Alicia Paz

The Garden of Follies

29.11.2015 -

A fantastical garden in full bloom, sumptuously filled with temptations of a feminine nature, bedazzles our senses. The beauty of women’s portraits, the opulence of varicoloured flora and materials attracts us.

One can hardly stop looking at it. Faces are enveloped in lavish and colourful costumes, which entwine around their bodies like a multi-layered cocoon. Only their curiously dull expressions remain visible or peer through their masks. Are they benevolent nymphs, are they evil witches we are encountering here? Where does one draw the line between reality and artifice?

Alicia Paz’ mysterious female figures playfully mimic glamorous identities through a mixture of stylistic devices and fragmented motifs. Such role-play simultaneously challenges the concept of identity itself. Paradoxes and illusory worlds taking place in the Garden of Follies do not conceal the ingredients of their making, as art-historical references collide with images of everyday life.

Shrouded in drunken sensual exoticism, these women develop a multiple nature that allows them to change sides and to assimilate changing situations. Paz’ devil-may-care figures exude life, and yet they also play a psychological game of hide-and-seek, always standing at the thin line between illusion and abyss. Beneath their costumes, they give an impression of a subtle introspection. It is unclear whether they are in agreement with their own metamorphoses, playing tricks on us at a vanity’s fair, or if they are unwillingly forced into alterity.

It is obvious that Alicia Paz herewith puts her own role as an artist into play. The illustrative decors draw our attention and make it possible to experience the painter’s intellectual pleasure, accompanying the creation of her works, while we contemplate her pictures. This is effective thanks to a seductive light-heartedness which speaks about art’s creative process, revealing and representing it in the same moment. Thus, these artworks refer in an allegorical sense to the social processes of our own times.

The Kunstmuseum Magdeburg shows Alicia’s first solo exhibition in a German museum in cooperation with Dukan Gallery. Many artworks are loaned from public and private collections in France, Switzerland and Great Britain. Alicia Paz will also present, beside paintings and paper reliefs, her sculptural cut-outs for the first time in a more comprehensive synopsis. The exhibition offers a multifaceted terrain of scenic tableaus. The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue.

Alicia Paz (born 1967) has grown up in Mexico and studied in California, Paris, and London. Her pictures seem full of the interplay between her experiences of different places and cultures. Her path of life as an artist is representative of the permeable boarders of our times and the accompanying cultural overlapping and reflections.



ALICIA PAZ The Garden of Follies
Edited by Annegret Laabs and Uwe Gellner, 2016
Texts germ./engl.: Uwe Gellner, Jeannette Louie, Annegret Laabs
Translation: Steven Lindberg, Nicolaus G. Schneider, Judith Mader
104 p., Illustrations, Softcover
VfmK Verlag für Moderne Kunst
ISBN 978-3-903004-91-7
29.80 Euro