My artistic practice is built from a poetics anchored in a cultural mixed race identity shaped by a Pre-Columbian, Hispanic-American and European immigratory past. Exceeding the anachronistic dichotomy between art and craft, I work ceramics breaking the barriers that oppose fine arts to popular arts. I give account of this complex identity in my work by gathering in it multiple cultural contributions, opening my work to the most diverse significations, to the complexities of the present time, to the mixing of different cultures by inserting and combining western topics with referents in our territory so as to articulate the most disrespectful combinations between historical events, memories of our childhood, games, power, childhood-fantasy, popular kitsch and the bestiaries, all of which are infected with a touch of humour, irony and nostalgia. This pluralist art tries to be an open space that allows for a critical look and does not turn into a place where knowledge is made up of certainties. Quite the opposite, I prefer dialogue and questioning in interpretative positions. The interdisciplinary art is also combined in aesthetic operations which lead to reconsidering disciplinary autonomies. Art - be it ceramic, graphic, sculptural, pictorial, photographic or mixed - is the foundation of my work, in which the object is hoisted as the icon of my project. By assembling, fragmenting, multiplying, serializing, unifying, fusing, printing and modelling I work on both raw and fired material. Raw material becomes part of my ceramic work, completes it and articulates it in the foundational axis of my aesthetics: the mixed medium.
The path of my work can be brought together in thematic series which are constantly reshaped. These can be defined as: Social Satire, Saga of Discovery, Automata, Contemporary Bestiaries, Dwarfs, Self-referential work, Uselessly Decorative Objects, Project South (work in progress) and The Collector.
Project South is a “work in progress” in which I use images transferred from Simulcop booklets (Argentinean schoolbooks used to help drawing during the 60s and the 80s) to propose a journey through South America and Argentina.
The drawings of political, hydrographical and climate maps as well as maps showing our flora and fauna, different parts of important cities and ports, and the most important American products show the ideal representation of our continent’s recent past. Project South is a commitment to the future of our region, a work anchored in the ironic game of our memory.
The Home Series, which is part of Project South, expresses and affirms a place of belonging. A region, Latin America, a continent South America, a country, Argentina, a city, a house, a home. Modest, almost collapsing houses are a regular sight in the cultural landscape of both, South and Latin America. The ironic word “Home” entails a trick, almost a funny one, in this poverty context. The simplicity of the dwelling, made up of printed cardboard shows the sad reality we have been facing for years now. There are roofless houses, houses on the verge of catastrophe, houses falling apart and self- sustaining houses. This is a series in permanent construction and its metaphorical development manifests itself as a symbol of resistance.
Born in La Plata, Argentina, 1959. Arts Graduate and Professor of Plastic Arts (with a main focus on Ceramics) at the Fine Arts Faculty, UNLP (National University of La Plata). Teacher and investigator of IUNA (National University Institute of Art). Member of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) since 2009. Lives in La Plata, Argentina.
2013 - Selection 58º Concorso Internazionale delle Ceramiche di Faenza, MIC Faenza, Italy
2012 - 2012 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan
- Solo Exhibition. El Coleccionista, Centro Cultural Malvinas, La Plata, Argentina
2011 - X Bienal Internacional de Cerámica de Manises, Manises, Valencia, España
- Group Exhibition Paisajes¬-Memorias, Celda Contemporánea, UCSJ, México DF, México
2010 - Group Exhibition of IAC members, Musée de Sevres, Cité de la Céramique, París, Francia
- 30º Cica 2010. Concurs International de Cerámica de L´Alcora, Castellón, España
- Cerco. 10º Certamen de Cerámica Contemporánea, Zaragoza, España
2009 - 15º Certamen San Agustín de Cerámica, Avilés, España, Aveiro, Portugal
2012 - Juror´s Recommendation Prize, 2012 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, New Taipei City, Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
- Adquisition Prize, 89º Salón Anual Nacional de Santa Fe, Museo Rosa Galisteo, Argentina
2010 - 2º Premio L´Alcalatén, 30 Cica 2010, Concurs Internacional de Cerámica de L´Alcora, España
2012 - “Esteka” Revista de Cerámica Contemporánea Nº 13, Ed. Ruth Krauskopf Chile
2011 - “Terrart” Revista de Cerámica Contemporánea Nª 39, Art. Mercé Coma, Ed. ACC, Barcelona
2010 - Article in “Artegía, La cerámica in Italia en el mondo”, Nº 7 by Martha Pachón, Ed. Silvia Imperiale, Milano, Italy
- Private collections of Argentina, Germany, Spain, México, U.S.A, Italy, Chile, Brasil, Australia, Japan, China, Korea, France.
- Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación, Argentina
- Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
- Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza, Italia
- Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation, Australia
- Flicam, Fule International Ceramic Art Museums, Fuping, China
- Yixing Ceramic Museum, Yixing, China
- Shanghai Arts and Crafts Association, Shanghai, China
- Cerco, Zaragoza, España
- Museu de Cerámica de L´Alcora, Castellón, España
- Ateliers d´Art de France. París, Francia
- Museo de Cerámica de Manises, Valencia, España
- New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Visit Graciela Olio’s website.