The art show at Foro Cultural 81 (81 Positos, Guanajuato) featured two artists. Cati Gris’s main body of work centered on shades and variations of texture and line and shape – the geometrical building blocks of visual reality. These abstract geometrical compositions, however, are typically enmeshed in organic, textile materials.
Castillo Moderno Elegancia del desierto Paisajes para invocar a la lluvia
Teclado de piel
Vela amarilla Vela rosa Series rotoplast versión #6
But something more. Also a sense of palimpsest layered in earth colors, more cool than warm, subdued, a sense of hidden details, hidden bytes and bits of information, patterns lying almost unconsciously beneath the visual surface and requiring a close-in look (“Catedral el llama desde internet”).
Catedral en llamas desde internet
A few of Gris’s works leaned in along the gradient from the abstract toward the representational, without giving too much on the representations side. The jittery electronic universe that almost comes into focus in “Dispositivo para presenter colores básicos” struck me as such, as did the archetypal figures emerging in silhouette from the geometry of “Chalchiuhtlicue”.
Dispositivo para presentar colores básicos Chalchiuhtlicue
Phe Ruiz had two rooms in the exhibit with clearly demarcated themes – one room striking for its texture, one striking for its color.
The second room was full of bold colors with a childlike quality, albeit one haunted, in both style and affect, by the empty spaces of faces. The human-like figures were sometimes cast into elemental environments, either in nature (“El pino”) or in a stylized domestic set, e.g. in “El Mesero,” where we get a solitary figure learning to balance in a rudimentary social space.
Sometimes, the same figures found themselves wandering aimlessly in a more abstract setting, the child-appeal of the bold colors offset by the existentialist undertones of face and posture.
Ruiz’s other room (the first in order of the gallery), full of rich, creamy textures and darker, warmer colors, was heavier in affect.
Las llamas Pink and black
Finally, the venue itself at 81 Positos was elegant and well-lit, and did its part to highlight the power and peculiarities of the works included. And if you were lucky enough to be there on opening night, Alonso’s sangria wasn’t bad either.
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