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Vorágine: Yente and Cecilia Biagini

June 1 @ 4:00 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College announces a new exhibition that brings together modern and contemporary abstract artworks, Vorágine: Yente and Cecilia Biagini, from May 30 through September 22. An opening reception and performance will be Saturday, June 1, at 4 pm.

Yente (1905–1990) was a pioneering figure in abstraction from Argentina whose work has been gaining greater recognition in recent years. Cecilia Biagini (b. 1967) is an artist of Argentine origin now based in Brooklyn. Vorágine presents works Yente made from the late 1930s through the early 1960s, a period when she experimented with the visual languages of geometric abstraction across media, including painting, sculpture, tapestry, and artist books. Biagini, who has lived and worked in New York since the late 1990s, has a similar omnivorous approach to artmaking that includes installation, sculpture, painting, and music.

Together, the two artists’ works narrate an often-overlooked history of women abstractionists in the Americas. By introducing North American audiences to Yente through her work and her legacy, as seen in Biagini’s work, the exhibition expands conversations about abstract art through an intergenerational dialogue made possible by the rediscovery of the work of women in the past. The exhibition’s title comes from Yente’s artist book Vorágine, meaning “whirlpool” in Spanish, and serves as a vivid metaphor for the strong creative force and dynamic nature of Yente and Biagini’s approaches to artmaking.

Vorágine: Yente and Cecilia Biagini is organized by Ayelen Pagnanelli, an independent curator who recently earned her doctorate in art history at the Escuela IDAES at Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her dissertation is titled Abstracciones disidentes: género y sexualidad en el arte (Buenos Aires, 1937-1963), or Dissident abstractions: gender and sexuality in art (Buenos Aires, 1937-1963). She is also a Skidmore College graduate of the class of 2014 and a former Tang intern who organized the 2013 exhibition (Un)known Lives of Objects: From Nigeria to the Tang Collection.

The opening reception on Saturday, June 1, at 4 pm will also include a special performance with violins, movement, and voice at 5 pm by exhibiting artist Cecilia Biagini and Aimée Niemann. All are welcome. Admission to the Tang is free. For more information, call the Visitors Services Desk at 518-580-8080 or visit https://tang.skidmore.edu.

About the Artists

Yente, born Eugenia Crenovich in Buenos Aires, Argentina, began exploring abstraction in the late 1930s after meeting Italian-Argentine abstract artist Juan Del Prete, who would later become her husband. In 1945, she was the first woman to have a solo exhibition of abstract paintings in Buenos Aires. Although her artistic career spanned five decades, Yente’s influence on art history has only recently been acknowledged as an important precursor to the more widely known groups of male geometric abstractionists, such as Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención, Madí, and Perceptismo. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA), the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, the Museo Eduardo Sívori in Buenos Aires, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which recently put two works by Yente on display.

Cecilia Biagini, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, began her artistic journey as an actress and photographer. In the late 1990s, she moved to New York after participating in a workshop given by Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca. Since then, she has exhibited her abstract paintings, sculptures, and installations across the US and Argentina. Her works are included in notable collections including Toyota Research Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts; The University of Texas at San Antonio; The New York Public Library; Bank of America, New York; Microsoft, New York; The Department of Homeland Security, Washington DC; The Ministry of Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and The Museum of Contemporary Art, MACBA in Buenos Aires, Argentina, among others.

About the Performers

Cecilia Biagini and Aimée Niemann are an interdisciplinary duo who combine sound, movement, and visual art to create experimental and immersive environments for their audiences. The duo cultivates freedom and innovation in their artistic expression by using improvisation to interlace divergent mediums, including violins and voice, movement, sculpture, and found objects. Formed in 2019, the duo has presented installations and performances at AC Institute in New York, 2020, and at Biagini’s exhibition Detour at Ruiz-Healy Art Gallery in New York, 2022.

About the Tang Teaching Museum

The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York’s Capital Region, the institution’s approach has become a model for university art museums across the country — with exhibition programs and series that bring together the visual and performing arts with fields of study as disparate as history, astronomy, and physics. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, the Mellon Seminar, and robust publication and touring exhibition initiatives that extend the institution’s reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum’s building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of ideas and exchange the institution catalyzes. The Tang is proud to be a Blue Star Museum member, supporting active military and their families with free admission from May 18 through September 2. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 5 pm, with extended hours until 9 pm Thursday. More information at http://tang.skidmore.edu.


Exhibition webpage: https://tang.skidmore.edu/exhibitions/631-voragine-yente-and-cecilia-biagini

Tang website: http://tang.skidmore.edu

Tang on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tangteachingmuseum/


June 1
4:00 pm
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