“Pillars” is the third solo exhibition in STOA of this Mexican artist, who lives and has her studio in Mexico City. There are eleven paintings of great size, made in acrylic on canvas, most of them executed in the last year. They will remain open to the public from February 1st to April 19th, 2019.
The paintings of Astrid are not of the most purist abstraction. This is because there are many recognizable elements, so we could ascribe it to an optimistic and vital abstraction, as is Astrid herself. The first impression when we are approaching her work is the impact of color, luminosity, and the certainty that we are facing a very personal style, which means that it is not necessary to be an art expert to recognize an Astrid. Her pieces seem to breathe pure and clean air, but also the sensation that something mysterious hides behind the multiple signs and strokes that populate the canvases.
The pillar is an architectural support, a “structural element resistant” according to the RAE, prepared to receive loads. In this exhibition of Astrid Sommer´s paintings, the impression of a set of sequenced pillars that seem to submerge in the bowels of the earth showing only the tip of the iceberg is striking. As mythical and ancestral as the prehistoric menhirs, upright and solemn, sacral, is the row of canvases that populate “Pillars”. The titles cover a large part of the “astridian” geography, all denominated with a single word, in an exercise of synthesis that does not mask the complexity of each concept and the interpretation that the painter makes of it all.
Astrid affirms that she is not aware of this process, and that the impulse and spontaneity are the alma mater of her work. For that reason she does not make preparatory sketches, and for that reason she uses acrylic, quick drying and propitious to make multiple glazes in each session. Astrid´s opinion is a very subjective judgment, and the one we intend in this show, marked by distance and greater objectivity, establishes a very different thesis: try to demonstrate that, far from improvisation and instantaneous impulse, Astrid’s paintings make up everything a Decalogue of cryptographic language in an atmosphere of “horror vacui” in which many codes and messages are jealously guarded.
Signs and shapes, plastered, or diluted in profuse runoff, tell stories and legends of strong autobiographical charge in which weighs in a special way that exciting mixture of a Mexican, German, and of course Hispanic past. It is an exciting exercise to immerse yourself in her work, where that author’s encrypted essence is, to discover the deepest Astrid, the Astrid that creates beautiful pillars as biographical milestones, faithful witnesses of her own life. An autobiography that she does not seem to want to tell, but that is there, ready to be deciphered.