Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present Color Felt a painting installation by Mariángeles Soto-Díaz. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, June 8, 5-7 PM.
Color Felt builds on the artist's long-standing engagement with the language of North and South American traditions of abstraction. A former painting student of the late Karl Benjamin while completing her MFA at Claremont Graduate University, Soto-Díaz here challenges the cool tradition of classical hard-edge abstraction by linking color to emotion and social media. She also holds an MA in Aesthetics and Politics from the CalArts School of Critical Studies, where her studies of aesthetics and politics solidified her unique form of conceptual abstraction.
For Color Felt, Soto-Díaz used social media platforms to gather answers to the question "if you were to translate your current status into a color, what would it be?" She collected the names of colors that friends and family gave her, publicly and privately - "olive, definitely olive green," "pantone blue iris," "blah," "verde azulado," etc - and translated those into paint. Her subjective approach in Color Felt is a playful response to recent literature that debunks longstanding claims about color’s links to emotional states. As Soto-Díaz writes, “color and emotion are vast; both appear solid, yet are ultimately elusive, challenging our desire for universals.”
Having lived half her life in her native Venezuela and half here in the United States, Soto-Díaz finds translation to be a recurring metaphor in her work, one that reveals the creative slips and margins inherent in difference. In Color Felt she works with translation on several levels: inviting people to translate the temporary emotional state into words describing a color, translating that text into an actual color in her paintings, and finally into a different material, felt, to create an installation that draws the paintings into three-dimensional space.
Soto-Díaz's work has been featured at MASS MoCA, the Wignall Museum of Contemporary art and the University of Iowa Museum, among other venues. She was awarded an Ahmanson Fellowship at CalArts and last year she was awarded an Obermann Grant Wood Fellowship from the University of Iowa, making her one of the first inaugural Grant Wood Fellows in Painting.
For additional information visit the Ruth Bachofner Gallery website.