Anchor Baby, 2021

Anchor Baby, 2021. Wool, Belgian linen, dye, safety pins on canvas, 56 x 48"

Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce Light Falls Fast, our fourth solo exhibition with Chicago-based artist Diana Guerrero-Maciá. The exhibition will be presented in our Berkeley space with an expanded selection of works available online.

Guerrero-Maciá’s broad studio practice includes textiles, collage, painting, drawing, print and sculptural objects. She is most known for poetic abstractions that are assembled from hand-dyed canvas and upcycled textiles which have been deconstructed, pieced and stitched back together onto raw canvas. Her work celebrates a visual language and cultural significance that can be expressed through a material driven process. This approach to art making challenges the historical power of abstract painting by expanding on the rich narrative traditions of slow craft such as textile and quilt art. Combined with a loose, compositional style, her work shatters the formality of the grid and other Modernist visual forms, using their parts in her bold collages and constructions.

Questioning hierarchies beyond art, Guerrero-Maciá also offers a critical engagement with social justice through her art practice. Through specific color and material choices, she embeds ideas of difference and cultural reckoning in her work. For this new series, she focuses on the ubiquitous nature of light, or absence of light, as a metaphor for our collective humanity. Shifting definitions and awareness have led her to focus on transitional light—that of sunrises and sunsets—and the color gradations witnessed in those moments, that for Guerrero-Maciá can also represent changing perceptions as time passes.

As a Latinx child of exile, she is keenly aware that conditions and identity are subject to change just as people, and their lived experience, are in flux through displacement. Guerrero-Maciá uses vintage fabrics (including materials passed down from generations of her family), upcycled quilts, discarded fast fashion and functional wool blankets, materials whose inherent significance and meaning changes through context and use. Her hand is visibly present in all the pieces — rooted in the charged present but recalling an important past. The tactile immediacy and powerful use of color in Guerrero-Maciá’s works champion transformation, and marks time in all its expansiveness.

Diana Guerrero-Maciá was born in the US to exiled Cuban parents. She earned a BFA from Villanova University in 1988 and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1992. Since 2001, she has been a professor in the Departments of Fiber & Material Studies and Painting & Drawing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also served as Chair of the Department. Her work has been exhibited extensively at noted public institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Artpace, San Antonio, TX; Elmhurst Museum, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis, IL and the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. Guerrero-Maciá is also a recipient of several prestigious awards including a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award; as well as a Cintas Foundation Finalist for artists of Cuban descent.

View images from the exhibition