Lina Puerta: Manigua

July 17, 2017-June 29, 2018

Lina PuertaLina Puerta, Matorral (2014). Para el español, haga clic aquí.

Curated by Deborah Cullen

A site-specific installation for Miller Theatre, Columbia University in collaboration with The Wallach Art Gallery. Puerta's work is presented in collaboration with the Uptown triennial, an initiative of The Wallach Art Gallery that surveys the work of artists who live or practice in northern Manhattan.

Weeds serve as the inspiration for Lina Puerta's Botánico series, initiated in 2010. Nature, uncontrolled, can be found sprouting from all manner of abandoned urban space. Even as humans strive to exert control, or exterminate nature altogether, she responds with resilience. Mother Nature slowly reclaims the cracks and crevices.

The Botánico series explores this tension between humanity and the botanical world. Puerta uses artificial plants, designed to create maintenance-free and organized adornments, to mimic the unruly, uncontrollable bounty of weeds. Her installation Manigua (scrubland or swampy undergrowth) intervenes the venerable walls of this historic hall, suggesting forces gathering deep inside the building, overflowing and breaking the structure down to a pastoral ruin.

Lina Puerta was born in New Jersey and raised in Colombia. She lives and works in El Barrio. Puerta holds an MS in Art Education from Queens College/CUNY and has exhibited internationally. She is the recipient of several important recent residencies, including a Fall 2017 Artist-in-Residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. She has also been honored with a 2016 Dieu Donné Workspace Residency, Artprize-8 Sustainability Award, 2015 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, 2015 Kohler Arts Industry Residency (WI), 2014-15 Keyholder Residency at the Lower East Side Printshop, 2013-14 Smack Mellon Art Studio Program, 2014 Materials for the Arts, 2013 Wave Hill Winter Workspace, and the 2010 Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. Exhibition venues include The Museum of Biblical Art, El Museo del Barrio, Socrates Sculpture Park, Wave Hill, and Geary Contemporary in New York City, and Pi Artworks in London. Puerta's work has been written about in Hyperallergic, The New York Times, Wilder Quarterly, Sculpture Magazine, and Artnet News among others.

This site-specific work is the fifth annual collaboration between Miller Theatre and The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, located on Columbia University's new Manhattanville campus, in The Lenfest Center for the Arts. Previous murals were created by Tomo Mori, Scherezade Garcia, Maya Hayuk and Vargas-Suarez Universal.

Miller Theatre is located north of the Columbia University's main campus gate at 116th St. and Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall. The theatre lobby is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and beginning two hours before each scheduled performance.


Miller Theatre will host a creative conversation with Lina Puerta on October 17, 2017, co-sponsored by the Columbia University Arts Initiative.

Miller Theatre is located north of the Columbia University's main campus gate at 116th St. and Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.