Here technical innovation and uninhibited experimentation magnificently unfold in a three-dimensional field of chromatic variation and gestural application—an achievement of complete artistic expression that could otherwise not be fully realized via traditional easel-painting. Imposing in scale, Cesta Lunar 50A, is a showcase of Amaral’s fully realized aesthetic lexicon. A vortex of linen has been rigorously and carefully manipulated into a complex, intricate grid of elegant latticework laden with gold leaf and undulating planes of earth-hued reds. This chromatic spectrum of golds, reds, blues, and purples commands our eyes to span the work, striking us simultaneously with a slowly cresting dawn and a melting, alchemic dusk.
Born with a sculptural intention, Cesta lunar 50A, lives as an independent architectural structure. Installed separate from the wall, the work takes on the life of a sacred, otherworldly construction, commanding an intimate and sensual silence from the viewer—a monument of sorts that harkens the grid-composed works of Joaquín Torres-García, the lauded father of Universal Constructivism. More importantly, the underlying ethos of Amaral’s sculptural weavings reveals itself: a lifelong examination of textile at the intersection of Latin American Abstraction and the greater cannon of Post-War Contemporary Art. In a dutiful exploration of dimensional space via color, texture and material, the work “exhibits the same capacity for creating the perception of infinite space found in the works of modernist [artists] of the last century,” from Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko to Jesús Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez and forges “a relationship with the scale of the viewer through an understanding of how both art and the body function in space.” (Matthew Drutt, “Colombian Gold: Olga de Amaral spins ore into art,” Modern Painters, October 2013, p. 80)
Olga de Amaral’s resume is stunning in scope and depth. She has held teaching positions at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, the Kaystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, and serves as Honorary Chair of the Art Department at UCLA of Los Angeles. Her works have been included in over seven-dozen solo and group exhibitions worldwide and can be found in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Art Institute of Chicago, Museo de Arte Moderno (Bogotá), the Museé Bellerive (Zurich), and the Denver Art Museum, among others.
“From the beginning of her career in the 1960s, Amaral has made it clear that the debate over whether weaving was art or craft would be, in her case at least, moot. From the onset, there has been a distinct sense in her work that it could, [and does], embody important ideas and reflections of an existential and historical character.” (Ricardo Pau-Llosa, “The Eye’s Music: An Approach to the Art of Olga de Amaral” in Olga de Amaral: The Mantle of Memory, Paris, 2013, p. 90)
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