Margarita Garcés | “La pintura no se dice, se hace”

While Margarita was working as a designer, she had the motivation to sign on a painting workshop. The course, which would last only a few months, turned into a process of intense production and opened a new field for experiment.

After obtaining the designer degree in the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Margarita worked in a design agency and also was about to give birth to her first daughter. In that moment, her friends cheered her up to sign on a painting course. The workshop was conducted by Bororo. The course would last three months, but it prolonged to a four-year period.

Even though she drew at school, her work in design gave account of her own opinion and she’d have never imagined herself as a painter. The impulse that she acquired made her to specify soon her first individual exhibition in G.M. art gallery during 1999. That period of her work was distinguished for making a reference of cities, faces, and spaces that are sort of figurative.

Her academic studies helped Margarita to compose and control color, according to her perspective. However, sometimes this situation was detrimental for her. That major helped her to “correct” the sensitivity of her hand, the line of her style, and the stamp, which is a feature in her paintings today. Even though, the methodology of discipline was useful for her in order to be rigorous in the workshop. The daily practice contributed to her definition of language.

Afterwards, she went for many years to Concepción Balmes’ workshop in order to keep working under the tutoring of Arturo Duclos. Gradually, Margarita was able to coordinate her labor with the activities of the workshop. She remodeled her space of work, turning it into a spacious and luminous atmosphere where she spends many hours painting. She uses a canvas without a stretcher as if she is always testing the possibility to modify the sketch on the road. Even though, most of the time that sketch becomes a great work. She says she has no problems to paint with company. This is evidence of an outgoing personality.

When she talks about artists, she mentions Mark Bradford, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, and Anselm Kiefer. She also comments that is hard for her to verbalize the pictorial activity, which is related to an intuitive process, where her brain works from the scapula. Her tasks set apart big formats, acrylics, light, color, diagonal compositions, and the horizon nowadays.

Even though abstraction has classified her work sometimes, for Margarita paintings have always been landscapes and letters. The sea is a fundamental element that gives account for the closeness of the coast, swimming, and journeys along with her seafaring grandfather. The importance of writing is a memory of the designer. In Margarita’s own words, it makes calligraphy another paintbrush. This graphic resource makes sense in the action when there’s no need for it to be decoded and is the result of the superposition of layers and gestures that constitute the composition.

Retina, her last individual exhibition, took place during 2014 in Artespacio gallery. She proposed herself for that moment to paint the memory of places. This idea emerged while she was sailing in the channels of the south of Chile. This is how she finishes many works which have stains that allude to the sea. “I paint the color of the space, points that evoke familiar situations”, she points out. Each painting was titled in Yahgan language. Yahgan means “to be alive”. Other titles were amachana (morning) or taniri (cold). The artist wanted to make an approach with this language because of her relation with water, journeys, and transit, rescuing the origin and the intensity of the nomadic people.

To Margarita, an individual exhibition is an opportunity to reinvent oneself. You can achieve this by working persistently and it can last two or three years. There is room for experiments and for the search of a new system, by always connecting your personal experiences. Only in that introspection, it’s possible to find in every artist a new collection. The observer of her paintings should feel identified or be amazed with them, feel like in front of a window, and be part of the landscape, which is always full of interpretation and details that you will gradually discover.

Margarita is currently trying new materials such as paper, tape, cloth, and sails. This is a period of her life that is related to the reconstruction process of memory. In January, she has a scheduled collective exhibition in the University of Talca. In February, she has an exhibition in Paris together with other five Chilean artists. For 2017, she has a new individual exhibition in Artespacio gallery.



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