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Indepth Arts News:

"Alquimia: Francisca Sutil"
2006-05-31 until 2006-07-09
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Santiago, , CL Chile

The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago Chile is having a major retrospective of Francisca Sutil's work from May 30th to July 9th, 2006. The exhibition covers 25 years of Sutil's painting. During the past three decades, Francisca Sutil's work has explored highly specific problems of surface and support, color, luminosity, and spatial perception. Her approach has been grounded in a belief that materials and techniques are, in and of themselves, rich sources of meaning. Although having an idea of expression in mind as a point of departure that expression is something open and non-specific (e.g., a category of feeling, a state of mind, a condition of the spirit, but reflections about color that began some years ago have now caused her to reevaluate her thinking and have suggested an important new direction in her work.

Francisca Sutil's work is based on the research of the chromatic surface, the nature of the support and the study of textures she prepares herself. She proposes a rigorous exercise of painting on support, regardless of its material composition, so that from the mental process of thinking paint as paint, a process that is in its own essence, a chromatic production of extreme neatness and where purity might emerge. Refinement and sensitivity are concepts inherent to Sutil's personality and feelings.

When Sutil generates pictorial surfaces that are not devoid of a certain depth , she compels the eye to elaborate new constructions of the world, more necessary today than ever before, if we consider the mediatic process have conditioned the onlooker to a single way of apprehending reality.

Sutil's work can be divided into three distinct phases: the first centers on paper pulp, the second around the use of pigmented gesso, and her recent work centers on her use of vertical bands of oil color over rich, pigmented gesso surfaces, to explore the relationship of color and light. In this third stage Sutil's paintings evoke a reality that is layered and mysterious, visible and invisible.

In the 1970-80 Sutil focused her attention on making two dimensional cast paper paintings that extended the vision of postwar geometric abstraction. Her works with paper pulp were an outcome of her desire to explore the relationship between medium and support and process and outcome. This eventually led Sutil at the end of the 80's to deal with issues that could only be resolved in painting.

Her desire to discover how medium, surface and support could be made to engage in a meaningful visual dialogue. She started using pigmented gesso and oil. These works are both solid matter and luminous color. By the end of 1990's Sutil again undergoes a change that has nothing to do with style but with her preoccupation with light and layering and materiality and immateriality. Sutil was commissioned to do the Cruz Chapel in Santiago where her 12 paintings  "glow like illuminated manuscripts" (Edward Shaw). Since 2003 Sutil elevated her work in which awareness of mortality is essential. 

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