press release

On Saturday, May 7, Auckland Art Gallery unveils the inspirational and imaginative exhibition, Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America.

Space to Dream is the first comprehensive exhibition of its kind to be generated in Australasia. It is a unique opportunity to explore the differences and connections across art from eight South American countries over the past 50 years.

The exhibition conveys the sense of South America as a place of vitality, constant change and possibility. It reveals the ways art has offered a space for its people to reflect, act and dream throughout the region's politically and socially turbulent history

Auckland Art Gallery's Director Rhana Devenport says Aucklanders are intrigued and fascinated with South America, its art and culture.

"They've told us they're curious to learn more about the region, so Space to Dream is our response. It is a dynamic and sensual experience which reveals parts of South America's tumultuous history and politics, and gives insights into its many cultures and hopes for the future," she says. "The exhibition offers rare and remarkable encounters with a continent that is relatively unexplored in New Zealand."

The internationally applauded artists showcased in Space to Dream include Martín Sastre from Uraguay, León Ferrari and Marcos Lopez from Argentina, Ernesto Neto, Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticia from Brazil, Alfredo Jaar, Lotty Rosenfeld and Bernardo Oyarzun from Chile, Juan Fernando Herrán from Columbia and many more.

The Gallery's Principal Curator Zara Stanhope curated Space to Dream in collaboration with Chilean curator Beatriz Bustos Oyanedel. Stanhope says Space to Dream will connect visitors with the powerful art and stories of South America.

"With almost 40 artists, it is the first extensive exhibition in Australasia to introduce, in depth, the art of this neighbouring region," she says. "The exhibition and its accompanying visitor programme are rich with art and ideas that show how artists allow tradition, lifestyles, politics and even time to be experienced differently when given a space to dream."

The many different works show how artists are creative agents whether reflecting on history or daily life.

Space to Dream brings together some of the most visually engaging paintings, sculpture, photography, installations, textiles and films from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay and includes rare works and new commissions.

Works by a range of artists from different generations offer a powerful exploration of the ways imagination can be a tool to engage with life, society and its institutions such as politics and religion.

Devenport says Space to Dream will help to open up many doors of opportunity between New Zealand and South America, as academic exchanges, artistic residencies and relationships have been developed. "Aucklanders will benefit from such a substantial investment of time and work behind this one-off experience," she says.