Vargas-Suarez Universal, High Tech Olmec
March 25 - June 25, 2019
IFAC Arts and the Yard Lower East Side, in New York present High Tech Olmec, an exhibition featuring the debut of digitally embroidered, hand painted silks and recent spacewalk paintings on movie screens by Vargas-Suarez Universal (b. 1972). These new artworks are a continued exploration of his Vectors series trope, employing rules based systems, resulting in a varied and diverse output, begun twenty years ago. VSU’s new works creates references to the mathematical elegance of his interests ranging from natural geologic formations, indigenous interventions similar to the Nazca lines in Peru, modernist geometric abstraction, and advanced visualization technologies used by both NASA and Roscosmos space programs, to create a unique language both difficult to categorize but easily distinguishable by his signature style.
Since 2015, VSU has been living and working between New York City and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, where he began using traditional materials of the silk road for his most recent bodies of work, including a large scale permanent installation commissioned by the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek. Learning from local revered masters and artisans in Bishkek and in the Lake Issyk Kul region, VSU has learned many traditional techniques for wool and silk, some dating back as much as 9,000 years. He is working with ancient craft as well as current digital technologies to create artworks that embody the ancient and the futuristic at once.
Born in Mexico City and raised in the Houston, Texas adjacent to NASA. He studied astronomy and art history at the University of Texas at Austin, and conducted post-studio research at NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA; Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL; Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX; Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Korolyov (Moscow), Russia; and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. His writings have been published by Right Brain Words, New York; Edizioni Charta, Milano and The MIT Press. Selected collections include: The Museum of Modern Art Library, Whitney Museum of American Art, El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Dieu Donne Papermill, Inc. Archives (all in New York); Jersey City Museum, NJ; Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, RI; Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin,TX; Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy; Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; DA2 (Domus Artium, 2002) Salamanca, Spain; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), León, Spain, Winzavod Contemporary Art Centre, Moscow, JPMorgan Chase Art Collection and the UBS Art Collection.