Bolivian-American artist Donna Huanca (b. 1980, Chicago, IL) creates work that destabilizes the male gaze while exploring femme and indigenous narratives and mark-making. Huanca’s installations encompass painting, sculpture, and live performance, and are characteristically created for, and integrated with, the specific architectural spaces in which they are presented. Her art is deeply invested in ritual practice as a means for transcendence, meditation, and transformation.
For her commissioned exhibition at the Henry, the artist has created an architecturally immersive environment, consisting of a vast stage of interlocking ovoid/cellular forms, landscaped with white sand and supporting six mirrored “screen” sculptures, along with a selection of other sculptural work. Four mural-sized paintings surround the stage, each representing one of the four seasons. As viewers journey through the space, they are invited to experience a kaleidoscopic engagement with their own reflection and the works, as well as sound and olfactory pieces. A complete sensory experience, the installation aims to evoke a slippage of space and time inviting participants to both find and lose themselves. Throughout the length of the exhibition, the Henry, the artist, and cultural performers of all genres will work together to produce a series of programs in dialogue with the exhibition’s themes.Huanca’s exhibition is the first commissioned work supported by the Richard E. and Jane Lang Davis New Works Fund. A complimentary publication will accompany the exhibition.