contemporary art / history of art

Lourdes de la Riva

Born 1955 in Guatemala City, Lourdes de la Riva lives and works in her hometown. For her creations, she uses natural elements like sand, seeds and leaves as well as found objects and marks of humanity. She processes these components into sculpture, photography, video and installation.

The results show the impact that human activity has on nature and vice versa. Even though human beings are still ranking as part of nature, they consider themselves as superior to all other natural creations since the beginning of history. In consequence, humanity has left many traces of its existence, but also nature is involved to reconquer lost terrain. Lourdes focusses on these correlations and visualises the marks in her artworks.

Since 2011, she is working on the series “Los Creadores” (The Creators), from which our presented artwork is part. Here she intervenes on books, which were transformed by moths or other insects. In 2016, on the X Biennial Centroamerica in Costa Rica, she exhibited in two rooms of the National Museum in San José many oeuvres of “Los Creadores”. Besides the installations of the book remains in various forms, there were videos and photos, which illustrate the process of the moths’ activity. Moreover, there was a trunk by termites perforated, decorated with small black flags, called “La gran victoria” (The Great Victory).

Beyond that, Lourdes participated in numerous group exhibitions, especially in Guatemala, but as well in various other countries of Latin America and the United States. In 2010, her video “Dulce Proceso” (Sweet Process) was honoured during the first Triennial del Caribe y Centroamerica in the Dominican Republic. In Europe, her works were first on view in 1998 in Paris and 2012 in Madrid. This year the photo “Artificio 6” is presented in the Guatemalan Pavilion of the 57th Art Biennale in Venice. In addition, the artist had many solo exhibitions in her home country and the United States, received several awards and two of her works are installed in the public space of Guatemala City.

Artwork of the month / June 2017