THE Art Beat of the Swiss Alps

by Hannah Kymila Bär von Fetan

Lita Albuquerque installs at The Art Safiental Biennale in the Graubünden, Switzerland as part of a greater focus on Land Art and environmental concern in Contemporary Art.

 LITA ALBUQUERQUE   Transparent Earth   Safiental, Switzerland

LITA ALBUQUERQUE

Transparent Earth

Safiental, Switzerland

19 August 2018  |  Graubünden, Switzerland

 

THE Art Beat of the Swiss Alps

by Hannah Kymila Bär von Fetan

The second instance of Swiss-based Biennale for Land and Environmental Art, Art Safiental declares ‘HORIZONTAL-VERTICAL’ its theme for the 2018 installation that runs from July 7th to October 21st, 2018. 

Los Angeles-based sculptor Lita Albuquerque sends waves of compassion and humility through viewers with her piece, Transparent Earth (2017), which depicts a woman laying with her ear listening for the heartbeat of Mother Nature. The work traveled from its original commission at Desert X, where it displayed at Sunnylands in Palm Desert, Calif. in 2017, to Switzerland for the Biennale. 

The appropriation of the sculpture for the mountainous Alps is both visually and conceptually apt, as the Graubünden region is best known for its sustainable culture, clean water and picturesque peaks. The horizontal figure placed at the pinnacle of a mountaintop is an exacting execution of the 14-work installation’s curatorial theme. 

Visual innuendo of Transparent Earth whispers loudly to viewers to stop, take a moment, and listen for a deeper purpose in their daily lives: whether their focus is on the natural world, the art world, or a more capitalistic endeavor; everyone can afford to take a little time to consider their impact on our beautiful planet. Lita Albuqueque’s sculpture differs from a typical installation of a female figure in its intention and ability to engage in a conversation with its surroundings, highlighting the aforementioned message without spelling it out in laymen’s terms. Visually, the electrocuted lapis tone is jarring and memorable, allowing the viewer to be enraptured by the work’s beauty prior to digesting its more weighty conceptual roots.

 LITA ALBUQUERQUE   Transparent Earth  [En Verso]  Safiental, Switzerland [Graubünden]

LITA ALBUQUERQUE

Transparent Earth [En Verso]

Safiental, Switzerland [Graubünden]

 LITA ALBUQUERQUE   Transparent Earth   Safiental, Switzerland [Graubünden]

LITA ALBUQUERQUE

Transparent Earth

Safiental, Switzerland [Graubünden]

A counterpart to this sculpture is in the works for installation in New Zealand, bringing the message of sustainability in Contemporary Art around the globe. This artwork and the Land Art focus behind the Art Safiental Biennale participates in a larger conversation in the arts including such artists as Andrew Goldsworthy and site-specific specialist Christo, who recently opened a show at Galerie Gmurzynska Zürich as well as an installation with art-partner Jeanne-Claude at the Galerie Gmurzynska St. Moritz

As the residue of success from Art Basel lingers year-round, Switzerland reigns as the hub for internationally focused artists and collectors. With St. Moritz Art Masters just around the corner in early September, the art world's appetite is whet for more eye-opening artworks that display both internal and external grace such as Albuqueque's. 

Through the Fall season, the Graubünden's Safiental Valley is peppered with Land Art and displays by artists such as Swiss-duo Gabriela Gerber & Lukas Bardill’s Looking For Oneself Within the Gorge of Acla and a Monumental Install of floating-cement, Egschi Shell (2018), by Dutch-Swiss sculptor Bob Gramsma. The Art Safiental Biennale was curated by Johannes M. Hedinger in partnership with the Alps Art Academy, and will continue to bring new eyes to a central concern of younger generations for years to come. 

Lita Albuquerque’s work is on view at The Art Safiental Biennale through October 21st, 2018. For more information: www.artsafiental.ch

 

@hannahvonfetan // art department, No. 3 Mag

 CHRISTO & JEANNE-CLAUDE   Running Fence  (1972-76)  Sonoma and Marin Counties, Calif.

CHRISTO & JEANNE-CLAUDE

Running Fence (1972-76)

Sonoma and Marin Counties, Calif.

 ANDREW GOLDSWORTHY   Arches  (2005)  Gibbs Farm, New Zealand

ANDREW GOLDSWORTHY

Arches (2005)

Gibbs Farm, New Zealand

 LITA ALBUQUERQUE   Transparent Earth   Safiental, Switzerland [Graubünden]

LITA ALBUQUERQUE

Transparent Earth

Safiental, Switzerland [Graubünden]

 LITA ALBUQUERQUE   Transparent Earth  [Studio View]  Los Angeles, Calif.

LITA ALBUQUERQUE

Transparent Earth [Studio View]

Los Angeles, Calif.