Four Women Painters: At the Crossroads
The exhibition focuses on paintings that blur the line between figuration and abstraction. The participating artists were carefully chosen to represent different approaches and styles with an emphasis on visual narrative. Storytelling in art has been present for centuries and in many cases has served as a point of reference to understand the social and political structure of past civilizations. The artists in this exhibition—all women—are well aware of their origins and personal histories: Mongolia, Russia, Hungary and Mexico are distinct countries facing similar challenges as a result of globalization. These conditions have brought about technological advances in communication and easy access to information, which results in an approach to artmaking one could call the contemporary homogeneous. Social Media has contributed further to this new direction, shifting artists’ production into ever greater accessibility and availability to anyone, regardless of social status or geographical location. This concept of the crossroads, then, represents a return to the meeting point at which consensus must be reached.
The exhibited works might come across as aesthetically beautiful and poetically embellished, but upon a closer look, a complex set of themes and emotions unravels. Layers upon layers reveal fears of isolation and belonging, further elucidating the creators’ inner concerns and humanity. Additionally, cultural appropriation becomes a means to an end in order to question the ills of society. These female artists reflect upon issues such as economic disadvantage, gender inequality, racism, and environmental concerns, and consumerism. For instance, in the work of Anya Zholud (Russia) and Zsofia Schweger (Hungary), both artists confront and question issues of gender role expectations and address mobility and migration through the metaphors of domestic and public spaces. Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu (Mongolia) appropriates traditional Buddhist motifs and iconography to orchestrate a contemporary narrative about the impact on, and the positioning of women in everyday life in a post-nomadic Mongolian culture. Lucia Vidales (Mexico) makes paintings that are loose expressionistic renderings of the human figure. With these fluid figures she re-envisions the language of painting and at the same time questions an old religious narrative as they tell a story most people encountered in medieval imagery. Vidales’s work gives birth to strange hybrid creatures in a space that echoes hundreds of years of civilization and traditions. The artists tell us a story of who we are and where we come from, and, perhaps—in presenting a scenario for a hopeful, better future - where we are going.