Despite the obstacles that society has historically placed in their way, women continue to excel and make significant contributions to the world order. The role of women in the arts, and in history, has been neglected and even denied, until recently, and still there are challenges.
Annette Turrillo has used her art as a personal means of introspection as she seeks to give recognition to the forgotten and their accomplishments. For the exhibition Sublimations, she approaches her creative process through the lens of spirituality and invites the viewer to participate with their own methods of self-reflection, inspired by her art. It is her personal approach to redirecting energy into what was once hidden or concealed as she reveals her own subliminal messages to encourage action and appreciation.
A conceptual artist who uses installations and repetitive patterns to deliver these messages, Turrillo is known to work with found objects (accumulations of shoes in one of the works in this exhibition, Patterns and Divergences); drawing and painting, and technical effects. Bringing a nuanced drawing style to her paintings, the images are dominated by monumental faces depicted in different formats and always barely appearing from the background – as women have also been forced into the background, encouraged to emerge quietly and subtly to make themselves heard.
Although a louder voice is called for in many situations, she prefers the quieter approach. For this exhibition, her Sublimations explore women’s inner fortitude and depth of spirit through the face. Her materials often reference fabrics, lace, the delicate paper of sewing patterns, and carefully prepared canvas that serve to both hide a face and delicately reveal its serene beauty.
The face, with eyes closed, is meditative, inspiring the viewer to think about the issues it represents and how women use spirituality to reach for a higher power for guidance, and the same pious attitude and patience that often underlie a tough demeanor on the outside, assists them to achieve success. The images may appear soft and even pretty, but as a source of personal reflection, they call upon an inner capacity for endurance that has sustained the very nature of their gender for generations.
Each installation in the exhibition refers to a woman’s inner self revealed through her face. Almost holographic in its mesmerizing countenance, the face is inspirational. It can be fragmented, cropped, and even disappear, yet it maintains recognizable features and its very presence inspires reflection. The viewer is invited to complete the picture, perhaps imagine herself as a monumental face, and aspire to new heights of achievement and recognition. For Annette Turrillo, this is key to her work and its significance beyond the aesthetic.
Carol Damian, Ph.D. Curator.
Coral Gables Museum
Exhibition “Sublimations” by Annette Turrillo, 2017.
My exhibit project « Sublimations, Women in The History » is based on my personal concerns and research, regarding the power of awareness by means of art through reflection of the individual (introspection), the onlooker’s spiritual essence and consequently the projection of his or her surroundings, in society and life. The plastic element is transformed into densely knitted interpretations, in which the spectator participates. Once these elements impregnated with messages are conceptualized, they conduct us through a self reflection.
My proposal intends to give recognition to those women, that with bravery, hard work and effort have brought about what is today’s the contemporary woman.
I focus positively and project into the future, where work and continuous advancement of our gender reaches equality and full recognition. References to women in diverse fields of knowledge hardly exist throughout history because of the many obstacles they have had in developing their interests and capabilities. On the other hand, those that have been accomplished in their lives very often have had no recognition.
I want to focus my work on the continuous gender advances that have been accomplished, those that we have already and those to come. It is important not to forget, so that women new generations have even more opportunities to develop their roles completely in society.
Many events have taken women through a gradual change in History, as for instance, the struggle for the right to study, to work, to vote, to divorce, and other issues. These challenges changed the course, perception, advancement and participation of women in the world.
It is here where my work of art acquires its meaning: In spite of many obstacles and barriers imposed by society a long history, women have demonstrated the equality of condition and human quality.
My objective as a plastic artist, who is sensible to this topic, in which both genders are involved, is to create a reflective conceptual work of art, where the spectator is a participant of the work it self .
A THOUGHT FOR THE PLANET
Annette Turrillo focuses on themes of reflection and retrospection as she observes the human condition and its place in the universe and in particular, its responsibilities to maintain beauty and harmony on our planet. In works that include paintings, installations, and multimedia technology, Turrillo creates an atmosphere of solicitude and mystery that she invites the interaction of the visitor, as a participant, not merely an observer.
With interaction, she hopes that the significance of her message that the environment is basic to the existence of all creation will resonate more profoundly.
In images that have become a metaphorical and symbolic language to reveal the profound presence of humanity, she uses the face as an icon to reflect upon our inner world and that of our creative imagination to make things personal and complete. Each face is transformed by the force of spiritual essence and illuminated by the light of inner harmony. These metaphysical qualities are expressed in subtle brushwork, effusive imagery, and delicate details. Her intense atmospheric luminosity exalts the beauty of humanity as a symbol of life and love and the embodiment of nature at its most reverential. Presented as a reference to the cycles of life and the movement of the planets as sources of meditation, she seeks universal peace and understanding through art.
The works of Annette Turrillo transcend the physical as they reveal the mysterious environment of all earthly existence. It is a message of value to everyone and suits the gallery at The Frost Art Museum which we dedicate to the healing arts and the environment.
Carol Damian, Director and Chief Curator
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum
Florida International University, Miami.
BEING AND TO BE PAINTINGS
Annette Turrillo had been an Architect for 10 years when she decided to give a radical change to her life. In 1995 she travelled to France to study Fine Arts, a task to be carried out in only one year. However, 16 years after she is still residing in Paris and works between this city and Caracas. Since then, she has taken the path of artistic creation as a form of living.
Even though she studied engraving techniques, drawing and serigraphy, her academic interest has centered in Art History and professionally in painting. She has made painting her means and essential part of her life, so, her work is defined around painting. In addition, painting intensifies her thoughts.
The faces’ serenity, in great format, expresses her reflection about femininity, balance and inner view, and has been the axis of her work throughout the years. It can be said, that this is what has defined her work from the 90’s on. On the other hand, in her current proposals there is an inverse reflexive process that goes from one self, to thinking about someone else: starting from her being, she encourages the spectator to meditate on the world situation. This is why, Annette, for a long time, without forsaking painting, seeks to transcend this media, integrating it to others, as a way to “complete” the content: it is a sort of syntax which makes up a discursive whole around a topic that goes from metaphysics to the external surrounding context. So, it is obvious why she includes her concern for ecology in her current projects.
The above imply a mastery of space, something typical to an Architect. This was obvious on the Exhibit Presencias (Presences) (Fundación Provincial, in Caracas, 2000). The paintings where systematically placed around a circle of water and light with a pendulum hanging over it – de Foucault-, creating a climate for concentration and doubtlessly for meditation. The image of equilibrium by means of the pendulum is recurrent along her paintings and sometimes it is transfigured – or transpares- as a vertical line (nose) that “hangs” from the painted faces.
Including of diverse elements as containers and candles (fire) in the installation, as that of El Dorado Hoy (The Dorado today) (National Art Gallery, Caracas, 2007), which was presented on a black wall, was one of her first experiences to make the spectator reflect on him or her self and the world. Water, fire and light have been and continue to be indispensable elements, inviting contemplation in an attractive way. Light, in particular is always present in her paintings, generally on backgrounds, faces and fragmented bodies submerged in ocher and gold, although, chromatically variable, according to the theme in which the paintings are placed, as for example in the project Un pensamiento por el Planeta (A Thought for the Planet) presented at the Contemporary Art Center “Matadero de Madrid” (2010) and in Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami (2012). All of these form a discursive syntax bonded with precise thematic axes.
There is no doubt that Annette has an exacting glance on drawing, although she has assumed painting in total freedom (even during academic years). This can be appreciated in the line and values defining the bodies appearing in her many works. At the same time she has a claroscuro Renascence sense and therefore in the form of conception. That is why, maybe, her work has been essentially figurative, until now. However, in the future, these lights and transparencies could be expressed in other ways, with more informal results. In conclusion, light reverberation in mid of shadows is the protagonist.
Annette integrates opposing forces: yin and yang, the spiritual and the sensual, in this way Annette Turrillo’s painting is the integrating media for dichotomies of the essential human condition.
Member of de International Art Critics
Of Venezuela (AICA-in Spanish)
THE REFLEXIVE POWER OF ART
Annette Turrillo has been developing, since a year ago the project: A thought for the Planet. One of the fundamental objectives of this work of art is to open a space for meditation.
It is about extending the material borders of her works in one installation –Give me a thought for the planet- which includes paintings, objects, map projections, reflections, and sound, involves the viewer in a problem that concerns him or her, like the destruction of our planet’s ecosystems. In this way, the exhibition hall is not only the scenario to encourage public to think about our planet for a moment, but it is a total space for the work.
This plurisensorial work of art invites the viewer to re-encounter with him or herself and his or her thoughts. This also implies meditating on the world situation. It is inevitable, at least for a moment, to consider the ecological problem because of the projection of the continents map, seen as moving, appearing and disappearing lines, the paintings, the recycled recipients and the thoughts written about the subject on the equatorial line, integrates the many parts of the exhibit. The planet it self, shows its natural deterioration and transformation processes. However, part of the Earth’s ecological imbalance is due to man’s continuous and destructive actions. As a result of both processes there are abrupt climate changes, ever increasing cataclysms and excessive pollution. In Annette’s work there is a constant expression of good sense and balance and her paintings propitiate this state of spirit, reaching further than static and symbolic values. The faces symbolizing the four seasons by differences in chromatic changes are part of the project. These faces which are in complete symmetry and balance, in words of the artist, are reflections of our inner world. In other faces there are Yin and Yang, where the absence of color is a metaphor expressing the integration of these opposed forces, present in every existing thing. The paintings are likewise, reminders: they function as pendulums demarcating time and at the same time they show us the urgency of obtaining balance a mid of our oscillations and internal debates.
Public acquire an active role. They are not just spectators, so they become subjects in transformation through the introspective act of thought. Thus, this work of art encourages participation by means of multiple thought containers, displayed on the floor in diverse colors. These recipients contain answers and reactions, with recycled materials in each re-installation that the artist makes of this project. Also, the equatorial line that unite the paintings on the wall is made with the messages sent to the artist through the web, as well as those left by the visitors to her work when it was exhibited in Madrid in 2010.
In conclusion, this work of art, functions as a multiple speaker channel and as participative exhibit it becomes a transformation media.
A thought for the planet evidences art’s power for reflexion, as propitiator of a deep inner transformation.
Member of de International Art Critics Of Venezuela (AICA-in Spanish)
By Ninoska Huerta ArtGallery
This exhibition invites visitors to share their thoughts and beliefs about the state of our planet with others. It aims to engender positives attitudes among its viewers to serve as the first step in a chain of actions to benefit the planet. Turrillo declares: “what is conceived in a gathering will materialize”.
The power of thought allows individuals to shape the world when their thoughts are translated into statements or actions. Turrillo employs the concept of “thought” as a powerful artistic tool and in turn, translates it into a dynamic installation in which the visitor becomes an active participant. By welcoming the public’s participation, she aims to provoke a positive response. “My art project is the visual support for the written word.” Through Turrillo’s work, viewers become spectators and actors, able to interpret and add their own written statement as part ot the artist’s proposal.
As a foundation for the installation, the artist uses the ‘Yin and Yang” and the “Four season”
as universal concepts encoded within her visual imagery. The Yin Yang, represented
by two large canvases, describes how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces interact in the natural world complementarily within a greater whole dynamic system. The Four Seasons are respectively depicted by four canvases, which, through the use of clor, the subtle and elegant transformation of nature is made evident with the human semblance as a metaphorical form.
These canvases together with screens showing statements by visitors from previous shows encircle a central circular space that contains 365 plastics bottles used as containers for the viewers’ new messages. Each of these containers represents a day of the year and reminds us that our positive action should nor stop at the exhibition but continue all year round.
The balanced surprises of her canvases introduce the spectator beyond the bi-dimensional, establishing a dialogue between the divine and the materialistic. The meaning is about transformation, time lapses, growth, preservation and changes that men introduce in their habitat. It is about how much could be improved and how much can be saved if we really love our planet.
THE IMMANENCE OF THE FEMININE ESSENCE
by Milagros Bello
In her work, Annette Turrillo focuses on the theme of woman and the eternal feminine condition. Through the rendering of faces, bodies, breasts and hands in a setting and an atmosphere that dilute physical attributes and project woman into the context of the most categorical immanence, the artist delves into the metaphysical qualities of femininity. In her canvases, she outlines the female body by means of a subtle drawing that brings to mind Leonardo da Vinci´s Treatise on Painting. Subtle strokes define a particular psychology, a half-smile, a state of reverie. At the same time, the paintings are dominated by sfumatos that efface superfluous details and expose essences. An indefinite and delicate setting that situates these entities at the highest metaphysical level predominates.
Turrillo attests to the immanence of the feminine essence and inquires into the transcendence of woman as a fertile presence in the world. Her paintings are dominated by an intense atmospheric luminosity that appears to be the source of immanent or transitional states, of which one might wonder whether they are not imbued with an Umheimlich, -a "disturbing strangeness"-, in the Freudian sense. In any case, they depict bodies immersed in an introspective serenity reminiscent of the "arrêté" of Greek classicism. Each work is a visual passage that exalts the sensual or fertile condition of woman as a symbol of life. Immersed in the labyrinths of the essence, Turrillo also inquires into her own feminine condition.
Thus, her works also become vehicles for self-expression and mirror her own vision of herself. As a woman-artist, she herself is also at the nodal center of her philosophical interrogation. Some of the works that are highlighted in this commentary are part of a gigantic installation, "Presencias" (2002), composed by seven large-scale canvases shown at the exhibition spaces of the Fundación Provincial in Caracas, Venezuela. In this assemblage, Annette Turrillo poses the poetics of woman through the rendering of the body and its metaphorical segments. In the center of a semi-dark room, we find a pendulum that floats over a water surface. The glare of metal and the reflection of the image on the water stand out.
As a metaphorical object, the pendulum resignifies the infinite cycle of every phenomenon and the hypothetical permanence of eternal movement. Is this, perhaps, a reference to the everlasting condition of the feminine essence? Or is it an allusion to the unstoppable cycle of life, represented by woman and her capacity to be fertile, both in the material and the spiritual dimension? The first canvas portrays a monumental, frontal, gigantic face that devours the pictorial space. It belongs to a sleeping person, whose traits are ambiguously androgynous, whose eyes are half-closed in serene Buddhist-like meditation, a person who ignores the external world and dwells in a profound internal world. Immersed in intense sfumatos, the face seems to disappear in the luminosity of the atmosphere and the abundance of gold color and faint yellows. Its eyelids and lips express the neuter and harmonious psychology of the integrated I that cannot be stirred by any emotion.
This face constitutes an immanent "presence"; it is a live instance that exists in the au-delà of life. To the left of this painting, we find another canvas showing a face whose features are more definitely feminine and better integrated in the anatomy of the figure; we can see its neck, chin and forehead which, always within an atmosphere of immanence, propitiate the phenomenal and philosophical inquiry into the theme of woman as an immutable icon of the universe. A monumental breast implants its imposing visual presence and its metaphorical implications. Its corporeity is outlined through a subtle play of light and shadows that highlights the role of the breast as a provider of nourishment: the producer of milk as a substantial manna for the soul and the body, or a provider of refuge and comfort for the forsaken spirit.
Other canvases dating from 2001 confirm and insist upon the importance of woman as an eternal goddess. In the 2001 series, the pictorial space in the canvases is segmented in two, and different symbols of the feminine essence are contrasted. A large canvas features a monumental breast on the right-hand side; to the left, the canvas is segmented and Turrillo represents a pendulum that stabilizes the vertical vision on both sides. Could this be a reference to woman as the stabilizing center of the world? In other works, different segments of the body are set in contrast: a (masculine) hand rests on the body; on the other side, a stella maris–a nautical star–guides the navigator in his life travel.
Through her figurative painting, Annette Turrillo creates a consistent iconography and a personal pictorial language. Her thematic content of philosophical-visual exploration makes woman the subject of metaphysical inquiry and transcendence.
The exhibition TRANSCENDENCE that opens Saturday October 10 at the prestigious Art Rouge Gallery showcases a group of artworks by three outstanding artists, Annette Turrillo, Borjas and Leonardo Nierman . They encompass the paradox of appearing totally different in their respective strokes and contents, but they are exquisitely connected in order to form a harmonious and unforgettable exhibit with an imagery that moves between the pure abstraction and a surrealist insinuation of figuration.
This exhibition is a unique experience to perceive dynamic interactions between the art works presented by three artists, that adopt abstraction as a tool to transcend national boundaries or particular cultures, to drive themselves into a more universal and transcendent dimension.
By Mariavelia Sabino
Artist Annette Turrillo was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she graduated as an architect, and from 1995 she moved to Europe, accomplishing her career as a visual artist. A deep knowledge of art history is an element clearly discernible in the work by Turrillo. The feminine figure that subtlety unfolds in her paintings is almost “Leonardesque” and at the same time takes the hieratic shape of an archaic Greek sculpture.
She portrays at once the deaf scream of present day women immersed in the abyss constituted by the necessity of performing many characters at the same time to fulfill an assembly of essences that are not stated because each woman can perceive her own. Annette’s work becomes the carrier of thoughts and emotions: the woman of this world that is also the mother earth, the woman of passion, the mystery of femininity, the motherhood, the subtle beauty and the spiritual search. To abstract is to borrow, to separate and to remove.
Composition, equilibrium, balance, surprise, and action are some of the words that come to my mind when I observe Annette’s paintings. Her canvases introduce the spectator beyond the bi-dimensional towards a sensory experience of space and dimension, establishing a dialogue between the human and the materialistic. In her work Annette transmits the perception of elegance.
Contra las inmediatas apariencias, Annette Turrillo no nos reconcilia con el arte del pasado renacimental, sino con el que desearíamos que existiera en el presente, cuando se tiene la fría conciencia y el horror de saber que todo lo que se podía decir ha sido dicho.
Annette nos deja ver como sus rostros espectrales, sin que aun se hayan recuperado del enmudecimiento que significa llevarnos del imaginario a la plástica, van amaneciendo desde un espacio denso de tradición y hacia un tiempo que todavía no se realiza, en esta desorientada posmodernidad, como si los fantasmas de Annette estuvieran en perpetua víspera para terminar de materializarse. Sus iconos, sutilmente ambiguos sexualmente, son leonardescos porque elle lleva años en una prolija investigación emprendida en los márgenes del libro de la historia del arte moderno, y ahora la pintora se encuentra en el texto principal.
Se ha dicho que es en la técnica donde se revela la poesía - es decirla invención- para proyectarse ambas en la obra de arte como un deposito de energías susceptibles de abrirse y trasmitirlas al espectador inteligente. Annette domina la técnica así como asume la poesía, la innovación, lo cual llama la atención en unos tiempos amnésicos que se precian de la técnica en las artes pues de estas la memoria no llega a entender lo sucedido mas atrás de cincuenta años. Otro sentido del tiempo cultiva Annette, con esas leves y aisladas excoriaciones en sus figuras, como sucede en las superficies de los monumentos, que van perdiendo partículas pero ganado significaciones.
Filosofo - Critico de Arte
Presencias y ausencias
En la instalación “Presencias” de Annette Turrillo domina una figuración creadora de climas que nos llevan a lo visionado y a lo presentido, a través de la transición que se da en la materia espiritualizada. Cuerpos dominados por la luz acompañan a las aguas del espíritu, representada en la fuente ubicada en el centro de la instalación. En su conjunto la obra pictórica expresa la integración de la dualidad del cuerpo a el espíritu, pues la figuración es dominada por el resplandor de amarillos y blancos, de ahí que se haga eco de la propuesta alquimia y de la filosofía de la antigua Grecia, en concepciones como la de Heraclito quien afirmo que la guerra es la madre de todo y la transformación es la única verdad. Principios cercanos a la noción de Empedocles de que la creación es el resultado de una escisión entre el amor-odio y que para recuperar la condición primaria deben reunificarse, estado que equivale a la obtención de la piedra filosofal.
Esto se materializa plásticamente en los elementos figurativos y tridimensionales de la propuesta interactiva “ Presencias” , donde a través del rostro y parte del cuerpo crea una materia espiritualizada. Esta intención se acentúa al reinterpretar el péndulo de Leon Foucault, que evidencia a través de las fuerzas físicas impalpables, los movimientos de la tierra, pues forman parte de nuestras vidas. Imagen que se refleja, cual espejo, en la fuente de agua, asociada al mercurio, ;a naturaleza y la Diosa Madre. A través de las categorías propias de la magna obra, Annette Turrillo nos lleva a la noción de la urgencia del reencuentro con las fuerzas de la vida que nos rodean. De ahí que el espacio sea determinado por un circulo, que una a los cuatro elementos y que representan a la totalidad y nos lleva a un tiempo circular y no lineal, como la planteada por las concepciones históricas evolucionistas inspiradas en el judeo-cristianismo.
Se establece una estrecha relación no solo entre el micro vinculado al hombre y el macro, sino entre la mujer y el universo. Pues los ciclos biológicos que la caracterizan como fuente de vida la asimilan al universo y a su estructura de reciclamiento responsable de la creación de las galaxias.
Si algo domina la figuración de Annette Turrillo es lo femenino, a través de rostros senos, manos, algunas veces incompletas, otras magnificas expresando una belleza lejana, dejando siempre a el otro completar la figura o los estados anímicos que plasma la artista. Señala, así, ese lado misterioso de la mujer, asociado a la historia de las diosas madres
Creadoras y destructoras del tipo de Sahkthi, del shivaismo. En términos cromáticos estas figuras parecen disolverse en la materia a través de la invasión de los ocres y negros sobre lo amarillo, sensación que es reforzada por la luz como señal de la desmaterializacion de una presencia, que busca trascender su condición.
Esto transmite a la obra pictórica una sensación de levedad, de desapego a lo terrenal que es reforzado por los planos de color oscuros que limita la figuración y que coexisten con elementos como agujas y péndulos, que establecen a su vez una relación de frágil equilibrio, de tensión de fuerzas que llevan a el buceo interior. Estos elementos se traducen en términos espaciales en la propuesta instalativa, pues las telas crean un circulo virtual en cuyo centro pende un péndulo, asociando su movimiento a las tensiones que se dan en el Ser cuando busca su madurez. Este péndulo se encuentra ubicado sobre una fuente de agua circular, que representan en su conjunto el símbolo alquímico del Sol, que simboliza como un circulo con un punto en el centro y es uno de los siete planetas y de los siete metales que se involucran en el proceso alquímico. El circulo puede ser considerado como orbita solar y la cruz manifiesta los cuatro estados de la materia y los cuatro puntos cardinales como imagen del mito del eterno retorno. Esta instalación se plantea de esta manera enfrentar a el publico a nociones que representan la totalidad, como vida para trascender esta encrucijada en que se encuentra la humanidad, pues la fragmentación en que estamos imbuidos nos impide comprender y tomar una posición con respecto a lo que ocurre tanto a nuestro alrededor como es nuestra dimensión interior. De ahí la importancia de estas nociones como a la maduración del espíritu.
“El mundo esta hecho de la misma naturaleza de los sueños”
Shakespeare, La Tempestad.
Eduardo Planchart Licea .
Critico de Arte.
Exposición: Transformaciones Presencias Ausencias,
BBVA Fundación Provincial,
Año 2002 .