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Guadalupe Luceño has exhibited her geometric diagrams
Julia Sáez-Angulo

In Palmira, she saw the ‘precursor’: a panelled ceiling whose central rosette was surrounded by geometrical patterns. This was the genesis for her abstract painting.

27th July 2005

A woman of great culture, the painter Guadalupe Luceño has exhibited her geometric abstraction oil-paintings at the Hypothekenbank in Essen (Germany) under the title It all began in Damascus. Professor Ignacio Gómez de Liaño gave her a marvellous introduction in the catalogue. The artist will be showing in Madrid next November at the Skimo Gallery.

“It all began in Damascus, a fascinating, fast-paced, somewhat ineffable city, brimming with colour. Just breathing it in immediately made me feel that it formed an indissoluble part of the road already trod, while its life experience has definitely marked the road we have yet to tread,” the author explained to

“To stand in Palmira under the historical and artistic marvel of the proto-mandala triggered sensations that I find hard to describe,” she said. The precursor of her mandalas is a panelled ceiling with a central rosette of acanthus and lotus leaves, surrounded by a ring with geometric patterns. And all this, in turn, is contained within a square.

When asked whether geometry can be lyrical, the painter answers: “Without a doubt, it is. Geometry is order, system, proportion, equilibrium and rhythm. What is the essential difference between poetry and music? There is no difference. Think of the synaesthetic relations that Kandinsky and his contemporaries established between music and painting, in their musical analogies of pictorial expression. Luis Luna’s poem Study on Wall has its pictorial analogy in my painting of the same name. So are several musical compositions that have given rise to diagrams, such as Bach: Asymmetric Symmetry, Missa brevis in G major, Ode to Joy, A German Requiem, Years of Pilgrimage, etc. o Bach: Asymmetrical Symmetry, Missa brevis in G major, Ode to Joy, A German Requiem, Years of Pilgrimage, etc. Poetry, music and painting —geometry— are inseparable. They make up a spiritual entity that helps us to discern the mysteries of human existence.”

East and West

When she paints her geometric-mandalic diagrams, the author feels herself set out on “an itinerary of ecstasy, an ascent that at the same time takes one down into the very depths of life.” Music is essential to reach these depths and to understand people and their culture. One cannot understand a culture without music. “I was brought up in a German-speaking cultural environment, so most of my musical points of reference inevitably stem from there: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, Schönberg... There are many more that accompany me in the unfolding of creation and meditation. Especially Arabic music: its sensuality, its own special rhythms and harmonies, its autochthonous instruments, such as the Arabic lute, the ney, the duduk, sounds that make one’s soul vibrate in a different way and thus help us to understand different sensibilities,” she explains.

Regarding international events, G. Luceño says: “There is an irrational breach between East and West, caused by sectarian visions and rabble-rousing slogans for easily manipulable masses —on both sides— in which lost minds seek out refuge and protection. This process is extremely dangerous. It dulls understanding, limiting our capacity to reason, compare, judge and deduce with free thought. Human beings all across the world must rebel against such manipulation and devote their efforts to fostering mutual understanding and knowledge and intellectual and cultural enrichment, rather than contributing to its annihilation. Peace will only be possible through mutual knowledge and respect in a process that needs both rationality and intuition. Because reason, while absolutely necessary, is not sufficient. Deep meditation requires us to temporarily turn off our conscious thought, in the same way that the waters must calm before we can see the bottom of the sea. I want my diagrams to help calm the mind so that we can dig deeper into knowledge.”

© Julia Sáez-Angulo
(Reproduced with permission of the author)
(English translation: Victoria Hughes)