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Text by Luis Luna, for the Magazine Tierra y Tecnología, Nr. 27/ 2005, pp. 117/118.

Guadalupe Luceño. Intimate Geometry

The geography of silence

Inhabiting the interstices of emptiness, Guadalupe Luceño is driven by a yearning for infinity as she works up her mandalas in a mystic process that eliminates arbitrarily drawn frontiers and explores the deep morphology of society and its harmony. In this context, her pictorial structures host a range of voices that come together to describe a landscaped saturated in colours, whose naked hues jostle to flee the mercilessness to which the anonymity of non-expression condemns them.

This jostling, this to-ing and fro-ing between inside/outside, centre/periphery, reality transcendence comprises the landscape that Luceño is proposing: to exist or to be. The choice is a radical one. Without pressing, she leaves the door ajar, a hint of suggestion that we may wish to enter into an absolutely necessary inner sanctum where our own human destiny can become clear. Her proposal is one of salvation (perhaps creation is the granting of life) and at the same time a universally intimate project, a theory felt and thought through the artist as a medium, a channel through which the materials flow that have established the tradition of abstract geometry. At such a juncture, it becomes necessary to meditate which silence, which pause, which harmony animates her painting. Perhaps the shapes merely indicate another deeper shape that is being itself, the space inhabited by and nourishing an unspoken vocation to unleash unity, the space where there are no walls to imprison the ultimate beauty one discerns in her lines, her colours, her points of void. Ada Salas seems to be getting at this when she describes the necessary silence that must surround works of art (in her case, with reference to poems):

I speak of the blank that comes before beginning a text: that pregnant emptiness that precedes the first verse (...) that ‘suspension’ so charged with imminence as we start reading —and writing— a poem: the mental, emotional space of waiting. And I also speak, of course, of the silence that comes after the poem, which is where truth becomes reality.

Extrapolating these words, we confront a special geography in which Luceño’s mandalas unfurl. This is where the encounter takes place between author, artwork and observer. This dialogue is a pilgrimage to the heights of the original sources, the do mana, the pure waters of comprehension between solitudes —the individual— that are now bridged by a life-breathing pictorial bridge.

The sintax of movement

Modernity is often gauged by how daring an artistic proposal is, how audacious the steps taken along the tightrope, walking the thin wire of creation over the deep abyss of nothingness or madness. Movement, then, is a basic function of artistic expression and its special syntax represents a measure of the quality driving it. If we observe Guadalupe Luceño’s paintings (her pictorial thoughts), we immediately find ourselves before constructions that reveal restlessness, a conscious navigation of an ‘inebriated ship’ in which the inside and the outside overlap like fine crystal, providing us with an intimately distorted image of ourselves in a process that can be considered a descent.

In Gnostic terms, we could speak of a diver, someone who interrogates their own ego as a route to understanding. As we delve deeper into out own image, it disappears, only to merge with the whole, a unity of all the different parts. The necessary nexus here is the mysterious line that animates the designs we are looking at, the drawings of the selves that the author’s wise alchemy reveals to us. Here is her syntax, honed by her own self-questioning but also the outcome of a search into the constants that make humans human as homo loquens.

Study on Wall

Each mandala opens up a search through the tissues of life inevitably burdened by the time events that affect our perception. The current gap between East and West has forged a commitment between artists who feel their brotherhood. In this sense, Luceño is united in her art with those whose voice we may not so easily understand. Syria is a fundamental point of reference to understand her creation. It acts as the starting point for a spiritual understanding with the Muslim world which, according to some of its most outstanding proponents, is currently 'under siege' due to a lopsided interpretation of its realities.

Guadalupe Luceño tries to reinterpret the universal message that must shine through any artwork to decipher the cries of anguish, the pain implicit in the fictitious separation of frontiers and flags. In her works, she slips easily into what draws us together, the synapse that underlies even the tiniest gesture of approach. Such dialogue is advocated in each line, in the warm caress irradiating from each of her circles or the sharp interrogation of a triangle whose base extends towards us until it reaches a pinnacle crowned by the chosen few, those who finally understand that they are the part that gives meaning to a precise whole based on mathematics and aesthetic intuition of a common endeavour.

Thus, the artist centres her compositions on the understanding that expands until it becomes a deep current of thought that transports us towards the realms of individual liberty where each may choose their own inner beauty to alleviate the anguish of this time, to clean the mud of this space, as the poet Mahmud Darwish would say.

© Luis Luna
(Reproduced with permission of the author)
(English translation: Victoria Hughes)