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August 31, 2016
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Greg Svitil | T: 202.370.0147
[email protected] | AMAmuseum.org

Atmospheres and Entropy: Works on paper
Catalina Chervin

On view September 7-October 28, 2016
OAS F Street Gallery
1889 F Street, NW, Washington DC 20006
By appointment only, Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm
Please call 202-370-0151

Opening Reception (no appointment necessary): September 7, 2016 from 6-8pm

Washington, DC: The Organization of American States (OAS) AMA | Art Museum of the Americas presents Atmospheres and Entropy: Works on paper by Catalina Chervin, an exhibition curated by Susanna V. Temkin as part of AMA’s F Street Gallery program showcasing young and emerging artists of OAS member countries. AMA is part of the OAS’s Secretariat for Hemispheric Affair, and its work is based on the principle that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities, as visual components reflecting the four pillars of the OAS: democracy, human rights, security and development.  

Atmospheres and Entropy presents a selection of works on paper by Argentine artist Catalina Chervin (b. Corrientes, Argentina, 1953).  Focusing on the otherworldly effects achieved through an intense, dedicated practice, the exhibition explores Chervin’s unique and masterful technique, characterized by meticulous mark-making, worked and re-worked over years. Over time, these carefully rendered graphic traces form dense layers that hover on the edge of entropy, yet remain balanced by Chervin’s restrained erasures and manipulations of voids and blank spaces.

Working from her studio in Buenos Aires, Chervin describes her practice as an effort “to understand the graphic chaos which is my interlocutor when I begin a dialogue with a blank sheet.” This balance between chaos and the blank sheet, entropy and order, is revealed through precise lines, careful shading, and “accidental” imprints – drips and smudges calibrated into the composition – that extend across the paper, drawing viewers into seemingly timeless spaces, inviting careful examination. Chervin’s artworks evoke a sensation of deep perspectival space that alternately conjures forth landscapes, emotional states, or haunting presences.

Two drawings by Chervin – Untitled (1998) and Retrato (Portrait) (1999) – are part of the AMA’s permanent collection, and were recently featured in the 2015 exhibition Streams of Being.  However, since the early 2000s, Chervin’s practice has undergone a perceptible shift, her previous proto-figurative forms gradually giving way to more abstract markings.  This transition is seen in her drawing series About the Darkness, conceived in 1999, revisited in 2006, and completed in 2010.  These heavily-worked drawings still bear traces of the bodily, near-organic shapes from Chervin’s original composition, though these forms are now subsumed within the deep shadows and numinous spaces that are characteristic of much of her recent work.

About the Darkness is included here among more than twenty works by Chervin. Ranging from small-scale intimate reflections (Maternidad, 2003) to nearly-life-size, immersive images (Untitled, 2001), Chervin’s first solo exhibition in the United States showcases the range of her artistic practice.

In conjunction with the F Street Gallery exhibition, a selection of artworks including Chervin’s print portfolios Canto (2010) and It (2015) are on view at the Herman Maril Gallery at the University of Maryland Art Gallery in College Park, MD.  In November, Atmospheres and Entropy will travel to New York, where it will be on view at the Cecilia de Torres Gallery, Ltd., from November 17 through February 4, 2017.

Catalina Chervin graduated from the National School of Fine Arts Ernesto de la Cárcova. Based in Buenos Aires, she has also worked with various print workshops in New York City.  She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Fondo Nacional de las Artes in Buenos Aires (2001) and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2004 and 2015).  Artworks by Chervin are included in prestigious public and private collections across the globe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The New York Public Library; the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C.; the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas, Austin; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and the Albertina Museum, Vienna; among others.

AMA promotes the core values of the OAS by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, and learning, highlighting themes such as democracy, development, human rights, justice, freedom of expression, and innovation.  AMA’s work advances the inter-American agenda, drawing on the arts to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the Americas via local and hemispheric cultural exchange.  This is achieved by showcasing cutting-edge exhibits of artists whose output creatively combine aesthetics with topical social and political issues.

For more information on AMA, please visit AMAmuseum.org