For the ADAA’s The Art Show 2017, Galerie Lelong will present a solo booth of recent and historical Topología [Topology] paintings by Cuban-born artist Zilia Sánchez. The booth highlights the unique visual vocabulary that Sánchez developed over the last 60 years while examining the importance of topology in her practice. This timely presentation of Sánchez’s work broadens the discourse on abstraction, expanding upon contemporary interests in the topic particularly through the integration of voices from Latin America.
The works on view will demonstrate the evolution of Sánchez’s Topologías from the 1960s to the present. Since the 1950s, the core of Sánchez’s artistic explorations has been the creation of topologies in space: uniting the painterly and the sculptural. Her shaped canvases are considered the keystone of her oeuvre, evolutions of her early flat, geometric abstract paintings and her more textured Art Informel-esque works.
Sánchez’s sensual vocabulary emanates from the minimalistic compositions, which are created by stretching canvas over hand-molded wooden armatures. The earliest piece in the exhibition, Amazona I (de la serie Topologías) [Amazon I (of the Topology series)] (1966), exemplifies how the artist combines organic forms with a muted color palette to suggest parts of the female body, a consistent theme throughout her career.
For the titles of many of the works on view, such as Topología (de la serie Amazona) [Topology (of the Amazon series)] (1967/1993/2006), Sánchez drew inspiration from Greek mythology, focusing on symbols of feminine strength. Her motifs consistently evolve and reoccur, as evidenced by the repetition of titles for varying compositions, attached to multiple dates, and the addition of a "tattooed," thin black line sometimes applied long after the painting’s initial completion. Another important theme in Sánchez’s work is Eros, which she considers to signify more than simply the erotic but rather also the force which connects life, art, and human communication.
Topología Erótica (de la serie Azul azul) [Erotic Topology (of the Blue Blue series)] (2016), is the most recent work in the booth and part of the artist’s latest series, Azul azul. The piece is composed of two joined panels that form a symbiotic pair. Their relationship to each other evolves with the changing shadows cast by angled light and the viewer’s engagement.
The noted Latin Americanist, Irene Small, writes: “Sánchez’s topologies solicit a subject in process: a subject formed and continually reformed in the lateral slippage between self and work.”
Sánchez was born in 1926 in Havana, Cuba. She lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she permanently settled in the early 1970s. Over the past several years, her work has reached international recognition following her breakthrough solo exhibitions at Artists Space (2013) and Galerie Lelong (2014). In 2016, Galerie Lelong mounted the exhibition Diálogos constructivistas en la vanguardia cubana [Constructivist Dialogues in the Cuban Vanguard]: Amelia Peláez, Loló Soldevilla & Zilia Sánchez, which formed critical new dialogues between Sánchez and two of her late Cuban contemporaries.
In May 2017, Sánchez’s work will be presented at the 57th Venice Biennale, VIVA ARTE VIVA, curated by Christine Macel. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., will present a retrospective of her work in 2019. Sánchez’s work is featured in multiple public collections including the Walker Art Center, Minnesota; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Colby College Museum of Art, Maine; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and numerous distinguished private collections.
For more information, please visit the ADAA website.
Art Fair Hours
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Park Avenue Armory
Park Avenue at 67th Street
New York, New York