Guadalupe Valdés: Vencer el olvido. Galería Isabel Aninat, Chile

The artist’s reminiscences are alliances she puts together on the basis of other artists’ signatures that, when joined, turn into a vision of art that surprises and captivates us, engaging collage in a creative game with reality.

By Ernesto Muñoz
Guadalupe Valdés, Habitar lo nuestro [Inhabiting What’s Ours]. Mixed media on canvas, 55 x 69 cm. 2015

Galería Isabel Aninat was the site of the return of Guadalupe Valdés (Santiago, 1979) to the local scene, leaving no doubt about the creative vitality she has developed in recent years. For the last ten years, Valdés lived in Germany and the United States, where she established the parameters of the current artistic research evident in this show.

The exhibition’s twenty-five canvases in various formats formulate an original revision of the history of painting. Guadalupe Valdés explored flea markets in several cities and salvaged paintings rejected by connoisseurs, mostly works by weekend painters that depict hackneyed themes like sea scenes and landscapes.

On this work, Chilean critic Carlos Navarrete writes: “Found canvases that, partly recycled, turn into a summation of times, stories, and broken memories tied together only by the gesture of the brush depositing on the pictorial surface an impasto in furious tones like a suture designed to reconcile times and memories that eagerly try to recover the vestiges of personal memory.”

The artist’s reminiscences are alliances she puts together on the basis of other artists’ signatures that, when joined, turn into a vision of art that surprises and captivates us, engaging collage in a creative game with reality. Past and present come together in the cutting and pasting of these works, giving rise to a new reality. As the artist explains, these works explore “memories and fragments of my own canvases and canvases by others brought together in order to reconcile different times—a present that, when united to the past, blossoms and opens up to the future.”

With this work, Guadalupe Valdés hopes to once again find a place for herself in her country´s history. And she does so by looking to—and making her own—the creation of others without hiding their origin, meddling in Chilean and Latin American art from a fresh and original perspective.