Ricardo Lanzarini’s ink drawings are composed of crowds of tiny figures: frantic little men dressed in extravagant attire swarm around the white page like a colony of industrious insects. This eccentric cast of characters portrays the frustration of the human condition with a great deal of humor and delicacy. There are no heroes in Lanzarini’s drawings, no saints, no geniuses: just crowds of insignificant people. The minuscule characters seem to have lost every hope without ever loosing patience, wit, and elegance. The figures wear a variety of costumes and hats—Arabian robes, circus outfits, exotic fezzes; silly berets and military helmets; fluffy turbans, tiny minarets, upside-down trumpets, and minuscule towers. Like characters out of a Kafka novel or a Beckett play, they wait patiently for nothing to happen, resigned to their anonymous condition. These opaque multitudes are prepared to throw away all their time standing on endless lines, waiting to resolve some inextricable bureaucratic matter. They figure a collective, forgettable, and minor nightmare. The artist himself seems resolved to lose all his time, drawing with extreme detail what is usually left to statistic studies.
Ricardo Lanzarini was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1963. In 2001, he received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim foundation. His work was included in the VII Havana Biennial, Cuba in 2000 and in Talespinning, at The Drawing Center in New York in 2004. He will also be part of Vitamin D, the upcoming survey on contemporary drawing published by Phaidon Press.