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b. 1980, USA

Donna Huanca Biography

The interdisciplinary practice of Donna Huanca (b. 1980, Chicago, IL) evolves across painting, sculpture, performance, choreography, video and sound, crafting a unique visual language based in collaboration and innovation. At the very heart of her oeuvre is an exploration of the human body and its relationship to space and identity. Her live sculptural pieces, or in the artist’s words, ‘original paintings’, work primarily with the nude female body, drawing particular attention to the skin as a complex surface via which we experience the world around us. Largely collaborative, the partnership between artist and model is imperative to Huanca’s practice. By exposing the naked body, while at the same time concealing it beneath layers of paint, cosmetics and latex, Huanca and her performers urge the viewer to confront their own instinctive response to the human form, which, in the artist’s hands, is both familiar and distorted, decorative and abstract.

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Huanca’s two-dimensional painting practice is fundamentally linked to the performative elements of her oeuvre. Photographs of her performers’ decorated bodies are blown up and transposed to canvas, where they are re-worked with paint. Gesture is enlarged and amplified; the soundlessness of her performances reverberates across her abstract compositions. During this process, Huanca engages with the colours and forms painted on her models, resulting in a genuine interaction between the ephemeral choreography of performance art and the permanence of painting. The glacial movements of her wordless performers result in a tactile painting practice rooted both in natural process and mediated dialogue, which freezes movement in a static medium that nonetheless hints at its inspiration and origins.

Text courtesy Simon Lee Gallery.

Donna Huanca Featured Artworks

METAL y PIEDRA DE IJADA by Donna Huanca contemporary artwork
Donna HuancaMETAL y PIEDRA DE IJADA, 2020Oil, sand on digital print on canvas
310 x 250 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Contact Gallery
MONA DE DIOSA by Donna Huanca contemporary artwork
Donna HuancaMONA DE DIOSA, 2019/2020Oil, sand, synthetic hair on steel
203 x 123 x 74 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Contact Gallery
GEOTROPISM by Donna Huanca contemporary artwork
Donna HuancaGEOTROPISM, 2019Oil, sand, synthetic hair on steel
201 x 193 x 75 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Contact Gallery

Donna Huanca Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Donna Huanca, WET SLIT at Simon Lee Gallery, London
Closed
28 February–18 April 2020 Donna Huanca WET SLIT Simon Lee GalleryLondon

Donna Huanca Represented By

Simon Lee Gallery contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Simon Lee Gallery Hong Kong, London

Donna Huanca In Ocula Magazine

The Armory Show 2020 Ocula Photolog The Armory Show 2020

The Armory Show (5–8 March) features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions, and dynamic public programs. The 2020 edition of The Armory Show, welcomes 183 exhibitors from 32 countries, convening Midtown Manhattan at Piers 90 and 94.

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Donna Huanca In Related Press

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With semi-nude models, Donna Huanca brings femme power into a male art world Related Press With semi-nude models, Donna Huanca brings femme power into a male art world 28 June 2019, Los Angeles Times

Donna Huanca says her deep and enduring artistic interest in the female body stems from a simple fact: She has one. She also says she's tired of seeing female bodies brutalized, tired of viewing them via the male gaze. 'In art history, women have been depicted in such a vulnerable way. This is a new way of looking at the feminine form, and in...

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Body painting and performance art collide in 'SCAR CYMBALS' Related Press Body painting and performance art collide in 'SCAR CYMBALS' 21 November 2016, The Creators Project

In Donna Huanca’s imagination, the naked body is a number of things. A fleshy sculpture, a canvas meant for paint, an anatomical performance prop, a model, and so much more. In her first UK solo exhibition, SCAR CYMBALS, the New York-based artist takes over the Zabludowicz Collection, installing painted models in various poses and positions...

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Donna Huanca: Scar Cymbals, Zabludowicz Collection, London Related Press Donna Huanca: Scar Cymbals, Zabludowicz Collection, London 6 October 2016, Aesthetica

The Zabludowicz Collection, London, hosts the first UK solo exhibition by performance-based artist, Donna Huanca. A series of sculptural installations and live performances commissioned by Maitreyi Maheshwari take place in the 19th century Methodist chapel: a collective presentation of the American artist’s career and an expression of...

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What exhibitions to see during Frieze Related Press What exhibitions to see during Frieze 4 October 2016, Whitewall

While in London next week for Frieze, don’t forget to get out of the fair tents and explore the many exhibitions on view at galleries and museums around town. Here is a non-exhaustive but selective list that should keep you busy. William Eggleston Portraits at The National Portrait Gallery in Covent Garden July 21-October 23 This...

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