Sol Calero

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Sol Calero (b. Caracas, Venezuela, 1982) lives and works in Berlin. She obtained a Master’s in Design in 2009 from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She was shortlisted for prestigious prizes such as the Preis Der Nationalgalerie and Prix Jean-François Prat, Paris.

Under a festive, vibrant and luminous appearance, Calero questions the production of standards and clichéd iconography of Latin America with a singular and consistent presentation of abstracted tropicalism. In recent years, the artist has developed a body of all-immersive colorful installations, resembling places such as schools, offices, hairdressers’ salon, salsa classrooms, or a cyber café, with painting always being at the core of her practice. Her floral and fruit shapes patterns, in the form of paintings or objects, are mixed with elements of vernacular architecture, borrowing from sources as varied as Neo-Concretism, 19th and 20th century American geopolitical policy, marginalized figures from Latin popular culture and contemporary forms of social organization, claiming self-construction as a medium of social action. In looking at how Latin American cultures are perceived and exploited, her work faces the spectator with the processes of exoticism inherent to the imagery and narratives of the cultural other.

Her work was exhibited in venues such as Tate, Liverpool; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Düsseldorf Kunstverein; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Copenhagen Contemporary; Villa Arson, Nice; Brücke Museum, Berlin; Nikolaikirche, Stadtmuseum Berlin; Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon; SALTS, Basel; Studio Voltaire, London; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin; ACCA Melbourne, Melbourne; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris; Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; Folkestone Triennial; MO.CO. Hôtel des collections, Montpellier; among others. 

Collections: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; CNAP – Centre National des Arts Plastiques, France; Museo Madre, Napoli; Hiscox Collection, London; Fondazione Cassa Di Risparmio Di Cuneo, Italy.

Sol Calero and her partner Christopher Kline operate the Berlin-based project space Kinderhook and Caracas. They are both founding members of CONGLOMERATE, together with Dafna Maimon, Derek Howard and Ethan Hayes-Chute.

Grants – Prizes:

Shortlised for the Prix Jean-François Prat, Paris

Shortlisted for the Preis der Nationalgalerie, 2017 in association with Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
Audience award for the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Berlin

XVII Salón Banesco Jóvenes Con FIA, Third Place in National Prize, Caracas

Villa Arson, Nice 2019

Solo Exhibitions:

La carta, por favor, Crèvecoeur, Paris
ISLA, BAW Garden, on the occasion of Berlin Art Week, KINDL Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin
La Ventana, Public Commission for Deutsche Bahn, curated by Ruth Ur andorganized with Villeroy & Boch, as part of Ausgang Friedrichstraße, Bahnhof Friedrichstraße, Berlin

El barco de barro (The Clay Ship), curated by Jannie Haagemann, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen
Se empeñaban en tapar las grietas, pero las paredes seguían sudando, curated by Eric Mangion, Villa Arson, Nice

Pasaje del olvido, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich
ISLA, curated by Carla Donauer, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerpen
El Autobus, Tate Liverpool
Archivos olvidados, ChertLüdde, Berlin
ARCO, Madrid with Barbara Gross Galerie

Pica Pica, Düsseldorf Kunstverein, Düsseldorf
Solo Pintura, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich
Casa Isadora, Brücke Museum, Berlin
Tente en el aire, Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lissabon
Sensory Spaces 15, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Milagritos y Frutas, Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris
La puerta, ACCA Melbourne, Melbourne

Agencia Viajes Paraíso, Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen
Interiores, Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund

La Sauna Caliente, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria
Solo Pintura, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London
Casa de Cambio, Art Basel Statements, Basel
Desde el Jardín, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow

La Escuela del Sur, Studio Voltaire, London
El Buen Vecino, SALTS, Basel
Oficina del Ciudadano, solo exhibition, Galerie Wedding, Berlin
Caracas 2015, Sala Mendoza, Caracas

Salsa, Gillmeier Rech Gallery, Berlin
Caribbean Style, Museo Apparente, Naples
Cyber Café, Frieze, London
Bienvenidos A Nuevo Estilo, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London

La Caraqueña, Frutta Gallery, (Hadrian), Rome
Modern Dowry (with Christopher Kline), Toves, Copenhagen
La Perla del Caribe, The Taut And Tame (Lüttgenmeijer), Berlin

Regalos Ancestrales I, II (with Christopher Kline), TEA, Tenerife

Field Studies (with Christopher Kline) curated by Lorenzo Sandoval, Altes Finanzamt, Berlin
Snakebraid performance, El Apartamento, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Snakebraid Performance, Center of Contemporary Art of Torun, Poland
Regalos Ancestrales (with Christopher Kline), Mark & Kyoko, Berlin

Group Exhibitions:

The Sowers, curated by Anissa Touati and Nathalie Guoit, Fondation Thalie, Brussels
The Ocean, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen
Group Exhibition, Paris Internationale, Paris
Indice Ultraviolet: Décalage vers le rouge, co-curated by Colin Raynal, Centre d´art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel

Die Absurde Schönheit des Raumes, curated by Alexander Klar und Jan Steinke, Hamburger Kunsthalle
FEATURES, zehn sichten auf Berlin, Nikolaikirche, Stadtmuseum Berlin
L’Amazonie dans la collection Petitgas, curated by Anna Kerekes, MO.CO. Hôtel des collections, Montpellier

Expanded Painting, Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia
A Shiver in Search of a Spine, Arario Gallery, Samcheong, Korea
El hecho alegre. Una mecánica popular de los sentidos, La Casa Encendida, Madrid
La vie moderne, Nouveau parcours dans les collections, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris

Papier. Salon. Wentrup, Berlin
A Sweet Taste of Conspiracy, Screenings program, FUEGO, Mexico City

Amazonas Shopping Center, Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum for Gegenwart, Berlin
HO HO HO, Frutta Gallery, Rome
Casa Anacaona, Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone, UK
What’s Up – The Americas, LVH Art, London
First Day of Good Weather, organised by Despacio (Costa Rica), Sies & Höke, Düsseldorf
Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine, and Venice, Italy

London is Open: Art for Everyone, Art On The Underground, London
Curated by a Tree, 1857, Oslo
Tropical Punch, Galerie Nathalie Halgand, Vienna
Closer to the veg, Fitzroy Park Allotments, London
Je Ne Sais What?, Carnelutti Law Firm, Milan

Salon of Hybrid Things, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Women’s Art Society II, curated by Adam Carr, Mostyn, Llandudno
You Will Find Me If You Want Me In The Garden, Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris
Oh, Of Course, You Were Berry Picking, DREI Gallery, Köln
Office for Paradoxical Relations, space design, NGKB, Berlin

Small Rome, Frutta Gallery, Rome
Borders, curated by Adam Carr, Artuner, Online show
Accordion, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London

Women’s Art Society, curated by Adam Carr, Mostyn, Llandudno
The Phylogenesis of Generosity, Prizessinnengarten Outdoor Sculpture Triennial, Berlin
Von flussigen Stammbaumen im Geroll der Vernetzung: ein Familienporträt, Espace Beaumont, Luxembourg
Performing and costume for Michele Di Menna – Ooze Generator, 12. Triennale Klein plastik, Fellbach
Item Perspectiva, Krome Gallery, Berlin
Come, All Ye Faithfull, curated by Carson Chan, Florian Christopher, Zurich’

Case Report, Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona
The Rescue of the Effects, curated by Lorenzo Sandoval, General Public, Berlin

Feather Throat, Grimmuseum

Curatorial Projects:

Desde el Salón (From the Living Room)-Sol Calero selects from the Hiscox Collection, Whitechapel Gallery, London 

Oedipusmas Special, 1646, Den Hague

Che Che Cole, 63rd-77th STEPS, Bari, Online

Desktop Residency, Online

Collections: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; CNAP – Centre National des Arts Plastiques, France; Museo Madre, Napoli; Hiscox Collection, London; Fondazione Cassa Di Risparmio Di Cuneo, Italy.

Bibliography – Selected Articles:

‘Rhythmic Repetition and Hybridized Memories: Sol Calero and Zora Mann at Villa Arson, Nice’ by Giovanni Manzotti, Mousse Magazine, Online.
‘Sol Calero, Zora Mann and Shailesh BR at Villa Arson’, studio international, Online.

‘2019 in Art – Small and smart Two highlights’ by Anna Larkin, Exberliner.
‘Im Garten der Chiffren’ by Kito Nedo, art 9/2019, pp. 66–74.
‘Sol Calero’s ‘Archivos Olvidaros’ by Sofia Lemos, on ArtAgenda, Online.

‘Les Fruits Syncrétique de Sol Calero’, by Anael Pigeat, The Art News Paper, p.20.
‘Sol Calero’s “Tente en el aire”’ , by Angels Miralda Tena.
‘Sol Calero for Sensory Spaces 15’, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Newsroom, Online.
‘Welcome! A Conversation with Sol Calero about Tropical Hospitality, Latin American Legacy, and the Potential of the Exotic’, a conversation between Sol Calero, Emanuele Guidi, and Lorenzo Sandoval, Spaces of Anticipation, Issue 36.

‘Sol Caleros Bilderräume, Dekonstruktion des Exotischen’, Agnes Sawer, Kunsttexte, Nr.2, Online.
‘Sol Calero: It’s important that the aesthetics don’t eat the concept’, by Anna McNay, Studio International, Online.
‘Pavilion Casa Anaconda’, Domus Magazine, Online.
‘Sol Calero at Dortmunder Kunstverein, by Moritz Scheper, Frieze, Online.
‘Sol Calero Tropical Punch’ by Samuel Leuenberger, Keen On Magazine, Online.

‘An Artist’s New Look’, by Aimee Farrell, New York Times Style Magazine, Online.
‘Richly-Hued Tropicalia’, by Thomas Skye, Artnet News, Online.
‘Amuse’, by Francesco Dama, Solo Pintura.
‘Ka-Ching! Sol Calero erects a Venezuelan currency exchange booth in Basel’s Statements section’, by Nate Freeman, ArtNews, Online.
‘The 20 Best Booths at Art Basel’, by Marina Cashdan and Molly Gottschalk, Artsy, Online.
‘Sol Calero’, by George Vasey, Kaleidoscope, Issue 27.
‘Sol Calero in conversation with Elise Lammer’, Interview by Elise Lammer, Terremoto, Issue 5.
‘Anatomy of an Artwork: Desde El Jardin’, by Oliver Basciano, The Guardian, Online.

‘Sol Calero turns Studio Voltaire into a Kitsch-ified Caribbean Classroom’, by Alexander Forbes, Artsy, Online.
‘Sol Calero’, Interview by Molly Gottschalk, Artsy, Online.

‘Sol Calero: Political Fruit’, by Harry Laughland, Artuner, Online.
‘An Interview with Sol Calero’, Interview by Adam Carr, Artuner, Online.
‘My Frist Time at Frieze’, by Sophie Heawood, The Guardian, Online.

‘Sol Calero’s Neo-Folk Sculpture and Installation’, by Aaron Berger, Beautiful/Decay, Online.

Catalogues – Publications:

‘Mecarõ – Amazonia in the Petitgas Collection,’ ed. by Anna Kerekes, Jacqueline Kok, Silvana Editoriale, Milan, 2020. ISBN: 9788836644360

‘Sol Calero. Agencia Viajes Paraiso’, by Amely Deiss and Milena Mercer, Kunstpalais, Stadt Erlangen.

‘Works from the Agovino Collection’, by Dio c’é, Cura Publishing.