Right from the first sight, as we enter the first room of Anna Maria’s very engaging show, at Hauser and Wirth Gallery, one feels something special in the air. Black & White Photographs-Body Landscape, series, fragile looking details, are spread generously on one wall, adjacent to it on the next wall, smack in the middle, installed is a white wall sculpture, soft looking yet made of marble powder and white cement, resembling a “Kishke” or in other words, guts in white- Untitled from the Little Snakes, series. On the third wall, metal small boxes from the Scarifications series, in stainless steel with electrostatic paint and laser cutting. It awakens your immediate curiosity to come closer and pick in, to discover a small secretive playful world in metal and dots. This installation isn’t complete without the freely laying sculptures spread all around on the floor. Three black sculptures in brass, Untitled from the Hylomorphic series. In some way, as we’re traveling from hard to soft and soft to hard, we realize that our feelings are caused by the combination of these works that were assembled in this room almost like family parts coming together for a celebration or perhaps a remembering…
I couldn’t help but ask who installed this room? The answer was the artist herself. Everything became even clearer then. A very intuitive installation of works that lead to each other in a need to connect and express each of his or her part of the family. I mentioned to the petit angelic looking artist, Anna Maria Maiolino, “Looks like you are traveling from hard to soft and soft to hard,” and she answered spontaneously, “Yes, like a woman!”
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“You know Anna Maria isn’t really known in the USA, in spite of the fact that she’s one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today and has been exhibiting around the world,” Randy Kennedy told me, the Director of Special Projects at Hauser and Wirth Gallery. But now having a sort of mini-retrospective at Hauser and Wirth, a museum-like gallery, there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll be very well known and greatly appreciated as one of the creatively expressive woman artist of our time.
The 50 works, under the title “Poetic Wonderings,” spread across 5 different rooms and represent some recent and new sculptures, photographs, drawings, installations and videos – which are drawn from the artist’s personal experience as a woman, mother, migrant, and personal history. She brings one other fabulous artist to mind that would have been about her age now if she would have not passed away very young- Eva Hesse, a survivor of the Holocaust.
Anna Maria Maiolino, a beautiful looking petit woman, now in her seventies but with very young, dreamy eyes and a warm smile didn’t have an easy life either. She has many events and material to draw from as she sculpts from her inner and outer nature that creates a rich poetic experience to those who encounter the presence of her works. Nothing like seeing the works in person through December 2018. A very special attention should be given to the sensitive wall of small drawings; like comments on fragments in her life that needed to be expressed and found their way to the paper at a very important mental moment.
Anna Maria Maiolino’s migrated from post-war Southern Italy to a politically wounded South America. From speaking Italian to Spanish to Portuguese and perhaps other languages. But the Language of her art benefited from it all. That definitely led her to create her own language of creation that comes directly from her soul, that together with her characteristic stubbornness and know-how takes her traveling like a constant migrant from hard to soft, from soft to hard “like a woman.”