Spring 2023 Highlight: Celeste
As we celebrate the close of our Spring 2023 exhibition season, we're reflecting on an incredible partnership with artist duo Celeste. María Fernanda Camarena (b. Guadalajara, 1988) and Gabriel Rosas Alemán (b. Mexico City, 1983) brought their collaborative artistic practice to both locations and spent time with our audiences through unique interactive experiences. Here's a look back on a summer with Celeste!
HOST: Celeste exhibition at the Jones Center
Celeste, Hacer olas, 2023. Pigments and acrylic base on dyed cotton canvas. 108 x 10 x 492 inches. Installation view, HOST: Celeste, The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center on Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 2023. Artwork © Celeste. Courtesy the artists. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Alex Boeschenstein.
Inaugurating the HOST space at the Jones Center in downtown, Celeste debuted Hacer Olas (2023), a new textile painting, created specifically for the space, as well as two new wall-mounted copper sculptures.
The painting, intended to be viewed from left to right, portrays an abstracted landscape. The artists take inspiration from the vital history of murals in their hometown of Mexico City, including how these murals have functioned to shape public space and communicate through images. Click here to learn more about the gallery exhibition HOST: Celeste.
Installing Manta de cielo at Laguna Gloria
In May and August, The Contemporary Austin -- Laguna Gloria welcomed Celeste's Manta de cielo sculpture as a temporary installation on the sprawling 14-acre grounds. Manta de cielo is a portable textile sculpture made up of eight pieces of dyed fabric tied together with knots, creating a flexible space adaptable to a variety of installation sites. The title of the piece, Manta de cielo, connects the grandiose to the everyday. A manta is an ordinary kitchen rag and cielo, which means sky, refers to the fabric of the universe.
The sculpture incorporates the area where it is installed, filtering natural light through dyed fabric and into the space, turning the interior a bright shade of pink. This creates an atmosphere that transforms not only the space, but everything that enters it. The textile piece was created as a shelter to host gatherings, events, and celebrations.
Art School Workshop with Celeste
A weekend workshop was also held at our Art School, where the artists worked closely with students to craft hand-dyed and painted picnic blankets. They were joined by Macarena Hernandez, an editor, curator, and cultural manager who provided additional context and insight into the dynamics of collaborative practice.
Community Picnic and Artist Talk
Manta de cielo was activated for a special artist talk and community picnic, inviting guests and workshop students to display their blankets created during the weekend workshop. Curator Robin K. Williams led a conversation with Celeste and their collaborator Macarena Hernandez as guests lingered together under the sculpture and throughout the meadow.
Celeste X The Shop at The Contemporary Austin
Celeste and The Contemporary Austin collaborated on creating goods inspired by their exhibition including tote bags, a dot-grid notebook, and an exhibition publication.
The tote bags were hand dyed by museum staff member, Ryan Lerma, and the design was created by Celeste based on their piece, Hacer Olas (2023).
Another item inspired by one of Celeste's works is the dot-grid notebook based on La mimica de nuestra coversacion (2022).
The publication, "Estirar las formas/Stretch the forms" is a reunion of notes, sketches, pictures, drawings and references for the project HOST: Celeste together with an interview with curator Robin K. Williams. Every page of this book is also a poster.
We want to express our gratitude to the artists and everyone who made this exhibition possible. Thank you for joining us this season for HOST: Celeste and Manta de cielo!
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