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Francisco Ugarte's 'Slideshow' opens at Cristin Tierney Gallery
Francisco Ugarte, Untitled (Projections at Ground Level), 2011. projector and slides. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Cristin Tierney Gallery presents Slideshow, an exhibition of slide projector works by Francisco Ugarte. This is Ugarte's first solo show in New York, and he will be present at the reception on Thursday, July 7th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Slideshow explores the creative possibilities of two simple materials: transparent slides and projected light. Of the hundreds of slides that comprise the works on view, each transparency has been drawn on or altered with tape by the artist. When illuminated, the slides project a series of images that evoke abstracted landscapes, Constructivist iconography, and pictograph-like symbols. No discernible narrative exists in the works, but a steady progression through the images is marked by one slide clicking to the next.

The works in Slideshow are indebted to the rich history of geometric abstraction and early 20th century avant-garde art, particularly in Latin America. With their formal rigor and minimal materials, Ugarte's work references the pared-down pictorial language used by the revolutionary dreamers of art generations past. Present are allusions to Joaquin Torres-García, Wassily Kandinsky, Vladimir Tatlin, and Piet Mondrian, each of whom saw abstraction as a universal and progressive style. Like his forebears, Ugarte's work also demonstrates an awareness of spatial presence, and is closely tied to his training as an architect. Whether working in video, installation, sculpture, or drawing, his practice revolves around the architectural tenets of positive and negative space, light, and shadow. As such, many of the works in Slideshow resemble built structures, or simply evoke a depth of space belied by the projected image's inherent two-dimensionality.

Slide projection is a unique medium in art. It is not painting, photography, film, nor drawing, but it combines features of each. The projector depends on light - a somewhat intangible material - but it is also decidedly sculptural, with a bulky frame and the endless whir and snap of the shifting slides. It is an obsolete technology on the verge of extinction, yet it continues to offer infinite possibilities in art. Relatively low-tech, slides can easily be manipulated and projected at monumental sizes with high-resolution. Slides can also be endlessly rearranged and edited, and the final projections are the result of an intensive process of curating, with many decisions about order, timing, and scale. As demonstrated in Slideshow, slide carousels offer room for new growth and experimentation in form, even as they become harder to find and more expensive.

Francisco Ugarte holds a BA in Architecture from the Western Institute of Superior and Technological Studies. In the fall, he will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Marfa Contemporary in Texas, and he will also produce a site-specific installation with SiTE:LAB for ArtPrize 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ugarte has had solo exhibitions at the Clemente Orozco Museum in Guadalajara, and the Experimental Museum El Eco in Mexico City. Select group exhibitions include the Raúl Anguiano Museum of Art, Guadalajara; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Salón ACME, Mexico City; and Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City. His work is held in the Charpenel Collection and Colección Jumex, and he has been awarded residencies at the Careyes Foundation and Casa Wabi, both in Mexico. The artist lives and works in Guadalajara.

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