We are pleased to present TRANSFIGURATION, our first exhibition by Aurora Pellizzi at Canada.
The dimensional wall-hangings exhibited are part of an ongoing series of textural paintings made by Pellizzi in Mexico, where she lives and works. Her work playfully combines formal concepts of painting and sculpture – such as abstraction, perspective, figure, and ground – with traditional textile techniques and practices – most notably weaving and natural dyeing. Humor acts as a catalyst dissipating the traditionally ascribed divide between craft and art.
The object-images on view are made of naturally dyed wool volumetrically woven and latch-hooked onto a supportive web called ayate. The ayate is a pre-Hispanic garment or accessory hand-woven on backstrap-looms out of handspun maguey or agave fibers. The most famous ayate is the one where the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have miraculously appeared in 1531 under a bed of roses. To this day they are used to carry firewood, corn, and other agricultural products in the Mexican countryside.
Pellizzi uses natural infusions and combinations of indigo, brazilwood, cochineal, avocado pits, and Aztec marigold to produce her color palette. Variations of tone and hue derive from the source’s natural composition and from the particular PH of the artist’s dye recipes. Treated as a material in and of itself and not as an external attribute or coating, the resulting colors are deeply saturated and unusual, especially in our post-industrial, digital age.
In this latest series of tapestries, simplified abstract shapes are fleshed out into volumetric relief through layers of sculpted fiber. Geometry, figuration, and abstraction are turned on their head so that circles become breasts which spin into spheres. A triangle exists as a triangle, becomes a pubis, and then recedes into a vanishing point. The body is experienced both as detail and landscape – figure and ground coexist symbiotically.
The female figure isn’t represented but embodied as field, subject, and symbol. Bodies are simultaneously uninhibited, charged, at ease, and distended within their canvas. Physically dominant like the boulders, depressions and horizons that make up a landscape, the female body is permeated by the creative force within it –– the pro-creative and creative, intertwined.
The textural and volumetric techniques and materials employed originated in Pellizzi’s studio in Mexico City, but the project as whole was made with the support of a cooperative of women embroiderers from the Otomi town of Temoaya in the State of Mexico. During the months of confinement lockdown in Mexico, a temporary workshop was set up for this work, where many hours of experimentation, trial, and error occurred.
Aurora Pellizzi was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up between New York City and Mexico. She studied Art at The Cooper Union School in New York (BFA, 2010) and at New York University (BFA, 2005). Her work has been exhibited in Colombia, France, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Pellizzi’s publication entitled TRANSFIGURATION was printed by Can Can Press in Mexico City on the occasion of her show at Canada.