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MCA Denver Presents La Montaña by Artist-in-Residence Ana Maria Hernando in the Project Gallery
Photograph of Peruvian petticoats. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Robinson.

DENVER, CO.- MCA Denver announced the opening of Ana María Hernando’s installation La Montaña in the Project Gallery. The exhibition opens January 27, 2009 and runs through April 19, 2009. A public reception will be held on Friday, January 30 from 6-10pm. This exhibition was curated through an invitation and proposal process, during which Cydney Payton, former Executive Director and Chief Curator of MCA Denver, invited a selection of artists to submit residency proposals. From these proposals, artists were chosen to exhibit by a committee comprised of educators and students from MCA Denver’s partner schools and a member of the MCA Denver Board of Directors.

For her residency at MCA Denver, Ana María Hernando has mounded petticoats to form La Montaña in the Project Gallery. Over the past four years, Hernando—originally from Argentina—has been visiting the remote village of Mollamarca located high in the Andean mountains, outside the city of Cusco in southwestern Peru. This is the fourth project in which she drew from her experiences from the Peruvian village to create an art installation.

The colorful petticoats worn by the women of Mollamarca are enchanting. Layered under their skirts, the petticoats add cheerfulness and a magical element to the atmosphere as the women work on steep mountainsides, weave, sing, or dance. For La Montaña, Hernando brought the crocheted petticoats from Mollamarca to her studio in Boulder, Colorado where she stiffened them using glue and resin. Students from MCA Denver’s partner schools have also participated in the process during the on-site installation of the work.

By working in varied media—such as drawing, painting, installation, video, and poetics—Hernando has created a flexible artistic practice that allows her to bridge her past and present experiences throughout the Americas. She often collaborates to create new contexts when she is working with found objects. Seemingly incompatible opposites like old and new, craft and fine art, man-made objects and nature, are joined together as part of Hernando’s vision. For example, she drew on the talents of Carmelite nuns in Buenos Aires, Argentina to embroider shaped cloth forms that she applied to gallery walls like drawings. She has also taken shoes made from rubber tires and worn by children of the Andes to create a wall mandala.

Ana María Hernando was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1959. She lives and works in Boulder, Colorado. She holds a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland. Hernando has had many group and solo exhibitions including at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, CO (2009 & 2005); Center for Visual Art, Denver, CO (2009); Museo de las Americas, Denver, CO (2007); International Center of Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine (2008); and Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth (2006).

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