Artist Brings Her Love of Nature to Fábrica Aurora Exhibit

By Kirk de Gooyer

The paintings by Beatriz Castañeda express her direct experience and love of nature, whether that be the landscape of Guanajuato, a friend’s garden, or a bouquet of flowers from the local markets of San Miguel de Allende. Born and raised in Guadalajara on a family ranch full of agave, flowers, and horses, Castañeda has been drawing and painting flora and fauna since age ten.

Art
Variations
Now through March 1, 2018
Works by Beatriz Castañeda
Beatriz Castañeda Gallery
Fábrica La Aurora
154 6632
Free

Her new exhibit at Fabrica La Aurora, with artwork created in the past year, focuses first on a group of flowers arranged in vases and set in a barely visible interior space. Rather than adhere to a format of classical still life, Castañeda has energized four principal canvases with a swirling mass of circular brushstrokes, breaking the picture plane into an all-over abstraction. At times, she brings the viewer into a tight close-up of dozens of her “roses.” Sometimes she pulls back to a long string of flowers connected to their vines.

As with all of her recent paintings, they start with a subject, sometimes lightly articulated in pencil, charcoal, or India ink. The layers of paint build up form. Objects retain the essence of their more readable beginning, but depiction moves quickly from any attempt toward realism into a more abstract cavalcade of brushstroke, color, and texture.

In this new exhibition, which inaugurates the expansion of the artist’s gallery, Castañeda has created a series of nine smaller-scale paintings which she calls, simply, Variations. Each is a response to the larger canvases. More abstract in nature, these melodic counterpoints allow the artist to reverberate notes up and down the artistic scale. She has skillfully created a series of varied and entrancing notations, a “riff” on the larger still life canvases.

“I started to paint the variations partly to help me understand aspects of my larger-scaled work,” says Castañeda. “They are not sketches but evolving responses that allow me to focus on some of the complexities of the multiple layers of paint in the big canvases. I paint them at the same time as the larger works or soon after. They are personal touchstones for me, sort of the duets of two songbirds. I am happy that I am able to exhibit them for the first time in my newly expanded gallery space in San Miguel de Allende.”

 

 

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