Menchu Lamas

Galería Buades y Fundación Valdecilla

The work of Menchu Lamas is a good example of how abstraction has evolved toward figuration in a coherent way, without an abrupt break. The figures in her paintings fill the picture plane; they are not merely fitted into a formal structure but themselves comprise that structure, providing heavy vertical, diagonal, horizontal, and curved shapes which give the painting its fundamental directional lines. This is a figuration bent on structural problems, but Lamas also skillfully introduces ambiguity through the selection of her thematic repertory.

In these two shows, featuring large works, Lamas investigated a figure that seems a hybrid of man and animal. Its raised, tubular body, sometimes reptilian or piscine, sometimes possessed of an enigmatic fox’s or cat’s head, generally imposes the dominant vertical in the painting, and horizontally extends its limbs—especially the enormous hands—to

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