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Andrés Anza

Portraits of an (un)known world

Opening Wednesday, April 19th, 2023


on view until May 27th, 2023

Galleria Anna Marra is pleased to present Portraits of an (un)known world, the first solo show in Italy by Andrés Anza.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1991, Andrés Anza has chosen ceramics as the material he uses to create sculptures, seemingly abstract, but at the same time organic, intending in this way to stimulate the spectator’s perception.

As he models his works, the artist takes his inspiration from nature, both organic and inorganic; a thorn from a rose, an indentation in the ground, but also the human body. In reality shape is only a pretext to obtain the spectators’ involvement, seemingly calling on them to recognise and define the object they are observing.

Starting with a profound knowledge of the medium and being a highly skilled artisan, Anza creates truly aesthetic stimuli and brings his works to a conclusion just at that point where the spectators’ questions begin.

The title of the exhibition itself – Portraits of an (un)known world – represents an oxymoron, bringing together something extremely familiar ‘portraits’, with a concept ‘(un)known’ which on the contrary can only be mysterious.
The dualism continues as the spectators are called on to explore the spaces of the gallery and place themselves in relation with the works so as they observe them from different points of view and seek out the several facets and parts that are most hidden. In fact the shapes of the sculptures conceal folds, corners, nooks and in some cases imperceptible openings that allow one to observe their interior. Metaphorically, the artist is referring to concepts of interiority and exteriority as these are perceived by our society: just as the work is not exclusively its aesthetic and its appearance, so human beings show only some aspects of themselves. Other parts, those which are deeper and more intimate, will only be visible to a few people or may even remain totally hidden. Through his work, Anza invites spectators to continue beyond what they first see – the first impact, free of prejudice, to investigate more deeply that which surrounds the work in an attempt to understand it as completely as possible, though right from the title it is obvious that his ‘portraits’ have come from an unknown world.

The artist appears fascinated by the observer’s intervention, by his/her acting in relation to the works, just as in the creative process he focuses on the iteration between himself and the material, “I like to see my work as a collaboration between my hands and the clay,” to the point that over time he has acquired a ‘tactile memory’ that allows him to create his works intuitively.

Monochromatic, abstract and entirely covered with pointy spines, there are about twenty sculptural works made specifically for this exhibition. They entwine, spread out, group together, dissolve, create an surreal and indescribable ecosystem.
Andrés Anza’s sculpture represents a joining of the ceramic artisan tradition and the development of the most recent practices and concepts in this area. Here in fact the terracotta is not glazed, but has a surface texture: opaque and painted in acrylics, that almost seems to conceal the real nature of the material of which it is made. Even in the techniques he uses, Anza’s work maintains its dualism and ambiguity.


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