Lita Albuquerque is an internationally renowned installation, environmental artist, painter and sculptor. She has developed a visual language that brings the realities of time and space to a human scale and is acclaimed for her ephemeral and permanent art works executed in the landscape and public sites.
Albuquerque’s work questions our place in the enormity of infinite space and eternal time. Despite a rising flood of new data and interpretive theory, the most elemental concepts of an emerging scientific cosmology are simply not imbedded in everyday culture. Conversely, the meaning of this cosmology does not seem implicit in the science. Lita Albuquerque has not flinched from the scale of such a challenge. She is one of the rare artists and humanists who are responsible for thoughtfully and imaginatively placing the elemental concepts for a living, functional cosmology for 21st century culture within public consciousness.
While I proposed initially to work from the way light interacts with the spaces designed by Lehrer Architects, once working in the space itself, the project immediately expanded and opened up. I was very excited by the large photographs of the firm’s other architectural projects hanging around the space. I was interested in the idea of working from the two dimensional image representing three dimensional space, positioned against an actual three dimensional space. I was attracted to these images as windows into multiple points of perspective. The project began with a representational drawing of the space, including the images in the photographs, as well as the space around them. Given the many diagonals and variety of points of view, the image instigated a stream of abstract works on paper.
I began by tracing and transferring the image, cutting the tracing in half and flipping it to invert half of the image. Later I cut various planes in space out of the image, and used them as the positive shapes for another work. The work became self-generating, as each shape that I cut out created both a positive and negative shape that could be used. I continued to trace, cut, draw, and paint with gouache from the original work, creating multiple painted paper collages. The residency, and being surrounded by such open minded creativity, opened up my studio practice in new and exciting ways, triggering the beginnings of a new body of work which has only just begun to unfold. I have such gratitude for the opportunity, and excitement for what is to come in the work from the experience.