Local Artists in Valle de Bravo

By Margaret Failoni

Once again, the Valle de Bravo branch of the Santiago Corral Gallery (Fábrica Aurora, San Miguel de Allende) opens its doors to artists from the San Miguel area. Santiago Corral took a giant leap of faith in opening the Valle gallery during these difficult economic times, and it paid off. The inaugural exhibition presented works by Marilo Carral, Santiago Corral, Rodrigo de la Sierra and Brenda Franco. The Valle de Bravo public, which is basically a Mexico City public, greeted the new gallery with packed weekend attendance and most important, by collecting.

Art: Santiago Corral Gallery. Sat, Mar 31, 5-9pm. Arándaro, Valle de Bravo

On March 31 a new show will be presented and will be open to the public through mid- June. Oils on canvas and works on paper by the abstract Queretaro-based painter extraordinaire, Jordi Boldó; paintings and prints by the San Miguel artist Marisa Boullosa; new, large landscape paintings by Santiago Corral; and a new series of sculptures by Rodrigo De la Sierra are to be presented.. Although De la Sierra is from Mexico City, he is represented by the Santiago Corral Gallery.

With a trajectory of major museum exhibitions both in Mexico and abroad, Jordi Boldó is well known and admired as a major voice in abstract Mexican art. Born in the Catalan region of Spain, Boldó immigrated to Spain as a child and is a Mexican citizen. A master in color field and exquisite surface patinas, Boldó’s particular gift is to be both lyrical yet dramatically forceful. Seen near the bold canvases, the smaller, less colorful works on paper hold their own in force and drama, keeping our gaze rooted to the picture plane. Whereas the canvases are beautifully alive in their vivacity, especially the blue volcano, the artist conveys a quiet poetry in the mostly black and white works on paper; they are minimalist but never cold, on the contrary, there is something almost romantic about these small masterworks. Given the artist’s busy work schedule -he is preparing for museum exhibitions in Monterrey, the United States and Canada- we are grateful to this extraordinary master for his generosity in allowing us the time and material for this exhibition.

Marisa Boullosa’s work is known to us all. Painter, printer, photographer and sculptor, what is most intriguing and interesting about her work is the dichotomy in her creativity. Boullosa is a master printer and the recipient of the Krasner-Pollack Award for 2011 with her extraordinary investigative exhibition on the Mexican/United States immigration issues; presented are heartrending works in prints, sculpture and installations, shown in museums and public art spaces. But between bouts in the realm of conceptual art, the artist enchants us with her poetic visual diaries of Mexican flora and fauna. Painting and collages of her prints and/or photographs are sometimes sewn on works executed on Amate paper on canvas depicting dream-like images. A small series of flora is also beautifully executed in the Batique technique .Her expertise in marrying techniques to purely Mexican landscape art is pure magic.

Santiago Corral’s realist art differs totally from the usual inasmuch as his point of view, whether painting portraits, general genre painting and or landscapes, is thanks to his birds-eye view of the world. A consummate

pilot and hand glider, Corral brings to his exquisite and masterly painting technique, a very personal approach to his subject matter. For this exhibition, landscapes of the flora surrounding the Valle de Bravo as well as the Bajío countryside are lovingly examined and offered to the viewer with such perfection not seen since the Velazquez painterly diaries. His love for this land jumps out from these canvases to enchant us.

Rodrigo De la Sierra’s success in the last Valle de Bravo exhibition has been such that the artist has been hard put to complete new works for this exhibition. With a major exhibition in Rome toward the end of May, as well as the San Miguel gallery, the artist has been busy trying to keep up with his commitments. A new series of “Ego” sculptures in a new sensational patina, but always in the grey so typical of Timo, is in the making, some of which will be shown in this March 31 opening. Meanwhile, the artist continues to work on a monumental war memorial: “Memento Mori.”

The Santiago Corral Gallery’s biggest challenge now is to keep both galleries up to par with evermore interesting exhibitions, while always culling from the immense artistic wealth that San Miuel and our surrounding area has to offer.

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