Geometry has always been important in Andrea Alonso’s painting. She uses it to construct a nearly abstract cityscape of buildings crowded in upon each other. It is the urban atmosphere of Mexico, Spain, and other Spanish language societies, but it is not unlike many American cities where low-income residences have been grouped in claustrophobic proximity.
“My main focus is the visual representation of low-income cities and towns,” explains Alonso, “since in those places urban solutions are more spontaneous and less rigid. I try to recreate the feeling a spot gave me. I use vibrant and striking colors to emphasize the emotion and the space within these geometric arrangements.”
Whereas in the past those compositions have been dense arrangements of line, shape and color, of late, Alonso has pulled back her point-of-view to view smaller communities situated away from the over-populated cities. The buildings are still close, but the shift on the emotion of the color changes our perception. The bold, saturated yellow of “Sunny Town” captures the hot climate but it also imbues the image with hope and perhaps even joy, and the relationship of the buildings suggests a different, more old-fashioned sense of community: a small town in which we imagine life unfolds at an unhurried pace that might be the envy of the city dwellers.
Yellow is also the dominant color in “Green Roofs”, an example of the tighter urban images, but this group of paintings seem to capture this shift in a particularly logical, linear progression, from the deep blues of “Nightsmoker”, repeated as the composition begins to open up in “Town at Night”, then the introduction of warmer hues in “Green Roofs”. The green of those roofs then flows into the landscape of “Village in the Fields”, the former resting above the heads of the residents while the former surrounds the community with agricultural fertility.
It is a simple, almost naive contrast of the different environments but a vivid expression of Alonso’s stated mission of blending the sensibility of abstract expressionism with an understanding of social problems.
In December 2018, Alonso will have a show at Studio Oh in Chicago. Currently Alonso is one of the many Louisville artists featured in the Alley Gallery public art program sponsored by the Louisville Downtown Partnership.
Alonso was one of the five finalists in 2017 ArtPrize Pitch Night in Louisville, and she has paintings featured in Art Yellow Book #2, by CICA Museum, South Korea.
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
Education: Architecture degree University of Monterrey, Mexico; MBA in Administration, Rioja University, Madrid, Spain.
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved