Victoria Manganiello, Simón Sepúlveda, Sarah Zapata
Curator: Carolina Arévalo
Knockdown Center is pleased to present Soft Territories a group exhibition presenting works by Victoria Manganiello, Simón Sepúlveda, and Sarah Zapata exploring the ways in which notions of movement, migration, and locality are incarnated in contemporary textile practices. The warp and weft of the loom – the basic structure of textiles being composed of longitudinal and transverse components – echoes current critical thinking about verticality and horizontality in social and economic structures. In the artworks included, the intersection of the two planes of woven thread express ideas about politics, territories, technologies, and interactions, while enabling spaces of softness, warmth, and shelter.
The questions of memory, identity, and borders are central to Zapata’s symbiotic practice of textile making and writing. Manganiello uses hand-spun yarn and mixed natural and synthetic color dyes to create hand-woven textiles that explore intersections between materiality, technology, geography, and storytelling. Sepúlveda mixes digital and organic elements to create tapisseries –the historical artifact for narrating epic tales– that reflect on experiences of migration.
About the Artists
Victoria Manganiello is an installation and mixed media artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited throughout the USA and internationally including at the Queens Museum, Tang Museum, Pioneer Works, and the Museum of Art and Design. Victoria was recently named one of Forbes list 30 under 30 artists for 2019. She is an adjunct professor at both NYU and Parson’s The New School. Exploring the intersections between materiality, technology, geography and storytelling, Victoria’s installation work, abstract paintings, and kinetic sculptures are made meticulously with hand-woven textiles using hand-spun yarn and hand-mixed natural and synthetic color dyes.
Sarah Zapata makes work with labor-intensive processes such as handweaving, rope coiling, latch hooking, and sewing by intersecting theories of gender and ethnicity with pre-colonial histories and techniques. Making work with meditative, mechanical means, her current work deals with the multiple facets of her complex identity: a Texan living in Brooklyn, a lesbian raised as an evangelical Christian, a first generation American of Latin American descent, a contemporary artist inspired by ancient civilizations, an artist challenging the history of craft as “women’s work” within the realm of art. Zapata’s work has been exhibited at the New Museum (NY), El Museo del Barrio (NY), Museum of Art and Design (NY), Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (NY), Boston University (MA), LAXART (CA), Deli Gallery (NY), Arsenal Contemporary (NY), and Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center (NY). Zapata has also completed recent residencies at MASS MoCA (MA), A-Z West (CA), and Wave Hill (NY), and is the recent recipient of an NFA Project Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. Zapata was an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2016.
Simón Sepúlveda works on textile mixing bold graphics, with social and personal issues, like migration and identity. His work is a hyper-awareness of the precarious nature in trying to find a personal balance and also worldwide balance across migration, economics, and human rights issues. This worldwide perspective and artist direction within textiles has led him to fulfill a sense of purpose with his work. Sepúlveda’s work has been exhibited at the Chilean Museum of Contemporary Art (Chile), Museum of Fine Arts (Chile), Visual Arts Museum (Chile), and Aqui Gallery (Chile). Sepúlveda is currently living and working at San Francisco as a designer for Apple. Previously he has worked as a Designer at Sagmeister&Walsh (New York), Javier Jaén Studio (Barcelona) and Felicidad (Santiago).
About the Curator
Carolina Arévalo is a researcher and curator. Her approach towards the idea of image as a mental state is center in the fundamental concepts of forms: the reinterpretation and representation of societies explained through historical styles, as they occur in art, design, and architecture. All objects and images communicate and can be recognized as texts; artifacts weave the public and private aspects, social and cultural conventions and the way in which people and position themselves in a context. Currently, Arévalo is also curating Sheila Hicks: Reencuentros at the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (2019), which aims to establish dialogues between contemporary textile art and pre-Columbian textile art. Recently, she has published in Hilos Libres: Sheila Hicks (Puebla, Mexico: 2018), Jaume Xifra: Cat. Exhibit (Girona, Spain: 2018), and the article Anni Albers: Influjos Precolombinos y Legado (Goethe Institute, Colombia: 2019-upcoming).