Skip to Main Content

Exhibition Spotlight—Milena Bonilla in Drawing: The Beginning of Everything

August 7, 2017

Milena Bonilla (Colombian, born 1975). Detail of Money, 2012. Set of 260 pencil frottage drawings of coins on paper, 5 x 13 inches (12.7 x 33 cm) each. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; By exchange: Fellows for Life Fund, Charles Clifton Fund, Charles Clifton and James G. Forsyth Funds, and Gift of Dermotte and Company, 2016 (2016:3a-d). © 2012 Milena Bonilla

The Albright-Knox’s latest special exhibition, Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, celebrates contemporary artists’ diverse approaches to the medium. Here on the blog, we’re taking a closer look at several artists featured in the exhibition.

To create Money, Milena Bonilla made 260 rubbings off the surfaces of coins from developing nations illustrated with plants or animals. She then used these drawings to create a series of “maps” where nations are not demarcated by territorial boundaries but, instead, are identified by the natural resources they have chosen to associate with monetary value. Bonilla’s decision to use coins conveys the threat that consumerist culture poses to our ecological resources. Hers is an imaginary world where nature rises above flags or territorial borders.