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Urban Landscapes: recent works by Paloma Torres

Moisés Rosas.

Paloma Torres is a most outstanding artist on the Contemporary Art scene in Mexico due to the splendid quality of her work and the impeccable and attractive way she handles the clay, using it as an element for communication between her creation and the spectator.

Only a few years ago, the role of sculpture in Mexico, as regards contemporary art, was     not really significant. However, in recent years, there has been a vigorous creative resurgence which has given sculpture a very important boost, allowing for a revival in its appreciation and value.

Paloma Torres has notably contributed to this resurgence, since she is one of the fundamental artists, thanks to her exceptional workmanship and vast production which has made it possible for her work to appear at all the important exhibitions and cultural encounters both in Mexico and abroad.

One of the most significant features of her work is the constant search for new forms of expression, always within the framework of sculpture. Over the years, Torres has experimented with such diverse materials to combine with the clay: textures, colors forms and different aesthetic proposals.

She is an artist who, in time and by means of many different languages, has achieved new technical and artistic statements, thereby offering the extent of her creative work, in such diverse forms as murals, spheres, columns, attractive and daring creations in clay ceramics and bronze, clay and metallic mesh, among others.

This versatility has allowed Paloma Torres to move through many and varied creative visions, to express and transmit her perception of the world around her: its anguish, its uncertainty, its hopes and a whole range of diverse and sensitive feelings. She is an artist who lives, observes and suffers her environment.

Torres is an artist who manages to reveal her vision of the urban scene through her sculpture, representing it sometimes as oppressive, often fascinating and appealing.

Paloma in the daughter of a renowned Mexican architect, Ramon Torres, therefore since childhood she has been conscious of the influence of architectural volumes, aesthetic concepts in public spaces and the complexity of the urban landscape. So these have been the core concepts on which her artistic production is based.

She has found in sculpture and in clay – this latter as a festive element for sensorial pleasure – a way to express her concepts and concerns: the biography of each one of us, solitary individuals in the crowd, and our relationship with the urban scene, as it is in Mexico City: tragic, heartrending, deafening, overwhelming and at the same time luminous, attractive, possessive and engulfing, in a collection of personalities, smells, colors, circumstances which constitute the greatest paradox of sentiments and emotions, sometimes not only placed but misplaced, which constitute the urban soul of Mexico City.

The great richness of Paloma’s production lies in her aesthetic and artistic vision of the world, rooted in a profoundly moving sensitivity towards the way in which the urban scene influences and molds the individual.

Paloma Torres’s sculptures are an exercise in her search to express a sociological and anthropological vision of how the urban landscape produces biographies, and how the lives of individuals, in turn, influence and determine the urban scene.

Paloma says “ The street is everybody’s garden”. Behind this phrase/ synthesis, lies the main idea of her artistic production.

Ever since her murals in the early nineties, cities appear seen from above: buildings, rivers, bridges, conglomerated humanity, piled together, tortured, enclosed, confined by the city, which, at the same time allows these societies to express their joy, their festivities, achievements, triumphs and life yearnings.

And, in spite of the fact that the artist’s immediate environment is Mexico City, the universality of her statements, has resulted in her being invited to exhibit her work in many cities both in her own country and abroad. Because as she says: “The world we have chanced to live in is completely urban”. This is why her work is equally valid anywhere beyond the borders of Mexico.

 Like the landscape artists of earlier times, of other histories, of other circumstances, she tries to recover, synthesize and interpret her surroundings and to project her concerns.

 In this exhibition “Urban landscapes: Recent works by Paloma Torres” we are proud to present more than 50 clay pieces created by the artist over recent years and particularly in the year 2007. As well as photographs which, over the years, she has been taking with a critical vision that scrutinizes reality so as to reflect on it and, finally include it in her sculpture.

 A melting-pot of sentiments and emotions are embodied in the clay, as it is baked and glazed we become involved in the urban landscape that could well be that of Mexico City, Monterrey, San Francisco or New York.

This is universal artistic creation, as are the feelings that the urban scene molds in each one of us.

The spectator will encounter a refreshing and novel vision of the artist’s work which, without losing its identity, delves down new paths in order to unearth the sentiments of the city and its inhabitants.

Many years of reflection, of sentiments about the city, that is, about our own lives, are present in Paloma Torres’ recent work, showing us fascinating paths to follow in order to discover her art, her aesthetic statement, but, above all, to think about our surroundings and our lives in an urban landscape.

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