Carlos Bunga

November 25, 2011 - April 22, 2012


Trained as a painter, Barcelona-based Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga has expanded his practice to encompass multiple mediums including collage, drawing, performance, sculpture, and video. In his architecturally scaled installations, Bunga uses mass-produced materials like cardboard, packing tape, and house paint to build structures that recall temporary shelters or life-size maquettes. Built over a period of weeks, his site-specific sculptures are made in direct dialogue with the surrounding architecture. Largely improvised, Bunga likens the process to making an abstract painting in three dimensions. Hammer Projects: Carlos Bunga will include a new work made on site for the Lobby Wall as well as a selection of Bunga’s drawings, paintings, sculptures, and videos dating from 2002 to 2008 on view in the Lobby Gallery.


By Corrina Peipon

Kursaal Project (2004), Carlos Bunga’s architecturally scaled installation for Manifesta 5 (1)—made on-site out of cardboard, packing tape, and paint—was improvised without preliminary drawings over the course of a month. Then, in a matter of hours, Bunga intentionally compromised its surprisingly substantial structural integrity through a series of actions that included cutting, tearing, and pushing the cardboard walls and beams before an audience of museum visitors. Through this performative act of accelerated deterioration, he brought forth the finished form of the work. At the close of the exhibition, the sculpture was dismantled and hauled away as refuse.

Reflecting upon his installation and performance, Bunga made four small sketches. Including measurements, notes, and color swatches, the drawings are like plans produced after the fact. They are a visual diary of a pivotal moment in the artist’s practice and are all that remain of Kursaal Project: now, and for posterity, the drawings are the work. Since then, Bunga has continued to record his completed installations in drawings and collages. “In the actual constructions, in the architecture of the space, I have limitations, physical limitations—the size of the rooms, etc. But with the drawings I am free. I can invent and radically rethink the space—grow and extend it.” (2)  While Bunga’s improvisational method requires the full engagement of his imagination, the installations are always grounded in reality; they are made to scale with real materials in real spaces with real physical parameters. It is in his drawings that he is able to note the moments when architectural obstacles may have stymied an idea. On the page he is able to knock down walls, blow through ceilings, extend floors. In this way, the drawings then beget subsequent works in a cycle of ideas that build upon one another. More


Organized by Corrina Peipon, curatorial associate.


Hammer Projects is made possible by a major gift from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy. Additional support is provided by Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the Decade Fund; and the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund.

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