Marria Pratts: Melted with U
December 9 – 21, 2022
The Boiler / ELM Foundation
191 N. 14th St.
Enfant-terrible of Spanish creation, Marria Pratts, exhibits for the first time in New York with LA BIBI Gallery, after receiving institutional recognition in her hometown, Barcelona. Her ghosts, neon signs, burnt canvases, will take over ELM Foundation’s art and event space, The Boiler, in Brooklyn and claim the beauty of the street, of the marginal. Heiress to Joan Miró in the stroke and to Pablo Picasso for her enfant terrible character. Marria Pratts (Barcelona, Spain, 1988) may argue the first statement, but enjoys the second one. “It’s a good sign to be called enfant-terrible. I don’t want to cause boredom, quite the opposite”, she affirms.
Marria’s New York debut takes place after exhibiting in the two most important museums in her hometown, the Museu d’Art Contemporani (MACBA) in 2021 and the Fundació Joan Miró in the Spring 2022. According to art critics, Pratts’ work reminds us of the angry atmosphere of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Difficult years that brought forward new forms of expression across art and culture.
As then, radicalism is a form of shouting for a generation on the edge. “Marria is inspired by walks through the industrial area near her studio, where she looks for traces of beauty in the midst of decadence and garbage, bringing them to canvas in an intuitive, wild and contemplative study process,” says her gallerist, Marc Bibiloni.
“When I walk down the street I like to look at flowers growing in the concrete, tires left anywhere, paint on the asphalt, things that are truly wonderful and often ignored by many. And they’re all free! It’s an aesthetic attraction,” Pratts says. The result is a work that, by reflecting on the devastated, simultaneously creates a restorative, comforting and exciting emotion.
The writer, editor and curator Elaine Tam, author of the presentation text of this exhibition, highlights the curious gaze of Marria Pratts. It is the same curious and non-judgmental gaze that one has during childhood. “A child will not mention Jean Dubuffet’s interest in street graffiti, nor Philip Guston’s cartoonish physics of a rose, nor Joan Miró’s frivolous doodles on the walls of his old studio in Mallorca (Spain).
We can leave that interpretation of Pratts to the so-called authority of the art historians.” Similarly, Pere Llobera, also an artist and the curator of Pratt’s previous exhibition, 1 Possession Drift, at Fundació Miró, encapsulated her creative process. “Her work is expressed through action.
Everything she activates in the present becomes a potential piece for the immediate future. And believe me when I tell you that the “activations” come from the most unlikely places: globetrotters, mechanics, neighbors, those in charge of the Sants market stalls, waiters, friends of all kinds and origins,” he wrote and explained, “The painting will be the violence (flame/delirium/bile/purgation) of the brush that wants to drift and embrace the desire to be in a new way”.
©2022 Marria Pratts
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