Over the course of two years (2008–10), López traveled through his native Colombia from Bogotá to Cali to Medellín. Crisscrossing vast expanses of territory on a Vespa scooter, López made drawings rendering in precise detail ordinary objects he encountered. In a country stressed by constant conflict among government forces, revolutionary guerrillas, drug cartels, and paramilitary groups, traveling—and the drawing that served as his diary—were acts of both endurance and contemplation.
López followed Colombia’s abandoned railways, a system established in the mid-nineteenth century, never completed, and now lying in ruin. Once a symbol of industry’s promise, the forsaken railway system now stands for modernity’s failure, and López meditated on this—and on the vagaries of time—by rendering its elements in two and three dimensions: the architecture of its stations, the design of its logo, and records of its construction. López sees this installation and his artistic practice in general as “expanded drawing”: drawing that erupts out of the sheet and extends into three dimensions, drawing that allows the maker and viewer to roam through time and space, drawing as a way to interact with real people and communities.
Gallery label from A Trip from Here to There, March 15–July 30, 2013.