Piero Atchugarry Gallery is pleased to announce Land Escape, a solo exhibition by Edison Peñafiel, a 2019 award winner of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Grant as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. Positioned in an immersive approach, the exhibition seeks to open up a dialogue about immigration, its substructures and development. The Knight Arts Challenge funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching Miami through the arts. Promoting informed and engaged communities, the Knight Foundation upholds the belief that providing people with information is essential, as such it seeks to fund projects in the arts that lead to transformational, sustainable change.
The exhibition features new works, including a collection of 10 large format mixed-media compositions on canvas, alongside a multichannel video installation. A piercing play on words, Land Escape introduces viewers to larger than life muted and masked characters navigating the confines of their vibrant backdrops. Hung all around the walls and fenced in by a literal barrier of barbed wire, viewers approach these portraits as outsiders, traversing the same colored plains - the forbidding partition making even more evident the separation between the viewers and the displaced characters. Also on view, a seemingly eternal timeline of travelers in black and white is presented in a triptych video installation that references early French cinema and German Expressionism. Informed by Peñafiel's personal migration history, forced to leave his native country due to its political and economic instability, Land Escape punctuates his continued concern in the complex and ever growing migrant narrative in the hope that it becomes a catalyst for reflection and dialogue.
Edison Peñafiel (b.1985, Ecuador) is a South Florida based artist. Peñafiel received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Art History at Florida International University. He has presented his work in numerous large scale projects, site-specific installations, and immersive installations, appearing at the Bass Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Elsewhere Museum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts , and the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Notable awards include: the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Grant, the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, and the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship.