Two years ago, Beatriz Elorza was an artist I casually met on my gallery rounds in Chelsea and I’ve seen the evolution of her work blossom (pardon the pun as this review unfolds). Breathing Color is a departure from the previous logical ordered work of Elorza where her abstract landscape owed the de rigueur reverence to horizon and sky. For this series, she is unencumbered by logic and driven only by instinct that is fueled by emotions to create vivacious color celebrations and floral fields of exquisite beauty. Ultimately, this is the real breathing point of life as it turns a new page for her career and aspects of her personal story as well.
I was privileged to visit Elorza’s studio in Brooklyn months ago and examine the works up close then witness her rejuvenate one of her paintings. For her, it was an intense, brow beating ordeal, and at times stressful period to create the entire series for this show but she wouldn’t have it any other way. In the adverse situations, she was challenged to meet it head on and come out stronger when she got to the resolution. I saw her attack the canvas with abandon, putting in strong saturated colors strategically, and leaving space where it needs to breathe. The extant process is a real miracle to behold as it denotes the strong deliberate ideals and aesthetic that Elorza employed. Using the brightest Crimson reds, cobalt blues, purples and greens that the brevity in palette is a new verve in the next chapter of her life and artistic journey. In her own words, she feels so liberated and free creating this beautiful elegant floral landscape.
As a new season takes over, spring is the promise of the new and rebirth from the severe blanket of winter. Elorza demonstrated that rebirth of a fresh approach to the abstract expressionist genre that is injected with new life in the punctuations of color in her oeuvre. Her large scale work is also a testament to be bold not in execution but in the stamina to turn out huge pieces. With over twenty eight pieces made for this show, it is impressive and a real jaw dropper with all the works displayed in the gallery. To be examined and laid bare in such dimensions is a bold gesture in itself comparable to the sweeping brush strokes that inhabit her canvas. There is no mistaking that Elorza is talented, going places and breathes beyond color – but invigorates life itself with every brush stroke. Viva Beatriz Elorza!
Beatriz Elorza: Breathing Color / On View: April 3 – 23, 2014
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday (9:30 am to 5 pm)
Spanierman Modern. 625 West 55th Street, 5th Floor. NYC, NY 10019
Art Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Photography by: Olya Turcihin