Los Carpinteros, the internationally acclaimed Cuban artist collective known for their immersive sculptural installations and large drawings, recently announced the dissolution of the group. After 26 years of collaboration—creating artworks that critique dominant ideologies and power structures with humor and political undertones—the two remaining members, Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez, have decided to split and pursue separate artistic paths. I got to know them years ago when we started to discuss an Intersections contemporary art project for the Phillips. I love that their work beautifully blends playfulness of form and concept with a sense of subtle irony and intentional ambiguity, leaving openness for interpretation. I was fortunate to visit Marco in Havana this spring and Dago in Madrid just a couple of weeks ago before the news went public. We decided to move on with our project as planned and showcase it at the Phillips in fall 2019. Thereby, we reversed the museum’s tradition of celebrating “firsts” this time around to proudly be the last art institution to honor and say good-bye to this wonderful collective. Stay tuned for more information about the Phillips’s Los Carpinteros Intersections project.
Vesela Sretenović, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Sretenović visits Marco Castillo of Los Carpinteros in Havana, February 2018
Board Chair Dani Levinas and Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Sretenović visit Dagoberto Rodríguez of Los Carpinteros in Madrid, August 2018
Detail of Regina Pilawuk Wilson’s “Syaw (Fishnet)”
The patterns in this painting mimic the stitch and weave of the syaw, large cylindrical fishnets made from the pinbin (bush vine). With the imposition of mission life, knowledge of how to make the nets vanished. Regina Pilawuk Wilson sought to revive the lost art in 2014 when she traveled to the distant outstation of Yilan to learn from Freda Wyartja and sisters Lily and Bonnie Roy. In turn, Wilson has taught the stitch to younger generations in primary schools. Her paintings are similarly a conscious attempt to revitalize lost traditions, showing that persistence and change coexist in Ngan’gikurrungurr culture.
This work is on view in Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia through September 9, 2018.
In this series, we introduce the nine artists behind Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia, on view at The Phillips Collection June 2–September 9, 2018.
Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Circles, 2014, Felt tip pen and earth pigments on paper, Nine panels of 30 x 22 in. Collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl © Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, courtesy Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala. Photo: Sid Hoeltzell
Born c. 1945, Miwatj, Northern Territory
Lives and works in Yirrkala, Northern Territory
Nyapanyapa Yunupingu has become one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. Hailing from a powerful Yolngu family, Nyapanyapa is the daughter of statesman and artist Mungurrawuy Yunupingu and is the younger sister of artist Gulumbu Yunupingu. Through the Yirrkala Printspace—the only full-time, Indigenousstaffed fine art print studio in the country—Yunupingu has become an acclaimed printmaker. Her bark paintings, larrakitj poles, and multimedia works are held in every major public collection in Australia. In 2016 she was featured in the Sydney Biennale, and the Bangarra Dance Theatre performed a work inspired by her life.