Untethered: Our Journey Beyond Borders, is the Russell and Paula Panczenko MFA Prize exhibition by 2021 MFA candidate Roberto Torres Mata. Visitors will be led on a journey through the exhibition space, guided by a path of migrating birds. Archaic symbols impressed into handmade paper evoke indigenous cultures of the Americas, while the words of migrants themselves are recorded on linen sheets suspended from the gallery ceiling—a piece made in collaboration with Argentinian artist Dani Zelko.
While specializing in printmaking, Mata’s practice encompasses a number of media, including relief woodblock printing, wood carving, and papermaking. He sees his artworks as a metaphor for both human and animal migration. In the materiality of his artwork, he intends to evoke the physical realities of migration. Mata aims to raise awareness of migration and destroy divisive barriers in order to promote compassion and humanity.
The Russell and Paula Panczenko MFA Prize is offered annually by the museum in collaboration with the UW–Madison Art Department. The winner, who receives an honorarium, along with an exhibition at the Chazen, is selected by an outside juror; this year’s juror was Shannon R. Stratton, Executive Director of the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Roberto Torres Mata (American, b. 1988), Give, 2021, spit-bite, aquatint, serigraph, lithograph, 24 x 18 in.