Sandra Vásquez de la Horra – The Archetypal Self

Los Paseantes

Los Paseantes, 2019, Grafit, Aquarell auf Papier, Wachs, Samt

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March 11, 2023 – August 27, 2023
Gutshaus Steglitz
Schloßstraße 48, 12165 Berlin
Monday–Sunday 10am–6pm
Closed on 4.4. / 25.4. / 3.5. / 6.6. / 4.7. / 1.8.
admission free

Opening: March 10, 2023, 7–9pm
Introduction: Dr. Jenny Graser, Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Berlin-based artist Sandra Vásquez de la Horra (born in Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1967) primarily creates medium- and large-format drawings (pencil and graphite) as well as mixed-media works on paper (watercolor and gouache), which she then immerses them in wax, resulting in a semi-transparent effect and a relief-like impression.

Increasingly she has been moving into the third dimension with accordion-folded or house-like objects produced in the same media. The layer of wax heightens the often surrealistic effect deriving from her pictures’ expressive depiction of figures and other motifs as well as their complex content.

El Viaje de Olokum

El Viaje de Olokum, 2012, 101,5 x 73 cm, Grafit auf Papier, Wachs

Important impulses come from her native Chile, with its political, cultural and social history and its landscape; from literature, especially Chilean authors like Pablo Neruda and Roberto Bolaño; from art and art history, including popular culture’s comics and cartoons; from the religious and spiritual (ranging from Christianity to indigenous cosmological visions and syncretistic religions like Santería all the way to concepts of aura drawn from Anthroposophy and the Vedanta); from the cultural and intellectual history of various world religions; from dreams, fairy tales, myths.

Incorporating all of this, she uses her power to create artistic form to generate worlds that often seem magical but are always saturated with real experience. Accordingly, these are by no means “just” private mythologies and visions: behind them stand collective ideas – such as explanations of existence and the world from beyond the limits of logocentric thinking – and collective memories of things like the political and societal violence of the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

Muertos Vivos I und II

Muertos Vivos I und II, 2019, 30 x 50 cm bzw. 10 x 26 cm, Grafit, Buntstift auf Papier, Wachs (Vorder- und Rückseite)

This interweaving of the individual and collective is distilled in the exhibition’s title: The Archetypal Self. It is well-known that the theory of archetypes was developed by C.G. Jung, who thus distanced himself from an interpretive approach based on an individual’s personal history and who identified the archetypes with elements of human fantasy – primal forms and forces that, as the contents of the collective unconscious, influence the structure of personal imaginings. Within this context, he sought these prefigurations of inner experiences in the history of religion and culture, in particular. Seen from the perspective of human history, the themes remain, but their forms change and become reinvented – as in the case of Sandra Vásquez de la Horra’s pictorial worlds.


Ellegua, 2005, 35 x 50 cm, Grafit auf Papier, Wachs

This show at the Gutshaus Steglitz, curated by Brigitte Hausmann, is the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin. It presents around forty works from the last twenty years.

An exhibition catalogue featuring texts by Raphael Fonseca, Jenny Graser and Friedhelm Mennekes will be published by Distanz Verlag.

Sandra Vásquez’s previous solo exhibitions include those at the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht; Saxon Academy of the Arts, Dresden; Museo Novecento, Florence; Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne; and Parkview Museum, Singapore. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions and, in 2022, Cecilia Alemani invited her to show her work at the Venice Biennale.
Her drawings have earned her awards including the Drawing Prize of the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation as well as the Hans Theo Richter Prize of the Saxon Academy of Arts.

The artist’s works can be found in the collections of museums including the Tate Gallery; Centre Pompidou; MoMA, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Drawing Center, New York; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and the Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Museen Berlin.

Exhibition views

  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra
  • Ausstellungsansicht – Sandra Vasquez de la Horra