Juanele, by Carla Harms

'Garden of delight'
Carla Harms, Juanele (www.juanelear.com), September 20, 2011

Galería Mar Dulce opened Daniel Santoro‘s show 'Exercises for the recuperation of the aura: Iconostasis, notes and artist’s books' on Saturday afternoon. Despite the growing crowd there to see this respected artist and his drawings, I found myself drawn outside to the garden space out back.

There I found Patricia Miani‘s beautiful installation of painted spheres hanging from the trees and looking like some kind of magical fruit, with larger sculptures dotting the ground. The effect, on such a beautiful afternoon, was quite delightful.

The artist wandered around in the garden outside, looking like she was part of the installation in a pink dress that coordinated with her painted works. During a lovely little chat with her, I learned that her spherical installation had been informed by an installation she made in Spain during a residency, where she hung the spheres on orange trees, creating artistic doubles of the real fruit on the trees.

While having worked mostly on two-dimensional painting projects in the past, Miani has been branching out more with sculptural works. Using foam board as a base for her sculptures, she paints petal-like portions of cardboard which she secures to the spheres or larger formed sculptures to create uneven, seemingly layered works that swirl with complexity and color. Each petal is a painting on its own, rich with color and movement.

I simply love the space at Galería Mar Dulce. The first time I visited the gallery, it reminded me very much of a wunderkammer, with all of its paintings and drawings and objects arranged in their spaces. Specializing in small and mid-size artworks, the space is set up to showcase works in a way that allows you to have a more intimate experience than you do in most galleries.

I chatted with Mar Dulce’s Scottish owner Linda Neilson on Saturday about this, and she told me that she really enjoys the process of placing the art objects in their spaces, allowing them to play off of each other and create visual themes. Featuring works in a wide range of materials, the collective exhibition that is showing alongside Santoro’s works was filled with all kinds of goodies, like Daniel García’s drawing of a bunny on a flower pot, Rita Bamidele Hampton’s intricate and sculptural jewelry pieces, and Lola Goldstein‘s whimsical ceramic sculptures.

As I was leaving, the crowd was squeezing in for a talk by Santoro, whose work is very well respected here in Argentina, but Saturday’s highlight for me was Miani’s installation in the garden – beautifully executed sculptures in the perfect space.

I highly recommend a visit to Mar Dulce – I think it’s the perfect name for place that really feels sweet.

Daniel Santoro
Exercises for the recuperation of the aura: Iconostasis, notes and artist’s books‘
Through November 12
Galería Mar Dulce
Uriarte 1490, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tuesday – Saturday, 3 – 8 PM
Website: http://galeriamardulce.blogspot.com/