Christopher Grimes Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. As part of the Site Santa Fe’s 2014 Biennial, Manglano-Ovalle installed a permanent work of land art in the community of the Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. This vertical sculpture penetrated the ground to reach the aquifer below on top of which was installed a hand pump to manually extract water for public consumption. For this forthcoming exhibition, 500 gallons of water from this well will be transported to Santa Monica where visitors can access this resource and gift of P’oe courtesy of Santa Clara Pueblo. Of this project, Manglano-Ovalle states:
“Well is on the one hand a simple and reductive gesture of drilling down to tap what’s beneath us, on the other hand it’s simply a utilitarian means of accessing a basic necessity. As an artwork it reconsiders Robert Barry’s Inert Gas Series and Walter de Maria’s Vertical Kilometer, and it could remain as such contentedly. Except that once the aquifer is tapped the work is no longer inert, and its verticality is contested by demands for horizontal distribution. Landscape turns into land, and water into commodity, calling into question De Maria’s metrics of vastness and Barry’s indefinite expansion of elements, as well as the colonial underpinnings of this earlier work. Put to use Well politicizes concepts of site and landscape and problematizes the very substance of the work – water."
Throughout his career, Manglano-Ovalle has addressed urgent issues relevant to our time. Couched in a formal language of art historical references, topics such as migration and climate change have been explored through metaphors of clouds and icebergs, and water itself. Well in particular calls into question the environmental impact of resource extraction, the carbon footprint of the artists and the political, legal and cultural complexities of water rights and shared consumption.
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (b. 1961 in Madrid, Spain) lives and works in Chicago, IL. He was the 2012 winner of a USA Fellow Award and winner of the 2001 MacArthur Fellowship. Manglano-Ovalle has been honored with numerous solo exhibitions including The Black Forest, the inaugural exhibition at Museo Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain (2015); Always After (The Glass House), The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2011); and Gravity is a force to be reckoned with, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA (2009). He has presented major projects at Documenta XII, Kassel, Germany (2007) and the Barcelona Pavilion, Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona, Spain (2002). Manglano-Ovalle’s work is in the collections of such institutions as Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Bilbao, Spain; and Museo Nacional Centro de arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain, among others.