Resili-ART


Resilience is the psychological ability to overcome hardship. Along with the concept of overcoming, it also entails that of personal growth. The works featured in this exhibition have been created during a period of both worldwide and individual stress, uncertainty and solitude. Set up as projects in September when authors were embracing a relatively new normalcy, their processes were shaken by the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic. Organized by the rotating ideas of Acceptance, Introspection, Fear and Change of Narrative, all together these pieces illustrate human complexity and its creative power to generate divergent thinking in difficult times.

ACCEPTANCE: it is what it is

Acceptance is a necessary step towards healing the soul. Maesus by Blumberg depicts a human being whose gestures express deep sorrow. Far from refraining this emotion, the figure decides to accept them and let them flux through his body provoking a posture of pathos, as if he was almost dancing with sadness. The image gives us permission to feel upset when reality around us trembles and turns into a disturbing new normal of faces wearing masks. In The System, England´s self-portrait looks at us defiantly. The title triggers the concept of biopolitics and reminds us how social order has always affected the regime of bodies and their codification. 

We will always remember 2020 as the year when the whole world modified the way we present ourselves in public thus restricting our identity. Self-portraits in art history have traditionally captured an intimate moment of reflection, both figuratively and literally, between the mirror and painter; an opportunity to honestly confront themselves. England´s portrait, however, considers the twofold function of this new element filtering and blocking personal encounters. In the same way, Blumberg´s Woman with drapery, ironically replaces the traditional loincloth (perizonium, linteus) for a medical mask that only covers the bottom of the model´s face. The image suggests a recent alteration of the concept of obscenity. The ob- scene refers to what is supposed to be hidden from public view and appoints the nose and mouth as those parts of the body that the new visual regime prohibits. An interference in individual and social freedom aimed to protect us. This has transformed the dance with sadness into a dance with anger where bodies have been taken to the streets in the choreography of unrest as van Hoogstraten has sharply captured in the photograph Protest.

“Maesus” - Blumberg, Luna 

Woodcut print, 30 x 22´5 cm, PRI 120 Basic Printmaking. 

Inspired by the statues of Javier Marin, which have an expressive quality of his figures, this print is an experimentation in translating that expression in a woodcut.

“The System” - England, Faith

Oil on wood panel, 30 x 40 cm, PDM 270 Intermediate Painting. 

“The System” is a self-portrait created during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. This painting represents the restriction within the classroom as well as the current circumstances that have arisen within our society. It did not allow for any conceptual freedom, and there were safety measures that needed to be taken in light of the pandemic that included wearing masks and spacing at least 1m apart. It is the product of this lack of freedom.

“Woman with Drapery” - Blumberg, Luna

Chalk and pencil on toned paper, 32´5 x 50 cm, PDM 130 Principles of Drawing and Composition. 

This is the artist’s first experience drawing a live model. An honest approach that included the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Protest”- Isabel Van Hoogstraten, 

PHO 130 Introduction to Digital Photography.


INTROSPECTION: introspicere, to look inside

The months of social distance, lockdown and solitude have also offered precious moments of introspection in which we have been pushed indoors. During that time, screens, balconies and windows became our only way to communicate with the outside world. Summer by van Hoogstraten and the series The ordinary morning 2 and 4 by In´t veld inform the new relations that we have established with those real or virtual frames through which we have been negotiating our positions in the world. This interior-exterior dialectic is also proposed by the two ceramic pieces Hufsa, Bowl 1 and Tufsla, bowl 2 by Stokke. These pieces with a strong homely appearance touch on the relationship between outside: wild nature and inside: domesticated decoration. The bowls invite us to reconnect with domestic interiors and the beauty of quaint everyday details. In the same sense, we can understand Schiller´s After Portrait of Leopoldo de’ Medici in swaddling by Jacopo Ligozzi. In Schillers´ own reframing of the classical piece, draperies, tissue qualities, embroidery and laces are zoomed and enlarged in scale. This enhances the monumentality of textile labor and the hypnotic effects of staring at the patterns that so long took to be sewn. 

The attention to the details of interior domestic spaces that for long periods have constituted our own finite universe is also extended to nature as an emblem of the outside world as well as a sign of hope. Journey and Harvest by Stokke and A Poppy and the Bee by Hazenberg express a close observation of nature in its great simplicity: as a safe place where we can always return to grasp a sense of continuity. Plants keep growing and bees keep looking for flowers as they have always done.

“Summer” - Isabel Van Hoogstraten,

PHO 130 Introduction to Digital Photography. 

“The ordinary morning 2” and “The ordinary morning 4”
In ‘t Veld, Laure Carolina Yvonne

Photography, 30 x 45 cm, PHO 130 Introduction to Digital Photography. 

In this assignment, students were tasked with creating a portrait. A portrait is a representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. The story of this series of photos was built around the artist’s friend, Amelie. She is really photogenic and the expression on her face is clear to see. This project takes viewers into the morning routine of a woman. Starting from the moment she is brushing her teeth until she is putting on her makeup to go out the door. This series combines actions with the expressions they cause.

“The ordinary morning 2” and “The ordinary morning 4”
In ‘t Veld, Laure Carolina Yvonne

Photography, 30 x 45 cm, PHO 130 Introduction to Digital Photography. 

In this assignment, students were tasked with creating a portrait. A portrait is a representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. The story of this series of photos was built around the artist’s friend, Amelie. She is really photogenic and the expression on her face is clear to see. This project takes viewers into the morning routine of a woman. Starting from the moment she is brushing her teeth until she is putting on her makeup to go out the door. This series combines actions with the expressions they cause.

“Hufsa, bowl 1”, “Tufsla, bowl 2” - Stokke, Vilde Marie

Clay and paint, High: 6´5 cm; diameter 13 cm and height: 6 cm-diameter: 14 cm, SCU 130 Ceramics and Well-Being. 

For this project on the topic of fear, the artist chose to present the love that saved her from anxiety and fear, a method for existing without being overpowered by darkness. It is an homage to everyone that has helped her get through her darkest moments. Named after a character from the Moomin series (Mumintrollen) by Finnish-Swedish artist Tove Jansson.

“After Portrait of Leopoldo de' Medici in swaddling by Jacopo Ligozzi”
Schiller, Halcyone

Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, PDM 140 Foundation Oil Painting.

For this piece, the artist painted a small section of a portrait created by Jacopo Ligozzi in 1618 for the Medici family. Drawn to the quality of intricate detailing on top of a softly draped fabric, the artist pays special attention to the characterization of the different types of brushstrokes and colors that were necessary to create a harmonious composition.

“Journey” - Stokke, Vilde Marie

Linoleum cut, printed on rice paper, Print: 30 x 21´5 cm, paper
43,5 x :21´5 cm, PRI 120 Basic Printmaking.

Inspired by childhood memories from the artist’s family cabin in Sirdal, Norway. This piece captures the process of changing, looking at where one started from the perspective of the present.

“Harvest” - Stokke, Vilde Marie

Wood cut, printed on rice paper, Print: 30 x 22´5 cm; paper: 47 x 30´5 cm,
PRI 120, Basic Printmaking.

This represents the harvest of the artist’s journey, starting in Norway and arriving in Italy. This print is symbolic of reaping the fruits of the
artist’s labor.

“A Poppy and a Bee” - Hazenberg, Florien

Metal plate print on paper, 20 x 15 cm, PRI 120 Basic Printmaking.

The poppy and the bee in the picture depict fragility, a prevalent theme for the artist at this time. The artist found that the insect and flower are the perfect symbol for this theme. The bee is endangered, but essential to the processes of our planet and humans. The poppy is a very delicate flower, you can almost see through its petals, and can even be interpreted as a symbol to commemorate the dead.


FEAR: defeating one’s demons

A walk around Florence shows the number of grotesque creatures in ornamentation, cornices, or door knockers. As we can see in Leggio, My Armida or Johnson, Scylla and Charybdis, irrational fears have materialized in similar manner. Monsters, dragons and snakes from the depth of Hell or the bottom of the Ocean provoke curiosity and fear. The representation of these monsters has been believed to neutralize the thread therefore turning into a sort of apotropaic function. These authors present a disarmed and personal version of these monsters following a process of creative manipulation.

In Blumberg Abel slain by Cain in turn, the spectator is challenged to look the dead body of Abel in the eye. The helpless posture along with the chiaroscuro contributes to the distress caused by the confrontation of some our most basic and ancestral fears. However, once again, the act of representation can transform vulnerability into strength. The elaboration of fear through mythological stories of death or legends involving reptiles and monsters, capture our inner demons and mental boundaries to teach us, protect us and keep moving forward.

“My Armida” - Leggio, Francesca

Acrylic on canvas, Diptych- 130 x 90 cm, PDM 190 Fundamentals of Art and Design: Color Theory.

This diptych is an interpretation of Cecco Bravo’s “Armida” (c1650) with a combination of abstraction and figuration. Leggio uses techniques similar to Bravo’s Baroque and Mannerist style, while also focusing on creating an overall harmonious composition.

“Scylla and Charybdis 3” - Johnson, Avery

Charcoal on paper, 24 x 30 cm, PDM 340 Advanced Drawing I: Observation and Interpretations.

This piece is based on the contrasting themes of chaos and order. Recalling Scylla and Charybdis in the Odyssey, no choice is harder or simpler than another, only different. This piece is a figurative experimentation of this idea. Artist’s Instagram: @artbyaevs

“Scylla and Charybdis 3” - Johnson, Avery

Charcoal on paper, 24 x 30 cm, PDM 340 Advanced Drawing I: Observation and Interpretations.

This piece is based on the contrasting themes of chaos and order. Recalling Scylla and Charybdis in the Odyssey, no choice is harder or simpler than another, only different. This piece is a figurative experimentation of this idea. Artist’s Instagram: @artbyaevs

“Abel Slain by Cain” - Blumberg, Luna

Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm, PDM 140 Foundation Oil Painting.

After selecting a masterpiece to copy, the artist chose part of a painting by Tiarini in order to focus on the composition and the light fall.


CHANGE OF NARRATIVE

Art can provide a safe passage when we need to escape from reality like Dimuccio´s Self Portrait that takes us to a joyful universe where life is in technicolor. In the same way, Leggio´s captivating portraits of Isabel 1 and 4 are a beacon of light that can hold us for, a moment, suspended from reality.

A change in discourse can help us make sense of a situation. For example, both pieces by Manghnani operate at a metaphoric level; Swish depicts a fish jumping out of the water questioning the role of our natural habitats. What effects do our home, work, geographical position and bodies have in ourselves? This image suggests the need to get out of our comfort zones, as fishes do out of water, in order to survive. Hold on symbolizes both the resistance to accept and adjust in the face of change. The hand grasps to what and how we know making us inflexible to be molded by life events. Paralleling, it represents the idea of holding on to life, to optimism, to opportunities -a message to resist.

Resilience is a psychological term that nevertheless implies a material element in its semantics. Resilience is the condition that allows matter to bounce back after being submitted to changes. Art is the material product that the artists of this exhibition wield when facing hardship. The result is a dialogue on acceptance, denial, anger, fear, the need to escape and overcome. In a year in which uncertainty has dominated us, art remains the constant support that we can rely on.

– Mª Isabel Carrasco Castro

“Self-Portrait” Dimuccio, Elizabeth 

Acrylic on Canvas, 70x90cm, PDM 190 Fundamentals of Art and Design: Color Theory.

“Isabel 1”, “Isabel 4” - Leggio, Francesca

PHO 130 Introduction to Digital Photography.

The dark background emphasizes the focus solely on the subject. This approach is inspired by the high contrast and highlights in Rembrandt’s portraits with realistic, and serious expressions.

“Isabel 1”, “Isabel 4” - Leggio, Francesca

PHO 130 Introduction to Digital Photography.

The dark background emphasizes the focus solely on the subject. This approach is inspired by the high contrast and highlights in Rembrandt’s portraits with realistic, and serious expressions.

“Swish” - Manghnani, Muskaan

Watercolours + Pen + Photoshop, PDM 190 Fundamentals of Art and Design: Color Theory.

This piece of art perfectly defines the author´s love for mix media art; Manghnani enjoys playing around with different mediums around and creating new things. And the colours and movements in 'Swish' have a playful and fun feel, which is what the artist felt while working on it.

“Hold On” - Manghnani, Muskaan

Pencil on paper, PDM 130 Principles of Drawing and Composition.

This piece allowed for the artist to strengthen her skills drawing human figures. This gave way to a newfound confidence in detailing anatomy through drawing.


LdM Gallery Coordinator: Federico Gori
LdM Professor – Department of Painting, Drawing and Mixed Media

Fall 2020 LdM Gallery Intern: Teagan O’Connor
Marist LdM student

Fall 2020 LdM Intern Supervisor: María Isabel Carrasco Castro
Program Director – Marist Madrid  


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