Cecilia Villanueva reflects upon open spaces using few lines and very few architectural structures, creating compositions which verge on the void. Through her artwork, she creates a path to dark yet necessary spaces; a vacuum in a world without limits.
For the past 15 years, the artist has created paintings inspired by and depicting architecture from the past and present. On her city walks she noticed that architecture today is no longer about solid buildings; instead, it is more about voids and a sense of vacancy. After several years of observing these immaterial spaces in architecture, she decided to make an imaginary journey into the insubstantial void.
Indeed, to be embraced by the void, Villanueva immersed herself into an architectonical space she found, almost by accident, in cities around the world; her paintings are of a place called vertigo which is a path to a dark yet necessary space… the vacuum. Villanueva says, “I felt vertigo… and fear. I was seriously experimenting with my mind, and the leap into the void required courage.”
Although this solo show is about architecture, her inspiration more specifically comes from the French philosopher Edgar Morin and his work on “complex thought” which has resulted in the artist’s attempt to immerse herself more deeply and adequately into understanding the complexity of our present life. In these paintings, you will see few lines and minimal architectural structures on the verge of the void. She tempts us with a voyage to the unknown and makes us feel the need to jump into her dark indigo palette; this is not an attempt to escape life but to go deep into ourselves depleted of paradigms, media, and politics in search of answers to the complex questions presented by the 21st century.
This most recent body of work by Cecilia Villanueva includes paintings which appear clean, cool, and almost clinical. They are mostly aerial views from what is seen when traveling by airplane, or views from Google Earth. These paintings are tactile, rendered in oils and mineral ink. We are reminded that one can only dare to follow the challenge from the New York-based writer Mila Jaroniec, “Do not merely fall, but place yourself inside the void where one can only go with the removal of any external influences.” Literally, come and jump.