Some resources and favorite works from Year 1 in New York

Thu, Feb 20, 20

This is a brief summary of useful resources and favorite works from this first year. 

The painting I am most proud of making this year is “De Adentro” (“From the Inside”) because it was a slow-developing painting which I worked on over a 6-month period. I listened to the painting, and trusted the process. I’m not the first artist to say sometimes our paintings can be smarter than us if we listen.

The art book I enjoyed the most was “Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art” by Mary Gabriel. It was invigorating to learn more about the diverse paths of these great women painters, as much as it was to get a better sense for the social, cultural and political atmosphere during the 40's and 50's, when Abstract Expressionism was born. It is a book on art history, a book on what it takes to be an artist, and a book that hints into some of the characteristics that distinguish great painters from the rest.
The most inspiring exhibition I saw this year was Nicolas Party: Pastel at The Flag Foundation. I was moved by how the narrative spilled beyond the paintings into colored walls, shaped entrances, and a whole world of its own. It was also the first time I truly appreciated the undeniable beauty of soft pastel.
An influential artist I discovered this year was Jamie Nares (James Nares). This quote by him inspired me to give into the instinctual pull of engaging my whole body when creating: "Deep within our bodies lies the origin of all spoken language. The spoken word is nothing but the crude gesticulation of the whole body curtailed into the throat."
unedited text by Gabriela Gil
images by Rey Santiago, and Gabriela Gil
  • Image 1: "De Adentro" ("From Inside"), 2020, 36"x36" (91.44 x 91.44 cm), dyed linen, acrylic, charcoal, and mica on birch panel
  • Image 2: One of my favorite color studies of the year