Artemisa Gallery is pleased to present Isabel Peña's first solo show in New York: Nobody Works Alone. The exhibition featuring Peña's photo-paintings and new paintings will be on view from April 16 - May 16, 2015.
Since 2005, Isabel Peña's painting have kept a dialogue with photos that document her personal and public life. Her latest works on canvas can be linked to a history of gestural abstraction and figuration. Her brushstrokes leave marks of her own body in an analogic dance or battle with the virtual world.
In this exhibition Peña has allowed herself to bring together two different series of work, photo-paintings on paper and direct paintings on canvas as a metaphor of what she does in each image. She combines fragments of different worlds and moments to transform them in a new otherness. Together, works from the past and the present enable her to revisit issues.
She tends to use the texture in a way that tricks the eye of the spectator: her work on translucent paper looks like silk, whereas her painting on canvas sometimes is confused with paper. Such ambiguity and the set of dissimilar things gathered in each image, encourages feelings and increases subjective responses in the viewer. She puts together elements fascinated by the mysterious life of what unites us and the universe.
In the early photo-paintings on tracing paper presented in the show, Isabel Peña used her own body or its fragmented shadows and reflections, to act like bridges towards other spaces or people. Those photos were documents of private performances to be painted afterwards. Gesture of painting also functioned as a performance wrapping those layers of photograph and acrylic in the surface of the tracing paper.
Her latest paintings are based on those photo-paintings, and on photos portraying other people on buses or trains as they read their books or stare at their cell phones. Borrowing strategies from her own previous photo-paintings, Peña has decided to make explicit the movement of the hand across the new works on canvas. Now she uses the brushstroke as a sword that plays with the digital world.
Her paintings represent diverse elements such as fragmented spaces, legs, books, whales or words. Both figurative and abstract shapes, words, gestures and childlike squiggles act in each painting like groups of signs, fragments of a larger conversation with her own past and with her body of work as a whole.
Peña continues her process and long-term commitment to explore the use of representation and its systems. She also discovers its systems through wall paintings, photography, drawings, site-specific installations, and writing. Concept is coherent with the mixture of media.
Isabel Peña lives and works in Buenos Aires. Her work received prestigious awards and is widely exhibited in museums, cultural institutions and galleries, locally and internationally, such as: Isabel Peña (Ruth Benzacar Galería de Arte, in Buenos Aires), For-rest of fragility (Macondo and stroll around Hoxton Sq., White Cube Gallery included), London, among others.