August 7 – September 10, 2020
Roll Up Project is pleased to present work by Maria Guzmán Capron. Capron’s sculptures, paintings, and works on paper depict people in a wide variety of expressive poses. These figures challenge the viewer to read and interpret body language and facial expressions, which may be seen as exuberant, guarded, inquisitive, calm, or something in between.
Capron uses vibrant, patterned textiles to compose patchworked sculptures and wall hangings. Faces, arms, and legs are distilled into gestural forms, which create a sense of movement. Similarly, her works on paper and paintings flatten planes of the figure into areas of solid color.
Four artworks fill the Harrison Street window: soft sculptures entitled Suspiro and Primavera, and paintings Huele a Flor and Esquina. Primavera features a figure wearing a red sweatshirt and leopard print pants, with arms outstretched in a dancer’s pose. Patterned fabrics in the background make some parts of the figure seem to burst off the wall, while others partly obscure the outlines of the hands and head. When viewed up close, the figure’s sweatshirt is a real shirt appliqued onto the surface. Capron’s approach to working with textiles reflects a sense of humor and an earnest love for the materials at hand.
In the Third Street windows, six works on paper are in conversation with the soft sculpture entitled Caldera. Capron’s figures have arms and legs that twist and contort around the page, suggesting figures that are not quite normal. Set against blue skies and puffy white clouds, Flor and Sour and Twisted could depict otherworldly creatures, but there is something in their placid gazes that is deeply human.
Capron’s figures may be a reflection of the ways we pose in daily life, whether in person or in Instagram-perfect pictures. On the surface, a cacophony of color and pattern signal joy and energy. Behind the artful pose is a slightly sinister disfigurement, or something slightly unnatural or surreal. They could reference emotional vulnerability, loneliness, and feelings of disconnection in the modern world.
About the Artist
Maria Guzmán Capron (b. 1981 in Milan, Italy to Colombian and Peruvian parents) lives and works in Oakland, CA. She received an MFA from California College of the Arts (CCA) in 2015 and her BFA from the University of Houston in 2004. Some recent exhibitions include At the Pith at Nook Gallery, Oakland CA; Female Trouble 2 at CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA; Body Spray at Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art, Buffalo, NY; Don’t Eat Me at Deli Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC; and Through Her Eye at Mana Contemporary in Chicago, IL. She is a cofounder and past member of CTRL+SHFT Collective, an exhibition space and thirteen studios located in West Oakland and operating with an emphasis on collaborating with underrepresented arts communities, including women artists, artists of color, and queer and non-binary artists. She also works as a full-time mother and part-time facilitator at NIAD Art Center, a progressive art studio helping more than 60 artists with disabilities create art.
Learn more about her work at mariaaguzman.com.