Exposition Art Blog: Lika Mutal - Contemporary Peruvian sculpture

Lika Mutal - Contemporary Peruvian sculpture

Lika Mutal (12 September 1939 – 7 November 2016) was a Peruvian sculptor whose career began in 1971.Mutal is well known for her hand carved stonework, which focuses on the interconnectedness of the human and non-human world.The idea of duality is an omnipresent theme in Mutal’s life, as she is of European heritage, but she lives part-time in the ancient landscape of Lima, Peru and part-time in the modern architecture of New York City. Duality manifests in her work as she juxtaposes rough, jagged edges with smooth, polished surfaces, as well as with the physical structure of the work, has each of the pieces typically as some element that links two independent pieces. Most impressive about her work- is Mutal’s ability to give a sort of dynamism to the inherently static substance of stone. Mutal’s work is well represented globally, and her practice is based out of Norha Haime Gallery in New York City.
Lika Mutal’s work is heavily inspired by her intimate relationship with the landscape, and with the spirit of the stone. It is these relationships that make her work so unique. From the process of choosing a stone, to the finished product, Mutal’s goal is to magnify the individual life in the stone, so that it may be seen or experienced by the untrained eye. In order to do this, Mutal adopted a unique standard protocol for her artistic development. She begins by visiting a quarry in order to choose the perfect stone. Mutal is not in search of any specific qualities, she just looks for a stone to stand out to her as an individual. She then studies it physically for some time, leaves, and if she can return to exactly the same stone multiple times days later, she takes the stone to her studio. Before removing the stone, Mutal performs rituals taught to her by incan shamans, which include burnt offerings and sprinkling the ground with wine, asking the Earth for permission. After the stone is in her studio, she spends time analyzing it for its external and internal properties. It is for this reason that she is known for living a stone untouched in her studio for years before she actually makes the first mark. When she finally begins manipulating the stone, she focuses on enhancing rather than altering, and as careful to avoid imposing her human will onto the stone. It is this enhanced awareness of the stone, and the intricacy of which she works that forces her to work by hand rather than with stone cutting machinery.Wikipedia

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