Alonsa Guevara’s Lush Oil Paintings Offer Imaginary Rites

by Andy SmithPosted on

Chilean artist Alonsa Guevara’s upcoming solo exhibition at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York City, titled “Ceremonies,” honors life’s varying stages with renderings of “imaginary rites.” Humans, harvests, and lands are among those celebrated in the exhibition, as a collection of oil paintings on canvas. The show runs Sept. 1 through Oct. 1.

Guevara hails from Rancagua, Chile, where she spent a 7-year stretch of her life in an Ecuadorian tropical forest. This backdrop sparked her love of flora, fauna, light, and colors. A release explains her current exploration of nature’s themes: “In the life-sized Ceremony portraits, unclothed bodies become one with the soil while covered with a mix of fruits, vegetables and flowers as a connection with earthly gifts. By incorporating fresh and vibrant, rotten and blemished produce, the work represents the full cycle of life, making fertility and fecundity coexist in a parallel with decay and death.”

The elevated, ominscient viewpoint of the audience is intended to make the viewer a “recipient of the rituals.” It is up to us, as viewers, to both receive and make sense of the rituals created at the hands of Guevara. The style of the paintings also hints at the cyclical nature of art, with visual allusions to the Dutch Golden Age and other eras.

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