Critics’ Picks

Movimiento liquidos II (Liquid Movements II), 2017, gouache and ink on paper, 35 x 51".

Movimiento liquidos II (Liquid Movements II), 2017, gouache and ink on paper, 35 x 51".

Santiago

Antonia Bañados

Galería NAC
Américo Vespucio Nte 2878
June 3–July 10, 2021

Science has long turned to nature as a model for how to produce representations of phenomena that we cannot immediately observe with the naked eye. Artist Antonia Bañados continues this tradition with the exhibition “Campo del Cielo” (Field of Heaven), which takes its name from a meteorite-ridden stretch of northern Argentina. In her paintings, drawings, and ceramic sculptures, Bañados conflates the falling meteors with drops of liquid, creating forms that are neither one, nor the other. The charcoal-and-gouache-on-paper Lluvia de meteoritos (Meteor Shower), 2018, depicts craggy black splotches sinking into a milky surface, sending splashes upward. In another gouache painting, Movimientos líquidos II (Liquid Movements II), 2017, we again see droplets bursting on impact, but here the backdrop is a murky gray, filled with floating stairs that lead to nowhere and spindly pillars that do not support anything. For her series of six tabletop sculptures “Nuevos océanos” (New Oceans), 2017, Bañados uses black ceramic to generate the different forms assumed by water in motion; these works “freeze” the expanding molecules to create a three-dimensional catalogue of the shape of liquid as it hits a solid surface.

While dark tones dominate the exhibition, the artist offers a notable exception in Andamio rojo (Red Scaffold), 2020. The watercolor shows a crimson-colored platform rising out of water. Its reflection exceeds the limits of the picture, an invitation to climb up and explore the world that lies between the terrestrial and the cosmic.

Translated from Spanish by Michele Faguet.