GUIDO IGNATTI: SETUP
Curated by Patrick Greaney

Guido Ignatti’s four installations form a trajectory, moving from a darkened interior room to a mural exposed to the street. He uses humble materials, like plywood, houseplants, and whitewash, to raise questions about how ordinary objects, in the hand of an artist, become works that contain power and mystery. Are these transcendent elements found in the artist’s creation or in our experience of it? Do they exist deep inside the artwork or on its surface? By setting up environments that oscillate between the everyday and the enigmatic, Ignatti invites reflection on art’s pleasures and pitfalls – on what art can offer and withhold.
Guido Ignatti was born in 1981 in Buenos Aires. He lives and works in Buenos Aires. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States.

In the No Matter Paintings in the first gallery, Guido Ignatti projects digital images on plywood screens. Ignatti interprets “painting” broadly to include these projections as well as works like Tapiado, which covers the gallery’s sole window. These works point to hidden or absent places—a lighted interior, the other side of the window, a hard drive. Their simplified forms and modifications of the wall and frame evoke the history of abstraction, and in particular Latin American art from the 1940s and 1950s that linked abstraction to the creation of a better world in the wake of World War II.
Moving from a darkened interior to a backyard scene, Recovery Systems for Facing Catastrophe illustrates two methods for saving houseplants after a disaster: propagation by cuttings and an apparatus of wires and grow bulbs. In Ignatti’s installation, art is organic and in need of energy and care from artists, visitors, and museums to stay alive.

The exhibition’s final two installations present art as something confined, but with the potential to transform the world around it.
Whitewash is painted in a graffiti style used by Argentine political campaigns. Hidden within it is a simple love poem by the artist that transforms a Spanish insult for gay men, “puto,” into a term of endearment, “putito mio.” Over the course of many days, Ignatti painted a few large letters at a time before applying a new layer of whitewash and writing again, concealing the work’s amorous and political content even as he created it.
Peeking through the slats of Locked Room reveals its insides. But its painted exterior is mostly hidden, since the wooden construction is flush with the gallery walls. The full surface would be visible only if the building that surrounds it were torn down.

No Matter Paintings, 2016
35mm slides, slide projectors, and plywood

Recovery Systems for Facing Catastrophe, 2015-2016
Plants, grow lights, tension wires, clay pots, platform, ink on paper, and giclée photographic prints

Tapiado (Wall-Up), 2016
Wood, acrylic latex, and fluorescent fixtures

Whitewash, 2016
Lime and acrylic latex

Locked Room, 2016
Wood, acrylic latex, and fluorescent fixtures

An illustrated PDF catalogue accompanying the exhibition will feature essays by Andrea Giunta and Patrick Greaney.

Museum of Contemporary Art of Denver
On view from July 1st to Sept 11th.
ph: Jeff Wells