18 Jun – 1 Aug 2021
Hama Gallery is proud to present Observe, the debut exhibition of artist Monique Rodríguez. Her rich colours form various levels of abstraction: from graceful geometry to landscapes, but especially somewhere in between the two.
Monique Rodríguez’s colourful environments resist interpretation and require no explanation. Each painting is an invitation to the viewer to share in the celebration of form, unburdened by hidden meaning and symbolism. Monique’s works are sensory, their power is activated by sight rather than rhetoric. The eye can wander along winding roads, surf waves of complementary colours or choose to delight in the entirety of these abstract landscapes.
Textural brush strokes, blurry borders and intentionally imperfect geometry add intrigue throughout the exposition. Where Monique emphasizes the painterly qualities of each work, dimension emerges to characterize the scenes as spatial. With layers of contrasting colours, she creates curious worlds seen to be folding in and out of each other.
The mountains of her father’s hometown inspire these landscapes, the circle in each work is a descendant of the Spanish sun. But what may have once originated as Galician memories could evoke an entirely different scene in the viewer: the artist encourages this ambiguity and invites her audience simply to observe. Just as Monique’s artistic process is foremost intuitive, the encounter with these paintings works best as a sensory experience. The environments are not there to be excavated for symbolism but to be taken in as worlds unto their own, layer by layer or as a sublime whole.
Every work in this exhibition is a subjective snapshot – not of any existing landscape but of the artist’s intuitive process. As she paints, colours emerge from a meditative state, sometimes filling the tentative outlines of a pencilled draft, sometimes purely freestyled. Monique describes her process as one of discovery. Resist the impulse of interpretation and instead: see, hear, feel. Observe.
Monique Rodríguez started painting three years ago, initially to purge the frustration of a broken heart onto the canvas. Always having been interested in visuals and graphic design, she studied media and culture at the University of Amsterdam. She sold her first work – the only portrait she has ever painted – to friends after posting it on her Instagram, on which she has since amassed a considerable following.