Bosco Sodi: Alabanzas
Galería Hilario Galguera presents Alabanzas, an exhibition of pictorial and sculptural pieces by Bosco Sodi that opens on Tuesday, February 7th and runs through April 7th, 2023. This is Sodi’s forth exhibition with the gallery.
Bosco Sodi’s work is at once grounded in the earth, in the mud and clay, a material which he has used for decades, but there is also something quite ethereal about his art, a feeling of the infinite or the intangible. Alabanzas, the title of Sodi’s new exhibition at Galeria Hilario Galguera, and the Spanish word for ‘praise’, evokes both a spiritual connotation as well as one of gratitude and appreciation. He embraces this dual sense of spirituality that links the earth with the heavens, the humble efforts of humankind with the celestial. In a recent series of wall hangings that began during the pandemic, Sodi applies a circle of gold glaze onto eight burlap bags, which are installed on the white walls. In this same room, several hand-formed clay spheres, also covered with gold, are placed on the floor. The effect is one of reverberating energy, the golden light both absorbed by its simple materials of clay and burlap, yet creating a glow that resonates across the room. Sodi is interested in the transformation of objects – how something like a rock or a burlap sack, considered without value on its own, can be turned into one of desire with a layer of gold pigment. But these works also reflect how beauty and the spiritual can be found in the everyday; the connections between our humble acts and the greater universe. “My works try to make a connection. I would like to think that they can give the viewer a tool to better understand the universe, understand ourselves and our relation to other and to nature itself – something I am inherently attached to,” he said to TLmag contributor, Amy Hilton, in an interview in the summer of 2022.
A series of large red paintings that form part of the exhibition are made with a mixture of glue, water, sawdust and cochineal pigment. Cochineal, an ancient pigment with origins in Mexico, is made from crushed insects and was long revered for its striking red colour and vibrancy. The thick, clumpy surfaces of the paintings are volcanic, like landscapes of dried earth that are still active and moving, as if cracks could expand within or smoke might emerge from the core.
Sodi has long been connected to the philosophy of wabi-sabi, embracing impermanence and imperfection in a way that is deeply linked to nature and the elements. He often makes paintings or sculptures and then leaves them outside for days or months, letting the unpredictability of the elements have their hand in it. In this way, time plays an important role in his work, the passage of time which opens up new meanings, new surfaces, new shapes. It is as if he is in a dance with his materials; he gives something and then they reveal something back. As he said to Hilton, “To let the elements dictate the outcome exemplifies the organic nature at the heart of my process. I love the challenge of the materials, the accidental learning process and allowing for the works to continue to change over the course of time.”
Alabanzas opens in connection with the 22nd edition of Zona Maco in Mexico City. The exhibition will be on view at Galería Hilario Galguera, Mexico City, through April 7th, 2023.