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Lips Painted Red – Strategies to Create and Maintain Female Identities & Teresa Burga

Kunstmuseum Trondheim

June 22 – September 15, 2013

Lips Painted Red – Strategies to Create and Maintain Female Identities & Teresa Burga, installation view, Kunstmuseum Trondheim, Norway (2013)

Lips Painted Red – Strategies to Create and Maintain Female Identities & Teresa Burga, installation view, Kunstmuseum Trondheim, Norway (2013)

Lips Painted Red – Strategies to Create and Maintain Female Identities & Teresa Burga, installation view, Kunstmuseum Trondheim, Norway (2013)

Lips Painted Red – Strategies to Create and Maintain Female Identities & Teresa Burga, installation view, Kunstmuseum Trondheim, Norway (2013)

Press Release

Lips Painted Red – Strategies to Create and Maintain Female Identities & Teresa Burga
June 22 – September 15, 2013
Kunstmuseum Trondheim, Norway

The institution's press release follows: 

In a series of seminal works from the late 1960s, Peruvian artist Teresa Burga explores bright colour fields on large cubicles and other geometrical shapes, to be stacked or playfully spread around. Other works from the same period are cut-outs: flat figures to be placed against walls, which developed from her experimentation in painting and collage works. A textile sculpture, a female figure made from the same cloth that is the linen and cover of a bed, shows Burga’s experiments with a simplified, seemingly childish visual language.

This is certainly pop art, but it is also feminist art that liberates its female figures – at a time and in a place where the conditions of women were far from free. In the 1970s, Burga’s position moved rapidly into a more strict conceptual approach. Diagrams, texts, drawings made with eyes closed, works that comment on their own process of making, and a multitude of self-portraits. These works are sometimes ornamental, often humorous, and always very formalist. “Profile of Peruvian Women” is finally a series of works centered on the social condition of women, now reduced to sexual objects and vessels for human reproduction.

Teresea Burga belongs to an all but vanished generation of artists that introduced new approaches to the Peruvian art scene, but who were quickly marginalized, partly due to the lack of understanding from an audience, but first and foremost by the political oppression instigated by the military dictatorship.

For many years the works of Teresa Burga were almost forgotten. A large retrospective at Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano in 2010 changed the situation, and she is today facing renewed interest. This is a rediscovery of an artist fully comparable to contemporaries like American Hanna Wilke, Brazilian Lygia Clark or the German conceptualist Hanne Darboven.

Teresa Burga (born 1935 in Iquitos, Peru) studied at Art Institute of Chicago in 1968-70. She lives and works in Lima, Peru.