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Opening with the Artist: Maria Martinez-Cañas at Julie Saul Galley

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Friday, January 03, 2014

Photo Paintings

Exhibition Dates: September 6- October 20, 2012

Reception with the Artist:
Thursday, September 6
6:00 to 8:00 pm


Cuban-born artist Maria Martinez-Cañas continues her exploration of painting and photography in new works that stem from Francis Bacon's process and pay hommage to other artists- Louise Bourgeois, Eadweard Muybridge, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy among them.

Layers of hybridity play as much a part of the work as the life of Martinez-Cañas. After her birth in Cuba, Martinez-Cañas's family moved to Puerto Rico. She continued to move and live internationally in Europe and the United States before settling in the Havanna section of Miami. Shards of memory from a nomadic life emerge in work that moves between states of being and belonging. In-between moments are captured in the large-scale works. There is no beginning or end to the pieces, only the inbetween, the flux, the fray between real and abstract.

Martinez-Cañas inverts the practice of Bacon; where he began with photographic or cinematic sources, Martinez-Cañas begins with (his) paintings as a reverse point of origin. Through image transfer, painting, and collage unique works form. There is an unknown familarity to the frames- something subconsciously known but consciously new to our eyes. This can be credited to a working process that calls on the history of DADA and tributes model artists. Martinez-Cañas borrows from the photomontage approach and draws inspiration from Modernists that have helped inform her work, including the aforementioned Bourgeois, Muybridge, and Moholy-Nagy.

The effect of the process is a stunning set of panels, none of which become redundant. All the work in the series offers a new vision. Untitled [GM], 2012 is cool, clean, and calm. Blocks of greys, blues, and other neutrals frame vessels and unite in an elegant and uneven tile pattern; Untitled [PC+KS], 2012 has similar palate with more fragmented planes and is mechanical even cubist. The color red and further fragmentation with less rhythmic order loads Untitled [LMN], 2011 with tension, and Untitled [LB+HB], 2011 allows a more direct reference to homage source through depiction of a round wired enclosure that is reminiscent of a Bourgeois "Cell." This more overt clue makes us want to return to other, perhaps less obvious references and engage all the layers of intention.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Julie Saul Gallery

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