Recent works by distinguished Argentinean painter Antonia Guzmán are inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s last opera, Turandot. Guzmán’s paintings convey the dynamic force of Puccini’s Asiatic fairy tale using her well-known Latin American visual vocabulary to create impactful visual dramas. The primary inspiration for this series is Act II of the opera where the princess Turandot asks three riddles of the Prince Calaf who wishes to marry her under penalty of death if he cannot correctly answer them all:
“What is born each night and dies each dawn?” (answer: “Hope.”)
“What flickers red and warm like a flame, yet not fire?” (answer:
“What is like ice but burns?” (answer: “Turandot.”)
The paintings deliver Guzmán’s visual interpretation of these riddles.
Using her familiar geometrical visual vocabulary of stick figures with triangular heads and sharp lines, while also inserting text in the work, she conveys this narrative with movement and gravity, as though these paintings are part of this musical masterpiece, suggesting a form of a performance art by Guzmán.
Antonia Guzmán’s bold and modulated palette distinctly refer to colors associated with Latin American painting: the lush reds, oranges and greens referring to vibrant vegetation, the more planes distinguished by black and white lines, creating patterns resembling interlocking blocks similar to design patterns found in Nazca textiles as well as Incan stone buildings.
Her new exhibit opens at the Courturier Galley in June
Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat, 11-5
166 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036