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May 31, 2007

Young Costa Rican Artists: Nine Proposals

New exhibit at IDB heaquarters showcases the diversity and pluralism of Costa Rica's contemporary art scene.

Both vitality and pluralism blend in the new IDB Cultural Center art exhibit, titled Young Costa Rican Artists: Nine Proposals. The show displays the work of nine contemporary Costa Rican artists who embody some of the most recent trends in the country's contemporary art scene.

This eclectic exhibition includes works in media as varied as installations, painting, interactive digital art, ceramics, digital graphics, conventional photography, wire drawing and manufacture with recycled materials.

Despite their differences in media, all nine ahe artists concur in a concern for the destiny of society and the direction it may be taking, explained Félix Ángel, general coordinator and curator at the IDB Cultural Center.

According to Dora María Sequeira, executive director for the Foundation of the Central Bank Museums of Costa Rica, which collaborated with the IDB in presenting the artists’ work, this exhibition views the environment with a critical eye and reveals a varied sampling of contemporary art in Costa Rica, manifesting a bold and fresh perspective.

Some of the artists employ traditional techniques, such as Tamara Ávalos, who works in ceramics, although her approach is rather conceptual. Her work pays tribute to womanhood, while Carolina Guillermet's painting addresses social satire with humor. Her wire drawings, on the other hand, portray a symbolic world.

Photography is the primary vehicle for José Alberto Hernández Campos, Víctor Agüero Gutiérrez, Sebastián Mello, and Guillermo Vargas (a.k.a. Habacuc). They explore topics of social interest with their own styles, exploiting the manifold possibilities of photography.

Francisco Munguía uses ceramics, photography, and painting to develop projects with the collective in mind, dismissing the traditional role of the individual viewer. And the amusing and well-thought-out objects of Paco Cervilla are a premeditated call for attention to the need to develop an efficient capacity to increase the sustainability of our planet in the wake of so much industrial waste.

Finally, Jorge Albán, the most experienced artist in the group, weaves interactive pieces with the help of contemporary digital technology, venturing into the world of virtual reality. One of his first works prepared using this technique is his Central American Gothic, a piece included in this exhibition.

Organized in collaboration with the Foundation of the Central Bank Museums of Costa Rica, the exhibition is open from May 24 to August 10, 2007, at the IDB Cultural Center art gallery, located at 1300 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.  Admission is free, and the gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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