Untitled I
Untitled I
acrylic on canvas
38 1/8 x 38 1/8 in
2018
Untitled II
Untitled II
acrylic on canvas
38 1/8 x 38 1/8 in
2018
Untitled III
Untitled III
acrylic on canvas
38 1/8 x 38 1/8 in
2018
Untitled IV
Untitled IV
acrylic on canvas
38 1/8 x 38 1/8 in
2018
Untitled V
Untitled V
acrylic on canvas
38 1/8 x 38 1/8 in
2018
Untitled VI
Untitled VI
acrylic on canvas
59 x 59 in
2018
Untitled VII
Untitled VII
acrylic on canvas
59 x 59 in
2018

Carina Lopez Winschel

Heartscapes

Abundance, cornucopia—those are the two words that come to mind before Carina LOpez Winschel’s most recent work. Trunk of memories. Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. The tarot’s unnumbered major arcana, The Fool. Shapes and colors seem to flow outwards from the center—everything is a centrifuge, forms set in motion not with the violent speed of the Futurists, but as a waterfall that flows and flows. That watery, yin, lunar, feminine energy is reinforced by the watercolor-like texture of the acrylic paint. What part of her world does Carina show us? Endless and seemingly disconnected elements. Like in The Garden of Earthly Delights, there are bewildering forms, some of them recognizable, others not. The compositional structure of each painting is utterly free; the forms and figures appear spontaneously, with no prior notice, as the artist makes use of neither sketches nor prior ideas. We can identify, though, vegetable forms, rendered with the vagueness of memory rather than the detail of scientific illustration. There is a sort of agave (also known as the maguey)—a plant that grows in semi-arid regions with sword-shaped leaves and distinctive “bird of paradise” (or strelitzia) flowers; its enormous green leaves are called “costilla de Adán” [Adam’s rib] or ceriman. There are other flowers and plants as well, ones with names largely unknown to Argentines even though we have seen them in gardens both local and far-flung. The powerful presence of nature in her work is not for naught: the artist grew up in La Pampa province, her first paintings were tied to rural landscapes, and she has recently spent long stretches alone on the Uruguayan coast. For Carina, taking in the landscape, especially if it is empty and vast, is an opportunity to meditate, to connect to the simple and essential; it is only in that state of isolation that she can connect to everything. Her work contains not only references to the natural world, but also purely mental creations; geometric shapes suggest themselves amidst the blotches of color—shapes not of the sort found in geometry books, but yielded by a mind that maddens compass and set square. In the tarot, The Fool is primordial energy; the ambiguous and slippery figure of the one who strays from the beaten path, who needs little or nothing, the dreamer who heeds no law and leads a life of extraordinary freedom. And that is the energy in Carina’s art. In her work, everything is permitted: abstraction alongside figuration, a bunch of lemons—or are they just yellow splotches?—alongside the snout of her dog, Oto—or is it just a doglike snout? Nothing seems to congeal, everything seems to overflow, like a swell of emotion that the artist herself chooses to call “Heartscapes.”

Julio Sánchez, 2018

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Carina Lopez Winschel    Print