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Analia Saban talks to Ben Luke about her influences—from writers to musicians and, of course, other artists—and the cultural experiences that have shaped her life and work.

Saban, who was born in 1980 in Buenos Aires and now lives in Los Angeles, examines, unpacks and plays with the medium of painting. She explores its materiality, its iconography and its history, reflecting on the origin and hue of pigments and the properties of media, the weave of canvas, the nature of brushwork, the conventions of depiction, and more.

Analia Saban’s Cooling Rack (2023)

Her approach is consistent with the strategies of conceptual art yet it is abundantly physical and visual. She discusses her decision to move her studies from film to art after an epiphanic visit to New York museums; her profound friendship with her tutor at the University of California, Los Angeles, John Baldessari, and how it affects the presence of humour in her work; the perfect balance in the music of Keith Jarrett; and how Julia Kristeva’s writings on abjection prompted some of the darker thoughts in her work. Plus, she gives insight into her life in the studio, and answers our usual questions, including the ultimate: what is art for?

Analia Saban’s Trough (Flesh) (2012)

• Analia Saban: Synthetic Self, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Los Angeles, 14 September-28 October

Group exhibitions:

• Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma), 17 September–21 January 2024

• Eternal Medium: Seeing the World in Stone,Lacma, until 11 February 2024

• Chosen Memories: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift and Beyond, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, until 9 September.

Analia Saban’s Draped Marble (Rosso Levanto) (2014)

This podcast is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects, the arts and culture app.

The free app offers access to a vast range of international cultural organisations through a single download, with new guides being added regularly. They include several museums and galleries in the US where Analia Saban has shown her work, including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. If you download the app you’ll find that, among much else, the guide to the Clark has sections on its collection, its 140-acre grounds, and on its exhibitions. One of the summer 2023 shows is Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth, exploring the Norwegian artist’s profound engagement with nature. In in-depth audio features, curators describe the key works and major themes of the exhibition.

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