14 March 2003 to 17 April 2003
“The hard, bright, jewel-like colours are those of tropical Latin America, while her preoccupation with the representation of sport as epic conflict suggests the need to find in English culture something that approaches the colour, passion and dramatic expressiveness of life in her native country.” (Michael Unwin, 2001)
198 Gallery presented the first solo exhibition in London of striking and playful paintings the prolific Venezualan artist Renata Fernandez, who has exhibited her work internationally in Venezuela, Portugal and Spain.
Having previously made large urban landscape ‘murals’ in Caracas with metal and concrete, Fernandez now works with a variety of materials including paint, wood, silicone and wallpaper, reflecting what she sees in the world around her in the UK. She enjoys solving formal problems in her dynamic images through colour and composition. She may take an arresting image from the media, enmeshing it into new contexts and reworking the image to invent different narratives that evoke the epic within the everyday – for instance, in the context of sporting activities, which bring out strong emotions in people.
Her figures undergo strange transformations, at times reminiscent of mythical creatures that are half man, half beast, at times like angels with wings and haloes. There is an iconic quality about certain figures, suggesting echoes of cultural signs that may be part of her Latin American Catholic background. Fernandez channels her dinstinctive creative energy into an exploration of the powerfully vital passions and incidents in people’s daily lives.