Mateo López (b. 1978, Colombia)

Mateo López, born in Bogotá in 1978, studied architecture and holds a bachelor degree in Fine Arts. The combination of art and architecture studies has defined Mateo López’s interest in drawing. He became deeply involved with drawing after attending a class with a teacher that explained to him the notion of expanded drawing. A conceptual approach to the practice of drawing opened a new world of possibilities for the artist as it enabled him to draw in a myriad of ways: with the body, with discarded materials, in space. Since then, López conceives drawing as a “metaphoric mechanism that approaches human processes and ordinary life in the manner of a poetic narrative.” 

This is evident in the artist’s insistence on reflecting in a graphic manner and on the three dimensionality of drawing. For López, drawing manifests itself in atypical ways, with specific moods, and with a broad array of definitions that are useful for telling stories and recreating situations.

López considers his practice as a time line. He aims for a narration thread that connects a project with another. His relation with visual work based on visual associations echoes his approach to drawing. The passing of time in relation to architecture and paper has been a long-standing interest for the artist as well as the historical process of drawing and its link to science and technology.

For the past seven years, the artist has been working on projects that speak of cartography, journeys and construction processes. In addition, the themes of chance, encounter and the connection of events that take place in our daily life have also played an important role in his practice. The subject of López’s work is thus a reflection of the methodology he employs to approach drawing; it could be described as a chain reaction process in which one drawing leads to another, and so forth.

His most recent solo shows include: Casa Desorientada, Art|44|Basel Statements, Casas Riegner, Basel, Switzerland,2013 (upcoming); Casi un objeto, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid, España, 2013; Avenida primavera, Casa No.2,Casas Riegner Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia, 2012; Irregular Hexagon, Colombian Art in Residence (curatedby José Roca), Jerusalem Center for the Visual Arts, Jerusalem, Israel/72-13, Singapore City, Singapore,2012; Maio, Luisa Strina Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil, 2011; and Made to Measure, Gasworks, London, UK, 2010.

López has also participated in multiple group exhibitions, among them: 'A Trip from Here to There', MoMA, New York NY, 2013; 'Música', Casas Riegner Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia, 2013; 'Imaginary Homelands', The Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Toronto, Canada, 2012; 'Rotary Connection', Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York NY, 2012; 'The Peripatetic School: Itinerant Drawing from Latin America', Drawing Room, London, UK / Museo Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia, 2011-2012; 8th MercosurBiennial (curated by José Roca), Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2011 and 29th São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil,2010.

López, Mateo b. 1978

related artists / Colombia / Latin America