Gisela Colón: The Feminist Divine
Through January 2, 2023
By RUBEN NATAL-SAN MIGUEL, October 2022
I saw the future, it's so wonderful - there are Puerto Ricans in it!
I've been following Gisela Colón's work and trajectory for quite a while and was excited about seeing a whole body of her work together in one room - I had only experienced a single piece at an art fair or group show until now. Gisela and I are both of Puerto Rican-American descent and both feminists but I would also describe her as a leading member of the ''Puerto Rican Futurism" movement.
Many Latin artists use derivative symbols and literal imagery to display their roots and cultural background with their work - at times this comes out more as a cliché than something direct. Colón has a very international futurist outlook/vision yet, the roots of her works also strongly relate to her culture. There is a very sensual, smooth and delicate visual aspect to her sculptures and wall art pieces and yet, you feel the strength with this selection of material and high technology used to create the work.
Curator Ben Tollefson did a wonderful curatorial job working with such a long and narrow elongated exhibition space. The free standing monolith sculptures are lined up in sequence in the middle creating a free form circulation space around them - this opens up a great sense of perspective adding more to the overall dramatic effect.
Do not go, RUN to see this exhibition. As a very jaded New Yorker, I highly recommend it!
From the press release:
The Feminist Divine On view through Jan. 2, 2023 Gisela Colón’s dynamic sculptures offer mutable, perceptual experiences through the refraction, reflection, and emission of light. Generated with advanced production methods such as carbon fiber casting meant for aerospace applications, Colón’s curvilinear forms emanate a seductive, iridescent glow, fluctuating in color based on environmental conditions and where the viewer stands in relation to the work. Colón coined the term “Organic Minimalism” to describe the dual condition of her work: reductive, yet active and seemingly alive. While situated within the lineage of minimalism, Colón’s practice refuses the stasis and rigidity of structure typical of work by her male predecessors, embracing the transformative and transcendent. Informed by the natural world and rich biodiversity of her home island of Puerto Rico, her work invokes the “feminine divine” as a method of creating space for underrepresented peoples.
Gisela Colón (b. 1966, Vancouver, Canada) has exhibited internationally at venues throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East including Desert X AlUla, Saudi Arabia; Frieze Sculpture, London; and the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. Colón’s work was included in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s historic survey exhibition Light, Space, Surface, which traveled to the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass., and the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tenn. In 2022, continuing the expansion of her practice into the realm of land art, and as part of the exhibition Godheads — Idols in Times of Crises, Colón will embed a monumental work within the Lustwarande, a baroque forest in Tilburg, Netherlands. Colón will also present a large-scale site-specific public art project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in fall 2022. Colón’s work is held in the permanent collections of LACMA; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Calif.; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Mint Museum, Charlotte, N.C.; Palm Springs Art Museum, Calif.; Grand Rapids Museum of Art, Michigan; and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, Mo., among others. Colón attended the University of Puerto Rico (B.A., economics, magna cum laude, 1987) and Southwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1990). Raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the artist lives and works in Los Angeles. WM
Ruben Natal-San Miguel is a New York based photogrpher published internationally.view all articles from this author