by Dan Cameron
Grimanesa Amoros’ art plays deftly with the notion that painting and sculpture might come into being through the process of shedding, as opposed to accumulating, the more physical aspects of form, so that the condition in which her subjects are presented does not function as a ‘final’ state at all, but more like one of several possible chosen moments within which the process of coming-into-being has been captured. To pursue that notion a bit more, we might even say that Amoros’ work tends to reject the inclination towards making the tactile presence of form the single most defining characteristic in the artist’s representation of living things. Instead, she seems to opt for states of being that are at once cruder and more metaphysical, steeped in serious myth but also lighthearted to the point of verging on childlike. Their limbs crowding the canvas borders in exuberant swaths of bright, simple colors, Amoros’ figures often seem more like jagged patches of energy or amorphous clusters of protoplasm than solid flesh and bone. This strategy of representation serves her purpose by introducing the illusion of an unguarded, naif sensibility at work, which keeps our skepticism at bay just long enough for it to become clear that Amoros is addressing much deeper questions than painting is usually expected to bear, and doing so in a way that makes us question in turn our own tendency to reject the pictorial role of universal symbolism in an increasingly deconstructed and self-signifying environment.