Opulent abstract paintings by Cándida Alvarez reveal the dance of boldly colored silhouettes and patterns, and the dizzying mix of influences that have developed in the artist’s work for nearly a decade. The exhibition introduces her most recent large-scale oil and acrylic paintings that collect, dissolve, shred, and layer visual culture without hierarchy. For example, in these works she indirectly references a Willem De Kooning painting, the Jackson Five, Josephine Baker, and the cartoon Caped Crusader, to name a few. As a result, multiple traces of current and historic moments and identities are fused together onto the canvas, producing a hybrid state of uncharted territory. According to Alvarez, “the painted, drawn, or juxtaposed surface emerges like a worn dance floor, long after the song ends.”
Alvarez’s paintings actively distort the familiar.
She explains, “Having run away from seemingly inadequate definitions for abstract painting, I find myself immersed in a relationship that tracks, exchanges, and shreds the world of news, front-page photography, design, and pictorial memory into a subject-less pictorial mash-up. In essence, there is no more picture; there is only painting.”
About Cándida Alvarez
Cándida Alvarez was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Alvarez received a BA from Fordham University and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in Painting and Printmaking. She is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was an artist in residence at PS 1 Long Island City, Queens. Her work has been shown in museums and galleries around the world and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including The Addison Gallery of American Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and El Museo del Barrio. Reviews of her work have appeared in various publications, including Art in America, Art News, and The New York Times. Alvarez has taught at the School of the Art Institute since 1998, where she is a tenured Professor in the Painting and Drawing department.
Thank you to our host committee:
Madeleine and Tom Burrell
Janis Kanter and Thomas McCormick
Kerry James Marshall and Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Cheryl and Eric McKissack
Chelsea and James Smith