In her spare, monochromatic reliefs, collages, and sculptures, Spanish-born artist Rosana Castrillo Diaz conveys rich emotional and intellectual content. Testament to this is an exhibition of the San Francisco-based artist’s recent work, which is now on view at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe in New York. Castrillo Diaz explains, “In this body of work there is a direct connection between memory, emotions, and the physical hand at work. Each mark is a feeling, a chord, each drawing a score witness to a moment in time, a mood, a place. In the silence and introspection engendered, the quietest gesture may very well be the loudest.” And indeed, her spare, all-white wall-mounted works are often contemplative, with moments of more riotous form.
In these works, which are all untitled, Castrillo Diaz presents paper sheets to which she has attached strips of cotton cloth, swatches of thin, iridescent material, and bits of paper. Each work is a careful juxtaposition of material, texture, and color, while maintaining a white and neutral palette—and exemplifying the breadth and potential of that can be achieved without the use of color. The works are similarly mounted but otherwise disparate in terms of form and composition, ranging from a bouquet of straw-like iridescent strips to a layered combination of translucent paper squares. Still others employ thin strips of cotton cloth, which are arranged into angular forms which project from the 2D paper surface and seem to float above the minimal paper surfaces.
Perhaps the centerpiece of the show are two large circular reliefs, which hang independently on adjacent walls. One is made of curled bits of paper impregnated with the iridescent medium found throughout the exhibition. The tondo’s undulating surface is luscious, but also reflective, smooth, towering. It resembles natural materials, such as the pearlescent surfaces of shells and stones, and in its movement from center to the outer edges, it envelops the entire frame of one’s vision. Similarly, the other circular work is a lush composition of voluminous translucent ribbons. These highly textural works are inviting and elegant, both visually and materially deep.
Elsewhere Castrillo Diaz constructs a polyptych of framed iridescent paper pieces. These particles are pieces of what make up her larger works and can be read as calling attention to her primary focus: the discrete gesture, aggregated. Nearly stripped of color, these singular images of small marks are contemplative and meditative, inviting the viewer to slowly and carefully view her work in its smallest marks and largest whole.
“Rosana Castrillo Diaz” is on view at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York, Nov. 13–Dec. 13, 2014.
May 4–8, 2018, Park Avenue Armory