Beatriz Ezban
other projects:
principle of
  Unified Field: The Border (Yaddo, NY, 2006)
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  Jennifer Bahng, Ed.D.
ZONE:Chelsea Center for the Arts, New York.
August, 2006
ZONE:Chelsea Center for the Art is proud to present Mexican artist Beatriz Ezban's New York solo exhibition, in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. The nine new paintings and ten drawings in Unified Field: The Border grew out of a residency at the Yaddo artist colony in upstate New York.

Ezban confronts a politically charged contemporary issue; however, her emphasis is not on divisions but rather on the liminal nature of thresholds, what she describes as the magnetic fields where cultures meet and interact. She translates these concerns into universal and aesthetic terms, in richly textured paintings made with oil and wax on linen, the surfaces scraped with a palette knife.

Ezban explores the transitional range between figuration and abstraction. Her simplified human forms -essentially silhouettes- are choreographed into configurations that allude obliquely to current events while retaining a timeless humanity. Her more abstract works use line expressionistically to suggest demarcation and intersection as part of the compositional and, by implication, social dynamic. What makes her work seem robustly painterly rather than merely programmatic is her vivid sense of color. Dark passages are placed alongside vibrant yellows and fleshly rose reminiscent of Phillip Guston -another artist who combined a social conscience with a sensuous appreciation of color and the viscosity of pigment.

Ezban hopes to negotiate between conflicting imperatives at what she calls the "asymmetrical meeting points." Art itself can turn the edges of chaos into unified fields of harmonious interaction. Throughout the twentieth century an antagonistic atmosphere often prevailed in the art world between representation and abstraction, between pure painting and narrative subject matter. Those borders are becoming more porous among contemporary artists. Beatriz Ezban, whose work been has shown internationally as well as in major exhibitions in Mexico, is contributing to the ongoing dialogue.

  Zone:Chelsea Center for the Arts / NY, USA / 2006
Emma Dodge-Hanson
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