By John Dunkelgrün
Antonia Guzmán (Buenos Aires 1954) works in a tradition that, while not exclusive to Latin America, is quite common across the continent: abstraction with minimal figurative elements. Her work strongly reminds one of Xul Solar, a contemporary and friend of Paul Klee. She uses additive and subtractive (brushing or scraping away) techniques that together with her intense colors, even when working in watercolor, provide wonderfully tantalizing images. Her work is influenced by her upbringing in a family of immigrants that in the current generation has spread out over the world once again. Even being in one place also can feel like being in a state of transition. Thus her triangular faced figurines are often connected by thin lines, lines of connection or communication. Imaginary national flags hint at her theme of migrations. As one gets acquainted with her work, the underlying theme of transition, of leaving the known and trying to find balance in the unknown, becomes more and more clear. There is some melancholy in her work, but especially because of her bright palette, the overall impression is one of optimism.
Guzman works in acrylic on canvas or board, but is a consummate water colorist. On the heavy paper she likes to use, the aquarel takes on hues of a rare intensity that amaze and please at the same time. Hers is a dream world carefully built up in a fine balance of composition and color. She has exhibited in many countries of The Americas, in The Netherlands, Belgium, the U.K. and Germany.