Dio Horia gallery announces the first solo exhibition of Dominican artist Hulda Guzman in Athens, opening October 23, 2019. The exhibition is organized along with the artist’s participation in the Venice Biennale, where her work is included in the national pavilion of the Dominican Republic and the official Biennale catalogue. Guzman’s will also be the inaugural exhibition of the Dio Horia’s pop up space in Neo Psychiko, Athens.
Hulda Guzman is a figurative painter whose work focuses on narrative and space. An artist living in the tropical jungle with a very liberal approach to life, she creates works that are connected to nature, often using wood as her painting surface and the lush vegetation of her home country as her subject matter. Her works are often a combination of collage made with wood veneer and painting, as she allows the natural grain of each piece of wood to become part of the overall composition. Whether the scene she depicts takes place in a natural space or indoors, Guzman often structures her composition with an architectural sensibility, creating very defined spaces wherein her narratives intimately take place. Her works are vivid and theatrical, enticing an experiential interpretation from the viewer and encouraging a personal, visceral connection beyond words.
The exhibition at Dio Horia Athens is named With the Mother. It is composed of a series of paintings that, as a whole, form a celebration of Nature in all its glory and at the same time stand as a calling back to Nature and a warning for the dramatic consequences that the planet will experience from human’s dissociation from Nature. Guzman wishes to convey to the viewers that the trajectory of human history is at this point going towards a direction that is unsustainable and not survivable and invite them to join her in a transition from an industrial materialistic living to a more contemplative existence, one that is based on consciousness and ecological symbiosis.
In With the Mother Guzman portrays trees and plants that look glorified, deified, as to inspire worship, respect and reverence upon Nature and depicts human-kind, wildlife, and the environment, in a delicate balance. Poetically oscillating between the personal and the collective, the works evoke sentiments and thoughts of resilience, growth and bonding. The artist seeks to express the wonderment one feels of the natural world by allowing a state of deep connection and harmony with the environment to emerge. Through a series of new paintings, Guzman invites the viewer to feel, perceive and experience our wild surroundings — the plants, the animals and, most importantly, the elements of life (water, earth, wind, rain, sun, fire etc) — and encounter nature as a Mother/Teacher figure that can reveal to us the magic of existence. Finally, the works seek to show the grandeur of Nature in order to address how nurturing our interconnection with Nature can boost our understanding of ourselves, and transcend psychological, intellectual and moral baggage that humans accumulate.
As Guzman explains: “I wish the spectator to have an experiential approach and interpretation of the works in the exhibition, rather than a more logical one. The elements intend to provoke an impression on the viewer, an emotion, and through this emotion to bring about the concept of the paintings; not the other way around. The depictions concentrate on how places and elements make me feel, instead of representing them “realistically” – and how I wish for the spectator to experience these similar feelings in regards to the environment. These works intend to depict and integrate all the layers of existence that are not visible to our human and limited eyes.