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Kit Chirachaisakul, Thailand Protection, 2017 Mezzotint. Image, 80 by 60 cm; paper, 99.5 by 70 cm. Courtesy of the Museo José Guadalupe Posada
 

 
Biennial
III José Guadalupe Posada International Engraving Biennial

17/January/2018




Graciela Kartofel



With wide and geographically diverse international participation, meaningful prizes and innovative creations, the Third José Guadalupe Posada International Engraving Biennial took place in Aguascalientes, Mexico. On this third edition of the event, the Museo José Guadalupe Posada became an example of what a 21st century event of this type, inspired by a figure from the past, should aspire to be. Honoring a creator should not mean to simply encourage participation content with emulating the same proposals or artistic techniques of the figure being honored. On the contrary, the tribute must expand the scope and reach to demonstrate that his/her talent and legacy are carried on by others. The call has made this crystal clear for its next edition titled "Printing in All of Its Diverse Approaches and Supports, with an Emphasis on Experimentation."


The US$ 10,000.00 First Prize is a way of recognizing the importance of engraving in the visual arts of today. Second and Third Prizes receive a purse of US$ 7,500.00 and US$ 5,000.00, respectively. The Fourth Prize consists of an artistic residency at the renowned studio adjacent to the Museo José Guadalupe Posada. These attractive awards are responsible for the participation of six hundred thirty applicants—five hundred fifty-one from the twenty-three states of Mexico, and seventy-nine from Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world.


Formed by artists Flor Minor and Juan Manuel de la Rosa and by art historian, art critic, and curator Graciela Kartofel—as its president—the jury selected eighty-three works for the exhibition. The First Prize was awarded to Kit Chirachaisakul (Thailand). The Second, Third and Fourth Prizes went to Adriana Marrufo-Díaz (State of Mexico), Grzegorz Handerek (Poland), and Esteban Calderón-López (State of Mexico), respectively. The jury also granted five honorable mentions to artists from Guatemala, the US, Mexico, Poland, and Slovakia. All winners attended the award ceremony held a couple of months after the jury's announcement. There, architect Claudia Santa-Ana Zaldívar, general director of the Instituto de la Cultura de Aguascalientes, spoked about the commitment to continue organizing the event and maintaining the value of the prizes. This is noteworthy considering the current context in which the continuity of many other similar events has been put into question. The prominence of the event is also manifested through the diversity of ages and careers of its participants, from young creators to professors of renowned universities, all with several awards under their belts.


Open to the public until February of 2018, this third edition of the José Guadalupe Posada International Engraving Biennial underscores experimentation with techniques and supports. Speaking of supports, Adriana Marrufo-Díaz presented a linocut print on rose petals, Mexican marigolds, sunflowers, orchids, bougainvilleas, corn leaves, and poplar tree leaves. This original and careful preparation merges two concepts worth mentioning: ecology and identity. Instead of paper, Marrufo-Díaz recycles materials discarded through the natural cycle of the cosmos that are independent from the image; flowers that are synonymous with Mexican identity. Protection, the work by Kit Chirachaisakul that received the First Prize, expresses the anguish experienced in contemporary society. Time Change, the work by Grzegorz Handerek that won the Second Prize, is a visual metaphor in which volume appear to be fully emerging from the two-dimensional plane of the engraving. Like with most of the events of its kind organized in Mexico, the travelling phase of the José Guadalupe Posada International Engraving Biennial, which begins now, is an example to follow.


 





 


 

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