Colombian artist Mateo López was born in Bogotá where he lives and works. He was selected by TrAIN and Gasworks to do a three-month residency leading to a two-venue exhibition at Camberwell College of Arts (1-12 June) and Gasworks (5 June-25 July).
Lopez makes drawings and installations to describe personal journeys and creates studio-like situations in which the production and display of the work overlap. His works are informed by notes and photographs that he takes constantly. In many of his installations, Lopez combines real objects with drawings which he expands into three-dimensional forms, unfolding a narrative constructed by processes of associations rather than a linear trajectory. Drawing becomes a toll that gives the first tangible form to ideas.
During his residency Lopez developed new work which he presented in two parts. For the Camberwell exhibition, he created a display of instructions and executions that reflect his use of drawing as a way of accounting for his explorations and creating environments. The outcomes of these exercises included drawings, maps, three-dimensional objects and models assembled in the exhibition space.
Continuing off from the notion that the exhibition space is one more element/medium in his work, Lopez presented the exhibition Made to Measure at Gasworks. For this show, he treated the exhibition space as a drawing. New corners and angles served as display surfaces for a series of what he calls 'graphic objects', created with extraordinary precision and detail.
By situating the viewer within an illusory life-size model, Made to Measure subverted the relations of scale, dimension and functionality.
Mateo López's residency at Gasworks and the subsequent two-venue exhibition continued the links between Gasworks' commitment to supporting and exhibiting international emerging art practices and TrAIN's interest in providing a theoretical framework for art making in an international residency situation.
Recent solo exhibitions by Mateo López include Deriva, MUSAC, Spain (2009), Topografía Anecdótica, Galería Casas Riegner, Bogotá (2008); and Diario de Motocicleta, Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (MDE 07), Medellín, Colombia (2007). His work has been included in group shows internationally such as 31º Panorama da Arte Brasileira, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2009), Moby Dick, CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, USA (2009); and Urgente: 41 Salón Nacional de Artistas, Cali, Colombia (2008).