Two small toy figurines sit, off to the left, on a long shelf, seemingly in repose or perhaps in mid-conversation. The shelf runs the full width of a white painter’s canvas that has been painted with large swirls of black. Are the figures, dressed in painter’s white, the creators of the circular marks or are they part of the “imagery”? To further complicate the scenario, embedded in the paint and on the shelf, are chairs, some wooden letters, a spoon, a silver ball and various other elements, all small in size, but varying in their specific scales. No linear narrative seems possible and yet the entire composition keeps a viewer looking and questioning. Porter suggests that absurdity can actually be the key to let one think deeply and she has been doing just that for the sixty years of her long and storied arc as an artist.
Liliana Porter (b. Argentina, 1941, resides in New York since 1964) works across mediums with printmaking, painting, drawing, photography, video, installation, theater, and public art. Porter began showing her work in 1959 and has since been in over 450 exhibitions in 40 countries. Recent solo shows include those at El Museo de Barrio in New York City; The Perez Art Museum in Miami; Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA; El Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales in Montevideo; Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Franklin Rawson in San Juan, Argentina; and Museo de Arte de Zapopan in Guadalajara, Mexico. Porter’s work was featured in the traveling exhibition, “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960 – 1985,” at the Brooklyn Museum, NY and the Hammer in Los Angeles, CA. In 2017, Porter’s work was included in “Viva Arte Viva, La Biennale di Venezia, 57th International Art Exhibition” in Venice, Italy. Additionally, her work has been exhibited at El Museo Tamayo, México DF; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and in New York at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New Museum. The artist’s works are held in public and private collections, among them are Tate Modern, London; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museo de Bellas Artes de Santiago; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Guggenheim Museum of Art, NY; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge; Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota, Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; and the Daros Latinamerica Collection Zürich.