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  • 'Fantasias'
    Elisabeth Wild
  • 7 July to 21 October 2018
  • Railway Bridge,
    Southend High Street
Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present a new temporary public commission for the High Street’s railway bridge by Guatemalan-based artist Elisabeth Wild, the artist’s first exhibition in the UK.

'Fantasias' consists of two new site specific works developed for the bridge made in response to Southend’s history and identity as a seaside town, in particular referring to its design and architecture. Each panel is made from eight individual collages, sixteen in total, that together forms a vantage point for the town centre.

The work forms part of an ongoing series of collages by Wild in which she uses vibrant colours and kaleidoscopic geometric forms composed of cuttings from advertisements in art, fashion and lifestyle magazines. Creating a new collage each day, the process is a meditative act which Wild credits as contributing to her 96 years.

Carefully layered and overlaid, this set of collages recalls a tropical abstracted Modernist cityscape that draws on the luscious landscape in Wild’s Guatemala as well as celebrating Essex’s crucial role in the history of British Modernism.

Curated by Kiera Blakey, this commission forms part of a project funded and in collaboration with University of Essex.

About the artist:

At 96 years of age Elisabeth Wild (Vienna, 1922) lives and works in Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. Although she is best known for her collages made out of magazine cutouts, she has worked in a variety of mediums and formats over the years, which include painting, drawing, ceramics, jewelry, textile and industrial design, and sculpture.
Her recent solo and two-person shows include Fantasía, NuMu, Guatemala City (2017); Monstera Deliciosa (with Vivian Suter), Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City (2016); Panajachel (with Vivian Suter), The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2015); Fantasías 2 (with Vivian Suter) Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2014); and Elisabeth Wild, Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City (2014). She has participated in museum group shows in Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; and Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San Jose, Costa Rica, and recently participated in documenta14 in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany.