The use of watercolors in the work of Lourdes Sanchez seized a completely new meaning mainly due to the artist peculiar approach and processing of various forms and shapes. Regardless of the media, Sanchez continuously examines the intensity of relations between the elements, the role of coloring while sorting the composition and the final result. Fascination with the optical sensation is often although the main goal is to express or articulate inner processes to which Sanchez is exposed while producing each new artwork.
Lourdes Sánchez is born in 1961 in Cuba. She has spent the last 20 years designing colorful fabric creating motifs for Anthropology, Kate Spade, Crate & Barrel and Prabal Gurung, even Diane von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren. The collaboration with West Elm, influential furniture company, meant translating her art into framed pieces and pillow designs featuring painted aquatic motifs. Therefore, from 2004 Sanchez decided to become independent and created her own studio. In 2015, writer Elizabeth Gilbert collaborated with Sanchez on hand-painted copies of her latest bestseller book Big Magic.
Whether the artist paints geometric or organic shapes, she applies the technique of watercolor and liquid inks that are left on the paper. As a matter of fact, she performs harmonic forms of color across the paper by dramatically deploying light to dark with her ink staining technique. Sanchez explores control and acquiescence up to a point where she lets the inks seep into one another which largely contributes to the almost lurk atmosphere. The shapes seem to personify sound and fit to her highly sophisticated gesture. The general impression which can be ascribed to her work is that those are formal explorations that somehow hover between abstraction and representation.
The very thin line between applied and fine arts in the work of Lourdes Sanchez provides her with the opportunity to experiment with various sources and references. When in need to absorb some sort of visual stimulants she visits the Rockefeller wing of the Metropolitan Museum, second-hand bookstores in any city vintage clothing stores, Brooklyn Flea, found objects or even the Balenciaga store in Chelsea. The notable inspiration can be even traced from the works of late painters of Color field despite the two different formal directions – one being purely geometric, while other purely organic.
The poetical and serene works on both paper and textile suggest that Lourdes Sanchez Is somehow propelled by a desire to both revels in and to transcend a persistent sense of displacement in the human world. The occupation with archaic forms lead us to almost contemplative and catatonic states and it seems as if Sanchez is calling the observer to join in this free association space where one can feel liberated from any everyday nuisance.
Featured image: Lourdes Sanchez – Entonces, 2015, Installation view – image via Sears Peyton gallery
All images used are for illustrative purposes only