We are delighted to announce that Glynn Vivian has recently received two new sculptural works by artist Carlos Bunga, for the Gallery’s permanent Collection, following his major exhibition, Terra Ferma, in 2021. The works were acquired by the Contemporary Arts Society and we are exceptionally grateful to them and to Carlos Bunga for his gift through the Contemporary Art Society for these new acquisitions.
This gift supports our ongoing work with local and international contemporary artists who are invited to engage in innovative ways with our permanent collections.
These sculptures were commissioned as part of Bunga’s exhibition, Terra Ferma in 2021. For this exhibition, Bunga selected several historical landscape paintings mostly from the nineteenth century. Many of these are picturesque, romantic and idealised, containing elements of wildness, depicting a time just before or at the beginnings of the industrial revolution, as well as the ravages of colonialism and late capitalism. Between the paintings and these strange sculptures, we are invited to consider where we find ourselves in this time of crisis and to contemplate possible ways forward for humanity and the world.
This commission was part of the Gallery’s series of exhibitions entitled ‘Conversations with the Collection‘ in which the Gallery invites artists, curators and communities to work with the permanent collection.
Carlos Bunga makes structures and interventions out of everyday mass-produced materials such as cardboard, tape, and household paint. His work is often site-specific, encouraging us to rethink the ways in which we experience architectural space and the world around us. Bunga’s practice is also inspired by his self-described nomadic lifestyle, drawing on his experiences of displacement, loss and movement.
Previously known for works which specifically explore urban space, architecture and mass-produced materials, he has more recently turned his attention to our destructive relationship with the natural world in order to consider ways forward and alternative ways to live; such as in his recent show at Whitechapel Gallery, London, where he considered the Shaker community.
In the sculptures commissioned for Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, fragments of nature, such as bark and twigs appear embedded in the works, as well as remnants of urban landscapes– bits of buildings, turrets and domes. Colours range from the organic to the garish, including pieces of bark and masonry paint and organic forms mashed up with urban debris.
Carlos Bunga (b. 1976, Porto, Portugal) currently lives and works near Barcelona. Recent solo shows include Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Secession, Vienna (both 2021); MOCA, Toronto; Whitechapel, London (both 2020). Recent group shows include Alexander and Bonin, New York (2020-2021); Biennale Gherdëina 7, Ortisei, Val Gardena, Italy (2020); Caixaforum, Barcelona (2019). His work is featured in several permanent collections including The Museum of Modern Art (New York); “la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art (Barcelona); and Hammer Museum (Los Angeles).
Credit Line: Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2021/22 (for Untitled # 9).
Gifted by the artist through the Contemporary Art Society, 2021/22 (For Untitled #17)
Photo credit: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. Photographs: Polly Thomas