Lydia Azout

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Lydia Azout
Avatar-mujer.jpg
Datos generales
Nombre Lydia Azout
Fecha de nacimiento 1942
Nacionalidad Colombiana Bandera de Colombia }}
Ocupación Escultora
Estudios universitarios Instituto Di Marmo e D’Arte en Pietrasanta, Italia
Formación profesional taller del artista colombiano David Manzur en Bogotá
País de nacimiento Colombia Bandera de Colombia }}
Ciudad de nacimiento Bogotá


Lydia Azout is a Colombian sculptor known for her small and large format works in which she blends nature, geometry, and spirituality.

Biography

Azout was born in Bogotá in 1942. During her childhood she traveled around Panama in the company of her father, getting to know the jungle ecosystem, an environment that inspired some of her future works. She also traveled to the Pacific Ocean, where the sea, beaches, and islands stimulated an interest in nature. [1] As a teenager, she became interested in pre-Columbian cultures and their cosmology. Similarly, visits to archaeological sites allowed her to expand the references for her work.

She studied at the workshop of Colombian artist David Manzur in Bogotá from 1970 to 1974. From the mid-seventies, the artist began research to transform her sculpture, turning it into something changing, not at all static. She then traveled to Lucca, Italy, in 1981 to study with Uruguayan artist Luis Camnitzer. In 1988, she studied at the Istituto Di Marmo e d'Arte in Pietrasanta, Italy.

Artistic career

Lydia Azout's artistic journey began in the late seventies with her solo exhibition “Fragmentos” (Fragments) at the Luis Angel Arango Library. In the eighties, she presented several shows, including “Espacios Controlados” (Controlled Spaces) at Alonso Garcés Gallery in 1984; “Fuerzas Agustinianas” (Augustinian Forces) at the Bogotá Museum of Modern Art in 1986; and “Fuerzas Rítmicas” (Rhythmic Forces) at the La Tertulia Museum in Cali in 1988. In 1997 she presented work at the exhibition “Ámbitos de lo Sagrado” (Fields of the Sacred) at the Alejandro Otero Museum in Caracas, Venezuela and “Resonancias” (Resonances) at the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City in 1999.

In 2001 she presented “Una manera de habitar ” (A Manner of Speaking) at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá, and between 2004 and 2005 she exhibited “Memoria, obras, vestigios” (Memory, Works, Vestiges) at the Bolivarian Art Museum in Santa Marta. She also presented the exhibition “360 grados de visión estética” (360 Degrees of Aesthetic Vision) at the Itchimbía Cultural Center in Quito in 2007. In 2012, Azout exhibited in the United States, a show called “Out of the Ordinary Geometry” at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, and “Language of Silence” at the Dot Fiftyone Gallery in Miami. Two years later she would present another show at the same gallery, Going Home. She returned to Alonso Garcés Gallery in 2016 with various individual exhibitions.[2] Establishing a relationship between her work and public space, she presented the exhibition ”Estructuras del Vacío” (Structures of the Void) at the Bogotá Museum of Modern Art in 2019.

The Colombian artist has participated in numerous collective exhibitions. Her first was in 1985 with “100 años de arte colombiano” (100 Years of Colombian Art), presented at MAMBO and also shown in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Rome. In 1986 and 1989, she participated in the II and III Havana Biennial, respectively, at the Wilfredo Lam Center in the Cuban capital. A year later, in 1990, she was present at the XXXIII National Artists’ Salon in Colombia, which was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, an event organized by the Colombian Institute of Culture (Colcultura).

In 1992, she participated in “Colombia: Contemporary Images” at the Queens Museum of Art in New York. A year later she was included in the exhibition ABC: Contemporary Art from Argentina, Brazil and Colombia” at the Sydney Mishkin Gallery in New York. She exhibited again in Cali with the exhibition “Merkabah” at the FES Cultural Center in 1995. In 2001, she participated in the exhibition “Arte, Memoria y Sociedad” (Art, Memory and Society) at Colombia’s General Archive in Bogotá. Three years later, she showed at “Salón del Fuego” at Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño in Bogotá. She also participated in ArtBo International Art Fair in Bogotá in 2013 through Beatriz Esguerra Gallery. In 2016, she returned to MAMBO with the exhibition “Colombia en tres dimensiones. Escultura en la colección Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá”(Colombia in Three Dimensions: Sculpture in the Bogotá Museum of Modern Art Collection) [3]

Characteristics of her work

Lydia Azout's work is based on sculpture with personal, spiritual, natural, and social influences, for which she has used materials such as iron, rusted steel, weathering steel, stainless steel, marble, fique, pita cord, and wood, which allow her to establish different views of materiality, since each of them comes from the earth. For Azout, one of the reasons for making sculptures is the constant search for sources, resources, and influences such as spirituality and geometry.

The San Agustin Archaeological Park and the Lost City in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta have inspired Lydia Azout to investigate the mysticism of ancient peoples and spirituality. It has been these spaces and several others that she has visited throughout her life in Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, and Cambodia that have stimulated her creativity and curiosity. [4] Similarly, her constant contact with nature evokes the importance of spatiality and natural ecosystems for pre-Hispanic cultures, which used the cosmos as well as rituals to protect and pay tribute to their environment. This frames the magical, energetic, ancestral, and earthly touch of her work.

With regards to geometric practice, the artist has used figures such as the circle, the rhombus, the triangle, the tetrahedron, and the spiral to create simple visual languages of forms and structures, which are reminiscent of minimalism and the absence of detail. Her monumental works, like those exhibited in public space, are designed to be acted upon by the viewer. The simple fact of touching, walking through, and contemplating them conveys an idea of personal and collective appropriation and interaction with the work. The experience allows for a reflection on the materiality and durability of art in a specific environment, investigating the transparency or solidity of her installations.

On the other hand, this artistic and spiritual purpose has been supported by numerous inquiries and investigations that the artist has undertaken to change once and again the meaning of her works, along with the sensory intention and the imagination. Alchemical and physical components are present in the personal artistic style from the design, production, and installation of her works, where each piece fits with the others and produces a special material network. The earthly origin of all the raw materials used in her works, as well as the form and arrangement of the objects, accentuate the metaphorical connotations of her artworks.

Featured works

  • 1984: Estructura No. 1 (Structure 1)
    • Estructura No. 2 (Structure 2)
    • Estructura No. 3 (Structure 3)
    • Estructura No. 4 (Structure 4)
  • 1986: Fuerzas Agustinianas (Augustinian Forces)
  • 1997: Fuerza Femenina (Feminine Power)
  • 2004-2005: Serie Mundo Interno (Internal World Series)
  • 2012: Cosmic Power VI (Fuerza del Cosmos VI)
    • Origen de Vida V (Origin of Life V)
    • Lenguaje del Silencio I (Language of Silence I)
    • Inacabados I (Unfinished I)
  • 2017: Umbral Dinámico (Dynamic Threshold)
  • 2018: Estructura del Vacío I (Structure of the Void I)
  • 2019: Estructura del Vacío II (Structure of the Void II)

Works by Lydia Azout in the Banco de la República Collections

Works by Lydia Azout in the Banco de la República Collections
Title Year Location Technique Registration number
Serie soles No. 40 1995 Reserve Sculpture AP2905

Timeline

  • 1942: Born in Bogotá.
  • 1970: Began art studies at David Manzur's studio.
  • 1978: Exhibited at the Luis Angel Arango Library, Bogotá.
  • 1981: Studied in Italy with Luis Camnitzer.
  • 1988: Studied at the Istituto Di Marmo e d'Arte in Pietrasanta, Italy.
  • 1984: Exhibited for the first time at Alonso Garcés Gallery, Bogotá.
  • 1985: Participated in the exhibition 100 años de arte colombiano (100 Years of Colombian Art) at MAMBO.
  • 1986: Solo exhibition Fuerzas Agustinianas (Augustinian Forces) at MAMBO.
    • Participated in the II Havana Biennial, Cuba.
  • 1989: Participated in the III Havana Biennial, Cuba.
  • 1990: Participated in the XXXIII National Artist' Salon.
  • 1992: Participated in a collective exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art, New York.
  • 1993: Participated in the exhibition "ABC Contemporary Art from Argentina, Brazil and Colombia" at Sydney Mishkin Gallery in New York.
  • 1995: Presented Fuerzas Agustinianas (Augustinian Forces) at the National Gallery in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • 1997: Exhibited at the Alejandro Otero Museum in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 2001: Participated in an art exhibition at the National General Archive, Bogotá.
  • 2007: Exhibited at Itchimbía Cultural Center in Quito, Ecuador.
  • 2012: Exhibited at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami.
  • 2019: Participated with several monumental sculptures in the exhibition Estructuras del Vacío (Structures of the Void) at MAMBO.

See also

References

  1. Enormes esculturas de Lydia Azout se exponen en Quito, en el Palacio de Cristal de Itchimbía. El Tiempo. https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-3447037
  2. Lydia Azout CV. Artist’s website. http://lydiaazout.com/
  3. Ibídem.
  4. Enormes esculturas de Lydia Azout… Op. cit.

Bibliography

1. Centro Cultural Itchimbía. (2007). 360 grados de visión estética: Lydia Azout. Quito, Centro Cultural Itchimbía.

2.Serrano, Eduardo. (1994). El Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá: una experiencia singular. Bogotá, Bogotá Museum of Modern Art.

Banco de la República Art Collection

Credits

1.Research and text: Alejandro Lozano, mediator of Banco de la República museums and collections, for Banrepcultural.

2.Review and editing: Inti Camila Romero Estrada and Diana Marcela Salas Solórzano. Public and Educational Services, Art and Other Collections Unit (UAOC).