Ana Maria Hernando : Works on Paper


Ana Maria Hernando : Works on Paper
Jan 7 – Feb 18, 2006

Robischon Gallery is pleased to present Ana Maria Hernando's first solo exhibition with works on paper, panel and canvas. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hernando's work addresses issues of transparency in Culture and Nature through painted botanical forms layered on cut-out vintage, South American needlework patterns from the 1950s. The artist states that she "revels in the playfulness between sensuality and spirituality... the rules and inspirations." Hernando's use of flower imagery – Brugmansia blossoms, Mexican sunflowers, and magnolias reference what the artist calls "transparent action" or beauty. She states, "I find these transparent acts everywhere. My most pressing image would be that of women embroidering tablecloths, washing, ironing. Later these embroidered beauties would be stained and covered with food. The hours of loving work have become background. These acts of transparency make no sense... they inspire me."

Hernando's interest in the transparent and often invisible role that women continue to play in many cultures is explored in her on-going fiber collaborations with the cloistered "barefoot" Carmelite nuns of Buenos Aires. The nuns of the Monastery of Santa Teresa of Jesus located in the heart of the city spend their days praying and embroidering in order to make a living. Hernando enlists their services to embroider certain elements that she designs for her fabric installations. She first met the nuns in December 2001 in the midst of civil unrest and riots due to five presidential shifts in two weeks. The artist explains, "I could not have anticipated that all of my interactions with these nuns, to whom I was bringing texture, colors, shapes to share, would be limited to happen through an opaque wooden window with just our voices to communicate."

Themes both socio-political and spiritual are embraced throughout Hernando's work incorporating designs from architecture, fashion and craft as their ground. She writes, "They provide a backdrop for the flowers. Flowers are my inspiration. They are sensual, delicate, quiet and beautiful....the utmost expression of the plant. Flowers appear as layers and the layers of my paintings arise in me as flowers unfolding. The vulnerability and vibration in them startle me awake. I find these flowers in my garden, in the embroidered mantones of the Spanish women, my grandmothers. The seduce me and compel me to move the brush."

Ana Maria Hernando received her B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts. She also studied at Boston's School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Hernando is a recipient of a grant from the City of Boulder Arts Commission and received an Honorable Mention from MOCA, Fort Collins Rocky Mountain Biennial. Her showings include solo exhibitions at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.