“. . . great tactile beauty” . . .
a “fusion of a minimalist aesthetic with an exquisite sense of refinement.”
—The Morgan Library and Museum, Modern and Contemporary Drawings
Anita Rogers Gallery is pleased to announce Gloria Ortiz-Hernández: Drawings and Sculptures, on view at 15 Greene Street from October 10 - November 10, 2018.
Critic and curator Gregory Volk has written of her earlier work that “...the effect on the viewer is liberating and open-ended. Some kind of border between the known and unknown is being traversed. One thinks of half-formed longings and supple desires, of passion and loss, of ingrained sadness and spiritually wise acceptance.”
Ortiz-Hernández has spent decades exploring light and darkness, diffusion and form. Of her process and approach, she writes:
“There is no ‘story’ in this work, no reliance on nature, no human figure. The source is from within. Each gesture, each mark, has to be sought, each form to be discovered. Through unwavering attention, the artist begins to see, to abandon familiar notions, to accept—without hindrance and free of prejudice—the image as it comes. Because doubt is always present and false starts happen, the work is made slowly. While the attention of the artist is tightly engaged with the emerging purpose of the drawing, the materials speak as well. Materials help establish the image, they give it form and, in doing so, afford substance to the feeling and speak for it. Fine powdered materials such as pigment and charcoal delight when they ‘fly’ and fall on to the paper, suggesting their own displacement. The density and creamy consistency of oil pastel, on the other hand, demands absolute meticulousness because both during and after application it remains wet and slippery. The pencil, a frank and simple instrument, is capable of creating complex, deep, and dark tones that surprise and instruct. It is an irreplaceable instrument.
In a drawing, the support (the paper) must offer the adequate surface and the precise size that corresponds to the weight and force of the image. Misjudging the size and weight of the paper will distort the content, rendering it either too strong or too weak. Although the materials and the support are at the service of the drawing, they also have an identity of their own, complete and autonomous. Nonetheless, it is important that they surrender this identity when necessary, that they sacrifice themselves to the work. Only when they function in harmony do they make the content clear and unambiguous to the artist, and, later on, to the viewer. “In the act of working on a drawing or a sculpture, the gesture is short, defined, and austere. Darkness and its counterpoint, extreme light, are often present. The marks are economical and straightforward: they expand without exaggerating; they do not preen, preach, or pretend; they persuade without argument, and reduce without diminishing.”
Colombian-born Ortiz-Hernández's drawings and sculptures have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collections of a number of institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art (NY), The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University (MA), Art Museums Cambridge (MA), The Morgan Library and Museum (NY), The Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center (TX), and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA). Her work is also in private collections throughout the United States and in Basel, Switzerland; Sao Paolo, Brazil; and Bogotá, Colombia.