scala, polis, taut, axis mundi (constellation 1.2)
Berlin-based, Mexican artist Isabel Nuño de Buen’s large-scale sculptural installation scala, polis, taut, axis mundi (Constellation 1.2) is as rich and layered as it is sprawling. The artist deploys a variety of media and materials, including drawing, sculpture, plaster, papier maché, steel, welding, watercolor and paint, to create what resemble outsized maquettes of a decidedly maniacal and lyrical nature. Understanding architecture as the formal syntax of a given civilization, Nuño de Buen draws on a variety of interests including German expressionist architecture, urban planning, cultural anthropology, religion, and sculpture. Personalized, plastic allegories of myth and meaning arise from the combination of these discrete sources. The artist’s process, which is governed by a strong internal logic and systemization, is inseparable from the intrinsically open-ended theoretical nature of her work. Composed of modular fragments which can be reconfigured at will, her installations, like any given city itself, are never finished; they remain in a state of continual, albeit hypothetical evolution (she has been known to reuse elements from former pieces in new constellations). Much like a constellation, the finished work is a whole composed of particulars that are at once distinct from, and constitutive of the whole. Provisional, mutable and rationally irrational, her installations privilege no specific point of view, presenting instead endless permutations and possibilities.
Isabel Nuño de Buen (Mexico City, 1985) studied both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in fine arts at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany, the latter with the support of the FONCA-CONACYT 2013-2014 Scholarship for Studies Abroad. She has also been the recipient of the Förderpreis Zonta St.Barbara Prize as well as the scholarship for artistic production Landesstipendium Niedersachsen 2015. She has participated in group shows in Germany, Mexico, France, and Spain.
Her work, which consists mainly of drawing and installation, is greatly influenced by the expressionist architecture of the German group “The Glass Chain,” emphasizing the development of a language of organic crystalline forms, thoughts concerning non-functionality, fragmentation, and the rejection of verticality. She investigates sculptural practices as a graphic phenomenon and brings drawing processes into three-dimensional space.
Isabel Nuño de Buen currently lives in Berlin and Mexico City.
Chris Sharp (United States, 1974) is a writer and independent curator based in Mexico City, where he and the Mexican artist Martin Soto Climent run the project space Lulu.
scala, polis, taut, axis mundi (Constellation 1.2) is the second of a series of six exhibitions to be curated by Chris Sharp for kurimanzutto. Taking place over the course of a year, the series will focus exclusively on emerging Mexican or Mexico-based artists. The intention of the project is to train a rigorous eye that sheds light upon some of the most active and challenging actors in the current art scene. kurimanzutto seeks to provide them with a unique platform within the local and international context, welcoming the development of a new generation of artists. Sharp’s selection will run as independent shows parallel to the gallery’s regular programming, maintaining their autonomy while productively resonating with each other.