Ni Aquí Ni Allá/Not Here or There

February 2 – March 15, 2008
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, February 2, 6 – 9 pm


Los Angeles, CA—Sam Lee Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition entitled Ni Aquí Ni Allá/Not Here or There by Los Angeles-based artist Juanita Meneses. This exhibition opens February 2 and closes Mach 15, 2008; the gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, February 2, 6 to 9 p.m.


Meneses’ latest body of work, Ni Aquí Ni Allá/Not Here or There, consists of mixed media paintings and drawings thatdepict the desert landscape as an ambiguous but charged space. As the title suggests, Ni Aquí Ni Allá/Not Here or There, is a word play that alludes to a state of being not fixed in a specific geographical location.


Using the desert as a conflicted signifier that could reference the Middle East or the southwest terrains surrounding the United States and Mexico borderlands, Meneses’ work is infused with a blend of fiction, humor, intrigue and mystery. In Rendezvous (2007), three sports utility vehicles are depicted within the vast and arid terrain; without actual humans portrayed, the stranded automobiles with the trunk door ajar leave the viewer with an impression of a meeting gone strangely wrong. In another painting, Race Through The Desert (2007), numerous vehicles are traversing a barren landscape. However, is it a race between monster pick-up trucks or is it a border patrol pursuit after drug dealers or illegal alien smugglers? In the artist’s own words, “by blending familiar objects with vague narratives, I give the viewer a comfortable starting point to develop the sequence of events that most reflect his or her views and ideas. What may look like another illegal chase episode to some may represent a friendly encounter to others.” In the end, Meneses’ work questions rather than answers, leaving an open-ended dialogue for the viewer to engage.


Meneses, born in Colombia, currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a master’s degree in fine art from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2006) and a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (1998). The artist is a recent recipient of the Artist’s Resource for Completion Grant from The Durfee Foundation, Los Angeles. Meneses’ work has been displayed in numerous group exhibitions in Colombia, Spain, Portugal, and the United States (New York, Miami, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California).


Digital images are available for press purposes. Please email (info@samleegallery.com) for reproduction requests.


Sam Lee Gallery is located at 990 N. Hill Street #190, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Phone 323-227-0275, Facsimile 323-227-0256. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 12 to 6 pm. For detailed information, please visit the gallery’s website, www.samleegallery.com.