Fernanda Laguna: The Path of the Heart

From the beginning of her career in the mid-1990s, Fernanda Laguna (b. 1972, Buenos Aires) charted her own artistic path, making artworks through a feminist lens and with a distinct visual style. Fernanda Laguna: The Path of the Heart features more than fifty works that span her entire career. Highlighting Laguna’s understanding of art as a language that communicates emotions, The Path of the Heart will foreground the role of drawing in an oeuvre that includes Laguna’s work as a visual artist, and also as a writer, curator, activist, and cultural agitator. Fundamental to Laguna’s multifaceted practice is the sharing of emotional bonds and the cultivation of community. In her words, “Art manifests in people; if there are no people, there is no art.”

Laguna has defined an aesthetic of the periphery, creating artworks that often incorporate inexpensive or discarded materials with a deliberately naïve, sometimes populist sensibility—such as drawings that feature a furry heart as her own avatar, as well as canvases with pockets, windows, and hidden messages. During the 2000s, Laguna's previously discrete writing practice began to intersect with her art practice, resulting in the more pronounced use of raw, visceral language in her drawings; a change in materiality (including the incorporation of found materials like toilet paper, stickers, bottle caps, and tree branches); and overall, artworks that are intentionally crude and roughly executed but at the same time profoundly emotional.

Since the turn of the century, Laguna has initiated projects that connect art and community, including the widely influential Belleza y Felicidad, an art gallery, DIY publishing space, and art supply store that was the meeting ground for Buenos Aires’s artistic community. Collective initiatives like Belleza y Felicidad will be highlighted in The Drawing Center’s lower level gallery, where the artist will install a site-specific archive of hand-drawn murals, ephemera, videos, photos, objects, booklets, and magazines that chronicles her social practice and activism.

Organized by Rosario Güiraldes, Associate Curator