Femme Fauve | February 2021
A group show with Olivia Baldwin, Lía Ateca and Mayte Velaz
"Femme Fauve" is a tribute to three female artists whose work emphasizes color over representational values, for whom their subject matter is color itself and it cannot be disattached from the idea it represents.
The paintings of the Fauves were characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors, while their subject matter had a high degree of simplification and abstraction. In the 1880s, Gauguin, a referent for the Fauves, famously said: “It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block." One hundred and thirty years after, and following the French painter’s piece of advice, our three artists use color as the main representational quality of the ideas they try to portray and, contrary to what their Fauve peers did in the past, they also merge the use of different materials into their storytelling.
Our contemporary Femmes Fauves use color as well as different mediums to arrive at the idyllic and at the abstract world of ideas and the imagination. Mayte Velaz uses recycled materials and plays with how the light reflects on them, creating compositions that seem to be in constant movement. Olivia Baldwin begins with color and material to then act—dipping, tearing, cutting, rubbing. She thinks about a form’s capacity to hold a particular color, whether it can bear the weight or requires a counterweight. Her compositions, either tridimensional or flat, are always in constant flux. Finally, Lía Ateca conceives her practice as fundamentally fused to a gravitational motion. Colors and forms take the shape of life events but also of the human psyche; her daily life cannot be detached from her colorist compositions and each of her feelings and occurrences presents itself in a different shape and a different color.
Olivia Baldwin (b. 1990, Boston, USA) lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island
Lía Ateca (b. 1991, Tenerife, España) lives and works in Madrid, Spain
Mayte Velaz (b. 1976, Pamplona, España) lives and works in Tafalla, Spain