In a solo show at Lower East Side gallery PROXYCO, Lucía Vidales presents new paintings which exemplify her imaginative practice: an exploration of figuration through the expressive power of pure pigment.
The title of the exhibition, “Sudor Frío” (or cold sweat), hints at a kind of anxiety, a fight or flight response, or a feeling of running out of time. Nowhere is this concern more apparent than in Vidales’s figures, who manifest this effect through their poses, glances, and a seeming awareness of their frame. Vidales arranges her subjects vertically, preventing them from reclining in horizontal positions of ease or repose. Instead, their bodies press up against the edge of their paintings, constrained by the border of their frames.
Similarly, limbs and organs are acted upon by the visual effects of paint as pigment becomes body. Off Centered (2020), for instance, depicts a sharply angled leg surrounded by a diaphanous cloud of azure. Its toes spill to the edge of the canvas as it occupies the middle of the painting. Framed by other limbs—a shadowy arm as well as a secondary deep blue leg that echoes its angle—the enclosed forms emerge from the painting’s primordial blueness.
Lucía Vidales, Shadow sign, 2021. Oil and encustics on canvas 47.4 x 39 inches.