We are pleased to announce Lilian Garcia-Roig’s exhibition, Fleeting (Autumn Woods and Flowing Waters), from October 22 through November 26, at Valley House Gallery.
The exhibition opens Oct. 22, with a reception from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. At5:30pm, Lilian Garcia-Roig will give a gallery talk about her recent paintings and watercolors.
This exhibition includes on-site paintings made in Northern Florida and at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Georgia during an artist residency. A series of watercolors from the Skykomish River in the Cascades will be shown for the first time.
Lilian Garcia-Roig was born in Havana, Cuba, reared in Houston, and lives in Tallahassee, where she is a Professor at Florida State University. She received degrees at Southern Methodist University (BFA) and the University of Pennsylvania (MFA) and taught for nine years at The University of Texas at Austin. Lilian Garcia-Roig will travel to Cuba in 2017 for an artist residency program.
When her physician parents emigrated from Cuba to Houston, Lilian Garcia-Roig was confronted with a striking difference between cultures, which ultimately led her drive to create a form of plein-air painting that straddles abstraction and a sense of realism. Her immigrant experience prompted her to push for new boundaries in her painting.
In 1990, at the recommendation of SMU professor Roger Winter, Garcia-Roig attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, in Skowhegan, Maine. When she arrived, the glorious fall landscape was in full swing. That was the first time that Garcia-Roig addressed the landscape in her painting, instead of the figure. Unlike other plein-air painters, she doesn’t seek to convey a view, but rather the tangle of the woods. Ultimately, her choices express the essence of the subject without being tied down to a traditional pictorial landscape view.
On her palette, Garcia-Roig uses as many as 65 commercial oil pigments, supplemented by around 100 mixtures of her own devising that she prepares ahead-of-time. This preparation allows her the freedom to paint in her maximalist style in which her surfaces are encrusted with bold strokes of paint, set on top of one another, as she pulls elements from ever-changing light to make her paintings.
Cezanne scholar, Richard Shiff, Ph.D. and Lilian Garcia-Roig were colleagues when she taught at The University of Texas at Austin, where Shiff currently directs the Center for the Study of Modernism. In his essay on her work, Shiff writes:
“With her densely physical paintings, Garcia-Roig, like Thoreau, touches eternity. This is quite a claim, but it feels right to me. It is my own claim, not Garcia-Roig’s; she is more modest, more pragmatic, about such things. So I need to explain. To paint nature is to be involved with natural cycles of passage and renewal. To paint water is to confront, all the more obviously, the phenomenon of time—eternal, ever-moving time. With her pictures of moving water, Garcia-Roig enters a natural cycle in a specific location. Water itself, no matter where we find it, participates in a round of evaporation and condensation. And, as a fluid, it can assume any shape and take any direction. Its natural movement is downward – “seeking its level” in accord with the universal force of gravity – but evaporation (and at times sublimation) reverses this effect to restart the cycle.”
“It may be that Garcia-Roig cares little about gravity, condensation, evaporation, and the like – these are a natural scientist’s abstractions, not those of an artist who renders nature with her own material means. Yet each of Garcia-Roig’s paintings enters a natural cycle. Her art is less about fixing the image of a moment, more about participating in the moment, which heightens the artist’s sensitivity to her existence within nature’s continuity. In one sense, as Garcia-Roig paints, she must lag behind time, which defeats her attempts at being true to nature, seizing water’s movement by its passing color – the tail of the beast. Whatever effect she captures has already run past. But we need to recall that the finished painting is as much an abstraction as a representation. As a material abstraction – as the object that Garcia-Roig has fashioned – the work is complete when (in her words) “my eye is never stopped in any one place in the painting.” In this respect, when she faces her finished painting, it is no longer “finished.” At this moment of contact, the painting never ceases to move, nor do Garcia-Roig’s vision and comprehension of it come to a static rest. Her art establishes an eternal harmonic balance – an energizing equilibrium that, like nature’s configuration, keeps changing.”
Among her awards are a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, a Mid-America Arts Alliance/NEA Fellowship Award in Painting, a State of Florida Individual Artist Grant Fellowship, and the Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund Award from the Dallas Museum of Art. Museum collections include the Austin Museum of Art, Blanton Museum of Art, El Paso Museum of Art, San Angelo Museum of Art, Museum of South Texas, Huntsville Museum of Art, and Polk Museum of Art, among others.
This is Lilian Garcia-Roig’s 9th exhibition at Valley House Gallery.
View the exhibition online at www.valleyhouse.com
Cheryl and Kevin Vogel
Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden
6616 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, Texas 75254