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Biography

Claudia Martínez Garay is a Peruvian artist who lives and works between Amsterdam (NL) and Lima (PE). Martínez Garay’s practice encompasses painting, sculpture, printmaking, video, and site-specific installation. Her sculptural works most often reference pre-Columbian aesthetics, particularly artefacts from the Incan civilisation. These sculptures are combined in larger installations in dialogue with symbolic elements derived from her research. 

Martínez Garay is interested in how artefacts, cultural relics, and propaganda communicate the history and social-political memory of cultures. Multiple interpretations of historical figures and artefacts are incorporated into the artist’s work, supplanting institutional narratives and notions of stewardship.

The artist seeks to challenge the persistence of colonialist frameworks and official narratives informing our understanding of the pre-Columbian cultures. The fractured forms in her work signal stories and identities that have been obscured through a process of erosion, both metaphorical and literal. Martínez Garay reanimates the existing fragments of lost histories, underscoring the connections between that which can be salvaged and continued.

Claudia Martínez Garay (b. 1983 in Ayacucho, Peru) studied printmaking at the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Peru (PE) and was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (NL) from 2016 to 2017. 

Recently, the artist’s work has been exhibited at Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing (CN); Museum Albertinum, Dresden (DE); SAVVY, Berlin (DE); Kunstverein, Braunschweig (DE); An Emphasis on Resistance at El Museo del Barrio in New York, NY (US); Imagined Communities, 21st Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil, São Paulo (BR); the 16th Istanbul Biennal titled The Seventh Continent, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, Istanbul (TR); Immortality, 5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, curated by Xiaoyu Weng, Ekaterinburg (RU) and Diplomacy at Yeh Art Gallery, St. John’s University, Queens, NY (US). Other recent presentations include: Taning Y/Our Passion, Aichi Triennial, Aichi (JP); Pro-Regress, curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina, the 12th Shanghai Biennial; and Triennial: Songs for Sabotage, New Museum, New York (US). Her work can be found in the collections of Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam (NL); AMC Art Collection, Amsterdam (NL); Central Reserve Bank of Peru, Lima (PE); Cisnero Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL (US); Fundación Studie e Richerche Benetton, Treviso (IT); Graeme Briggs Collection (SG); KADIST Collection (FR); KPMG Art Collection, Amsterdam (NL); Hochschild Collection (PE); Lima Art Museum (MALI) (PE); LOOP Collection, MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona (ES); Micromuseo al fondo hay sitio, Lima (PE); Museu Olho Latino, Atibaia (BR) and Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing (CN).

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