VILLAZAN is pleased to present the solo exhibition titled “Under the influence” featuring an enfilade of new paintings by the internationally-acclaimed contemporary artist Tania Marmolejo. The presentation also marks the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery in Madrid.
Tania Marmolejo is a Swedish-Dominican American artist born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1975, but is currently based in New York. Influenced by her Scandinavian and Caribbean heritage, she studied graphic design and illustration in Norway, returning later to the Dominican Republic to study fine art at the Altos de Chavón School of Design. In 1998 she received the Bluhdorn Scholarship, and continued her studies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, graduating from Fine Arts and Illustration in 2000.
Her work juxtaposes the intimate and personal with the monumental, creating large-scale paintings of ambiguous female facial expressions. She also explores issues of gender and identity as a Scandinavian-Caribbean female artist, using portraiture and physical expression as a means of communicating emotions to the viewer, stimulating a striking empathetic response.
The exhibition is perhaps the artist’s most personal one yet, finding inspiration in the portraits and traditional paintings of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Seville, becoming fascinated by the art during one of her trips to the Andalusian capital. Marmolejo says "inspiration can find us when we least expect it [...]. Inspiration found and caught me when I wasn't looking for it, although I was really observing my environment on a trip to Seville".
As a result of this Andalusian inspiration, the paintings in this exhibition are reminiscent of women's faces of painters such as Julio Romero de Torres and virgins' faces in the churches and cathedral of Seville.
“I realized that (these virgins and faces) were speaking to me, my feelings reflected their expressions, and I knew I had to capture this intensity in my art. Thus the huge faces - with somewhat ambiguous but anxious and passionate expressions at the same time - of my female figures were born and I developed a new style in my art”.
In her solo exhibition "Under the influence" she pays homage to the country behind many of her creative sparks and gives a glimpse of what has inspired her; from the faces of the paintings and virgins of Seville to the sunsets of Andalusia and Asturias, as well as the darkness of the mantillas laces and the perpetual presence of Picasso; passions that seep into her daily life.
The composition of Tania's paintings is perfectly executed, without an overload of details, the paintings allow the viewer to enter Tania's creative universe and find the inspiration in themselves.
The artist hopes that, through her paintings, the spectator can feel inspired to take a closer look at the beautiful scenery that surrounds her in one of her favorite places - "that I am starting to consider home".
“Since then, on many trips back to Spain, I have felt the familiar tug of inspiration take over, no doubt in the way passion takes over all aspects of life here”.
Marmolejo’s solo show will be on view at VILLAZAN until June 3rd, 2023.