Guillerma Kuitca, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1961, has long been fascinated with mapping, and how easily such navigational tools break down.

His early works were installations of beds, the grey, stained mattresses painted with road-atlas imprints of cities and motorways. His current exploration of city maps, theatre seating plans and family trees sees an extension of his interest in mapping. People on Fire looks like a hand-written family tree that has been left out in the rain, or one that has been digitally copied and in the process rendered near illegible by a printer malfunction. The black names are blurred, the ancestral lines have become squiggles, a pink stain is all that remains of some entries. People on Fire reportedly shows the complex family tree of Bloomsbury group sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf but it is now impossible to navigate. Untitled (City Plan) shows Kuitca returning to the city map, but the unnamed city has dissolved and fractured to the point of abstraction. In the last ten years Kuitca has also been interpreting work from periods he admires such as analytical Cubism, breaking them down in terms of their surface marks. In Untitled (City Plan) he similarly deconstructs the marks of the city plan to become abstract marks on paper.


Sperone Westwater.

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