October 2017_Michela Arfiero
Disegni is open to all forms of drawing; the galleries were selected on the basis of the specific works of the presented artists, that must be created with this medium that, originally associated with paper, is being radically transformed in contemporary practices.
João Mourão (Alegrete, 1975) and Luís Silva (Lisbon, 1978) are a curatorial duo based in Lisbon, Portugal, where they currently serve as co-directors of Kunsthalle Lissabon, a contemporary art institution they founded in 2009. Besides their curatorial practice, João Mourão and Luís Silva are also contributing editors of art magazines and co-editors of the ongoing book series “Performing the Institution(al)”, addressing recent developments in institutional practice.
Why a section dedicated to drawings?
For many reasons. Because it allows us and the fair to think about the medium in a more challenging way, presenting both audiences and collectors alike how drawing is a very relevant way of artists engaging with the world, how it has expanded from being a simple preparatory medium for painting and sculpture for instance, to being a narrative structure in and of itself, and how it can be a very interesting way of thinking about collecting, initiating and stimulating art lovers to collect.
The practice of drawing has many aspects, it can be a thought, a draft, a project. It was any of these aspects important in choosing the artists that will be presented at Artissima 2017?
Yes. We wanted to present drawing in all its complexity. We wanted to go beyond its definition as a medium into a more challenging territory of thinking about it as narrative and metaphor. So the projects in the section will attempt to, together, present that vision of drawing. Some will be more traditional presentations, others will be more challenging and others will even be very difficult to consider drawing, from a more narrow definition. But they will also be about Drawing as a mental structure.
Collecting drawings has always been considered a minor way to collect Art.
In addition to the economic aspect, perhaps the immediacy and the ephemeral side of the drawing often placed it at a lower level of collecting. What are your suggestions to anyone who wants to start collecting drawings?
To not be afraid of drawings. To let them talk to you. To immerse yourself in its expressive possibilities. To be intuitive but thorough in your exploration of drawing. To let yourself go beyond preconceived notions of what a drawing is, how it can be shown and how it can be collected.
I would like to be accompanied in my life by a Luise Bourgeois, or by an Agnes Martin’s drawing. Which drawings from the History of Art, would you like to have and which ones inspired you most?
Being curators and being surrounded by artworks on a daily basis, we don't feel the need of ownership. We love artworks and artists, but we don't need to have them, in a material way. Having said that, we were inspired by, from an early age (and we still feel very emotional everytime we encounter them) by Matisse's cutouts.