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The Island of the Turtle  from February 9 through March 30, 2002


Haim Chanin Fine Arts presents its inaugural exhibition of Catalan artist Soledad Sevilla, on view from February 9 through March 30, 2002. This is the first solo exhibition of Sevilla’s work in the United States, and will introduce thirteen new paintings on paper in a series titled The Island of the Turtle. Varying in size from 4 to 11 feet wide, these works continue Sevilla’s steadfast development of a language that furthers the visual tradition of such second-generation American abstract expressionists as Clyfford Still, Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell.


In The Island of the Turtle, Sevilla pays homage to the American cultural heritage and to mythological world culture. Inspired by a text written by poet Gary Snyder in the 1970s, which recounts the Native American lore of how the turtle and his shell helped to create the American continent and support the earth, Sevilla uses both her medium and imagery to draw us into the universal allegory of spontaneous creation. Says Sevilla, “I very quickly established an imaginative relationship with this little script for two reasons: Synder’s main source of inspiration is nature, which is also important to me and reflects in these works on paper; and also the impact of the beautiful Native American metaphor the author revives.”


For this exhibition, Sevilla has created thirteen oil paintings on paper—two large-scale works mounted to canvas with eleven smaller scale works—that utilize her leaf-shaped brush strokes, densely layered into continent-shaped masses that drip vertically down the plane of each canvas. The effect takes viewers into a world of poetic association and visual perception which can insinuate the vibrating rhythms of heavy, lush bougainvillea growing over a wall, water interacting with light, or masses of small creatures migrating.


Working exclusively in painting and installation since the late sixties, Sevilla’s work developed within the environment of Geometrical Abstraction and became aligned with a generation of Spanish artists who adhered to the aesthetic principles of Constructivism. Over time, her visual language moved beyond the restrictive confines of the grid while she continued to explore her fundamental interest in the ephemeral interactions of the natural world and the concepts of time, movement, color and light. Her refined and rigorous technique has yielded increasingly condensed and interlaced painting surfaces while she continues her examination of imagery that references the natural world as filtered through sense and memory.


A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition with an essay by Ignacio Fernandez.




Haim Chanin Fine Arts All Rights Reserved (C) 2003