Currently showing at Braga Menendez Gallery in Buenos Aires is a solo exhibition of new work by Gumier Maier, entitled El Baile de las Cosas (“The Dance of the Things”). Maier made a name for himself in the 1990s with his geometrical sculptures, but has now transitioned to more ephemeral means of working. After retiring in the Parana River Delta, Maier began collecting the trash that floated through the river system. This refuse became his newest media and informed by his sculptural background, Maier continues to construct various figures and collages from these discarded objects.
Since the Dadaists, we have seen the construction or reinterpretation of the found object, but Maier’s work makes a different point than Duchamp once did. There is no sense of rebellion or real feeling of tension; only a quiet contemplative quality to the work, no matter how colorful and textured it may be. Alternatively, the work cannot be simply interpreted through the lens of collage because there is such an unintentional construction to the pieces. The exhibition’s title suggests that the “dance” of the objects has less to do with the artist’s hand than the organic process that Maier and the “things” take equal part in. Plastic ice trays and shampoo bottles commingle with two-by-fours and dirty wash cloths to create the vague essence of a male figure. The aesthetics of the work are only part of the conversation however, in this age of “going green”. The social and ecological implications of a gallery full of works of art created by trash found floating in a South American river cannot go unnoticed. Maier leaves the dialog flexible and unforced in El Baile de las Cosas, inviting the viewer to begin that discussion on his or her own. El Baile de las Cosas is on view in the second floor gallery of Braga Menendez through November 15th.
Gumier Maier is represented by Braga Menendez and Diana Lowenstein in Buenos Aires and Miami and has exhibited internationally in Argentina, Brazil and the United States, including apexart in New York.