition, where I saw a famous Lithuanian Fluxus artist’s Jurgis Mačiūnas works.

The most significant art collection was from Brazil. The exhibition Making Love Revolutionary by Anna Maria Maiolino at Whitechapel Gallery is her biggest collection in UK and it operates from 25 September 2019 till 12 January 2020.

Anna Maria Maiolino was born in 1942, Italy, and immigrated to Venezuela, later to Brazil in 1960. On display there are six decades of her creative exploration on  the themes such as body, language, onomatopoeiae, relationship, everyday personal life as well as political events. Clay, paper, thread, drawings, photography, filming and printmaking becomes the means to express artist’s thoughts and actions.

The exhibitions starts with her clay  works in shapes of snakes, coils, balls that gives a hint to bodiness, digestion and internal imagines of  a body as well as food.

Relationship with Argentinian mothers and children, who disappeared during the regime and the trace of them in stiches, patterns is depicted in a series titled „Indicios“ (Traces). Threads in lines, webs, crosses make the patterns on transparent surfices which can be seen on both sides. A thread becomes a symbol that connects three generations: grand-mother, daughter and a grand-daughter.

Her drawings got an international attention in 1990s. Her earlier drawings are mostly figurative and later in 1970s she started to work with paper as a sculptural means folding, cutting, tearing paper and sheets of it. The series ‘’Drop Marks’’ are created during the process of ink dropping on the  surface of paper capturing the chance of  a drop. Drawings have always been imortant to her as an artist as the means of thinking, expressing and acting. Due to the changes in her personal life in 1968 she became a home artist and using a pen and paper was narrating everyday life scenes and called these drawing “Between Pauses”.

In 1967 when Brazil was in political crisis, Anna Maria Maiolino was facing some personal issues such as immigrant, mother and artist. This experience inspired her to create some woodcuts.

In 1980s Anna Maria  Maiolino lived between Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires when she began her installations, photography. During that time the image of an egg and its multimeaning appeared in her works. The image of eggs suggests an idea of birth and a fragile life. She also reveals her body as a subject of art. She does exploration on her body as a women’s protest against the violent military regime.

The exhibition Love Making Revolutionary  by Anna Maria  Maiolino is close to my research in terms of people as human beings in generally as well as unique individuals, the meaning of fragile life. Black and white colours stand for the ambiguous world. The mental maps in her art give an idea to explore the reasons of people behavior, life style as well as struggling with the inner and outer world.

John Tomlinson


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