Maria Guzmán Capron
Opening Reception 12 January, 7-11 PM
12 January - 4 February
R/SF projects is pleased to present Desdoblé, a solo show of new work by Peruvian-Colombian artist Maria Guzmán Capron. Loosely translating to "unfold," the show presents a body of work that not only physically unfurls via quilted textiles and plush carpets, but also reveals itself through a process of discovery and disclosure. Anything but formulaic, the series delineates both a method of working and way of seeing rooted in intuition and structures of feeling (à la Raymond Williams), where one work organically informs the next like puzzle pieces to a whole. Guzmán Capron harnesses the emotive to unveil an entire ecosystem that draws from the Sci-Fi technique of worldbuilding, acting as a portal into a cosmos where coexistence merely is. Here, each unearthly character speaks in allegory, arguably suggesting improved modes of being-with and a homeostasis of difference in unison.
Upon navigating the exhibition, the viewer is greeted with a multiplicity of clashing patterns, seductive textures, kitschy bric-a-brac, and covert clues that beg close investigation. Sprawled across the gallery’s ground floor is Descarada (2017), an inordinately tactile patchwork rug detailing a turquoise visage of shifty cantaloupe eyes, a striking kelly green nose, and crimson puckered lips—positioned upside down to the entering viewer but wholly visible from the aerial view. Embellished with a dragonfly plushie, found wooden stool, colored pencil drawing, and that perennial (ceramic) nose, the work references a popular telenovela theme song, while also translating to both ‘shameless’ and (ironically) ‘without face.’ On the back wall, hanging wall tapestry Perla (2017) floats atop a pool of scalloped periwinkle paint, depicting a serenely contemplative woman whose accompanying coffee mug extends off the wall into three-dimensional form. Something more than human, the figure bridges on the fantastical as a kind of hyperbolic self, shrouded in introspection. And finally, in the upstairs gallery, Mothership (2017) seemingly embodies an alien spacecraft woman with glowing laser eyes and aptly positioned cheetah-print kitty, hovering somewhere between the paranormal and matriarchal. Airbrush-contoured and suspended amidst fleece and floral fabrics, the creature careens from above, palpably startled but springing into action.
As a whole, the exhibition deftly combines elements of both craft and fine art, spanning a multiplicity of media to further the aim of diversification and tease out a visual language of intersectionality. Where each work collapses dimensionality in an almost cubist manner, they remain voluptuous and spacious, as if gainfully taking up space—bearing rogue threadwork and haphazard seams to integrate construction and process into the visual code itself. Guzmán Capron’s brigade of hyper-diverse, esoteric figures are larger-than-life, unfazed by the viewer’s presence, and commandingly present—seemingly occupying a dimension of their own. The show encapsulates a perceptible departure in the artist’s gestural mark-making, allowing for freer, perhaps more grotesque, personas that resist the cult of beautification. While characteristically her figures are often earmarked as female, Guzmán Capron presents a more open-ended existence outside of binary norms to posit something more transitory and fluid.
Maria Guzmán Capron has exhibited across the United States, including recent exhibitions at the Visual Art Center of Richmond (Richmond, VA); No Place Gallery (Columbus, OH); Able Baker Contemporary (Portland, ME); and BBQLA (Los Angeles, CA). In San Francisco, Capron’s work has shown at Alter Space, 100% gallery, Minnesota Street Project, and R/SF projects, as well as in Oakland at Interface Gallery and City Limits. Guzmán Capron was the recipient of the Graduate Painting Fellowship at California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA), was Artist in Residence at Diverseworks (Houston, TX), and has lectured at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, TX. She was born in Milan, Italy in 1981 to Peruvian and Colombian parents, and lives and works in Berkeley, CA.