After the artist’s two-month sojourn in the Long Beach area, the “Matias Duville: desert means ocean” exhibit is on display at the Museum of Latin American Art. Duville’s collection of drawings highlights the timeless interconnection between land and sea.
“The body of work that makes up this exhibition is the result of the artist’s residency in MoLAA during the months of July and August 2019," Lourdes Ramos, MoLAA’s president, said. "Matías Duville’s artwork draws the spectator into raw landscapes that provoke opportunities to connect with the personal imagery of the artist and explore the differences and similarities between deserts and oceans."
“For me, the Pacific Ocean is a strong influence; that’s the core of the exhibition,” Duville said. “The exhibition is a dialogue between the ocean and the desert, focusing on how they impact each other. I started working on the idea of art work connected with the ocean, using deep blue pigment (almost black) and oil. For the drawings connected to the arid desert, I used a bloody paste that gives off a lot of dust. This idea began to become more complex as the residency progressed and both sides began to interconnect as I went more and more through the territory.”
Duville spent time working within the Southern California landscape.
“From the shores of Santa Barbara down to San Diego, I’ve found distinct spots that are inspiring," he said. "The strength of the Pacific Ocean, the way the waves mimic the seabed gives me all the tools I need to work on the artworks presented here at MoLAA. The desert area I have a deep interest in is Joshua Tree, where everything seems to be a landscape more ‘out there’ than real.”
“Matías Duville and I were in close dialogue for over a year”, explained Stefanie Hessler, guest curator. “During this time, we discussed our own experience and relation to the ocean, as well as how desert and ocean flow together. Many deserts were previously oceans, and with the current climate catastrophe, we may imagine oceans becoming deserts again.
“For the exhibition space at MoLAA, we wanted to create a situation in which visitors encounter desert and ocean as perhaps separate at first sight, but ultimately closely connected. On one side of the space, more desert-related works are on view, and on the other side, more ocean-related works are shown. Desert and ocean are closely interconnected ecosystems and we wanted them to flow together."
Duville’s “desert means ocean” exhibit will be on display through Dec. 1 at MoLAA, 628 Alamitos Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday through Sunday, to 9 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10/$7 for students (w/ID) and seniors (65+). Members and youngsters 12 and younger are free. For more information, go to www.molaa.org or call 562-437-1689. Free admission every Sunday.