Gallery open house features Margarita Fick’s cut paper

By Susan Page

Margarita Fick is considered by most experts to be the finest artist working in traditional Mexican papel picado (cut paper). Her large-scale works are breathtaking in their design and detail. Unfortunately, Margarita has contracted Parkinson’s disease, and she is no longer able to work.

Galería Atotonilco’s open house
Sat and Sun, Feb 22 and 23, 5pm
Celebrated Cut Paper Artist Margarita Fick
Ceramist Gustavo Pérez
Directions in the gallery’s ad
in this issue


Galería Atotonilco has acquired all of Margarita Fick’s remaining available works and will feature them at an Open House on February 22 and 23, noon to 5pm each day. Except for this Open House the gallery is open by appointment only.

Gallery owner Mayer Shacter had an unusual opportunity to acquire some of Margarita Fick’s earlier work, dating back some 10 years, including unusual papier-maché Day-of-the-Dead totems, cut and painted papel picado, and some of the last works Margarita ever created in foil, some of her most popular works. The gallery is showing her remaining contemporary works as well as these older pieces.

Papel picado is a traditional folk art that involves cutting out intricate patterns on colorful tissue paper. Self-taught artist Margarita Fick has taken the art to levels far beyond the traditional flowers, birds, and words found on the banners that decorate altars and hang in rows over fiestas. Born in Guadalajara, Margarita began her art career at the age of four by surprising everyone in her family when she drew a doll with curly hair wearing a ruffled dress and holding an umbrella. She acquired the skill of paper cutting at an early age by helping her family make decorations for fiestas and holidays. Though she is skilled in a variety of media, she made her mark and is best known for her intricate, sometimes large-scale cut paper works treating a wide variety of subjects from everyday life to Mexican myths and symbols to romantic stories and even images from her own dreams.

“The intricacy and craftsmanship of Margarita’s work is stunning,” says Shacter. “The works are distinctly Mexican, and truly beautiful.”

Gustavo Pérez show remains open

Galería Atotonilco is proud to be one of a handful of galleries worldwide that represents the finely crafted ceramic vessels of the acclaimed Mexican artist Gustavo Pérez. The exhibition of his work, which opened with a gala event last month, will remain up until April 1.

Pérez grew up in Mexico City. Before he discovered his passion for clay, he studied engineering, mathematics and philosophy, never feeling fully satisfied or engaged. His chance encounter with clay in 1971 felt to him like his soul’s homecoming, and he has been single-mindedly devoted to creating art ever since. He has lived for several years each in Japan, Holland, and the south of France and has maintained his studio near Xalapa in the state of Veracruz for more than 30 years.

Pérez’s background in engineering is reflected in the way his precise surface designs integrate with his fluid, loosely thrown forms. The result is almost an oxymoron of relaxed precision.

Gallery exhibits a wide variety of folk art

Galería Atotonilco is located in a spectacular country setting just five miles north of San Miguel in a much-published, architecturally interesting building designed by famed architect Cathi House. The gallery recently expanded its showroom by 1,200 square feet, and houses what is arguably the most comprehensive collection of quality Mexican folk art in all of Mexico, including works in many media from all over the country. The collection includes over 200 vintage serapes, historic photographs, textiles, woodcarvings, papier mache, ceramics, lacquer, and decorative blown glass. Refreshments will be served at the open house, and all are welcome.


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