Beatriz Ezban, between Blues and Whites of Interior Landscapes

After nine decades of development, the spring of new proposals and new options has not yet concluded in abstract art. Individual feelings, attitudes and meditation, have been giving a vigor that has more to do with renewal than with continuity. In contrast to the abstractions derived from cubism, more linked to rational and to precise regularities, those which have the impressionism as far ascendant, have interiorize nature and landscape so as to reach the representation of symbols and signs that do not conform evident themes through illusory processes and those of lyric exaltation. This is possible because as Francis Bacon said, "nature often stays hidden". This is where the painter Beatriz Ezban decided to enter, to those enigmatic zones, hardly accessible and fugitive. She was born in Mexico City in 1955, winner in August 2002 of one of the acquisition prizes of Rufino Tamayo’s XI Biennial Painting with her painting Babel (oil and wax/cotton, 79 x 67 inch.), and represented in the Abstract Art Museum Manuel Felguérez with the oleo painting El Rey y la Reina (The king and the queen) (1999, 55 x 71 inch.).

After studying four semesters in the School of Philosophy and Letters at the UNAM (1975-1976), Beatriz Ezban understood that plastic arts was her own business and she went to Los Angeles, California, to study drawing and visual thought at the University. She came back and enrolled at the National School of Plastic Arts (1977-1979). She understood that she needed a non orthodox inciter teacher and she frequented the Gilberto Aceves Navarro’s workshop (1978-1980). To broaden her horizons and experiences, she traveled from time to time through New York, Paris, Holland, Spain, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, England, Canada and Italy (1984-1999). In 1997, she attended the natural fibers tri-dimensional workshop, in the ENAP and in 1999 she studied virtual art in third dimension.

Through her persistent devotion, Beatriz Ezban has constantly and systematically searched the confrontation and consequently, between the years of 1975 and 2002, she participated in eighty-two collective exhibitions in Mexico, Argentina, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Canada, Spain and the United States; the last one in the Landucci Arte gallery, in Mexico City, at the end of 2002. The titles of most of those exhibitions have defined both the character of the work as well as the author's moods: El retorno (The Return), Huelga nacional de ermitaños (Hermits' National Strike), Pincel solo (Paint Brush Solo), Prohibido soñar (It’s Forbidden to Dream), Del cielo a la tierra (From Heaven to Earth), Otro (Other), Eras hecha de trigo (You were made out of wheat), De hábitos imprudentes (Imprudent Habits), Bajo la influencia del paisaje islandés (Under the Influence of Icelandic Landscape), Retorno a Islandia (Back to Iceland), El cuerpo del color (The Body of Color), El retorno de los ermitaños urbanos (The Return of Urban Hermits), La mística del paisaje abstracto (The Abstract Landscape Mystic), Shoot!, Homenaje a Umberto Eco (Homage to Umberto Eco), Corteza (Cores), Di-soluciones (Di-solutions), Vértigos (Vertigos).

Beatriz Ezban has used in some series, chromatic varieties to celebrate, in a poetic way, the wish to access heaven gardens. But in her more recent works, feast colors have disappeared to give place to a saga of impure whites and impure blues. Impure because under the blues (cobalt, marine, indigo and other) there is a line screen of greens, grays, yellows, whites, magentas... that do not fight with the predominant color, but appear to enrich the visual poem. The whites spread out on canvases printed in dark tones, and the grays in different tonalities are those that share the visible protagonism of the plastic fact, at the same time they nullify any white monotony, without soothing a dynamic that in almost every piece produces non argument senses, as could be observed in the exhibition she presented in Landucci Arte since November 2002.

In the blues’ variety, the light, imagined as energy in movement, dances with flash shines among sunsets and dawns shadows. Dance is produced thanks to energy rhythm just as the plastic material was applied in vertical, curved segments, diagonal and crossing strokes. There are organic expansions, stormy strengths that produce spiral strokes, revealing sinuosity of tensions between what is ending and what is beginning, flaming whirlpools that arise from the subconscious mind.

The lightning effects acquire a bigger contrast and intensity when they come from abysms or thicknesses. Soul landscapes with no connection to any reality, whimsical, intuitive, essential and thrilling. Passion and imagination melt in exaltations that reveal a sensibility with romantic propensity.

In the whites’ variety (accompanied with grays and sky blue), Ezban has let her fantasy flow in more defined forms, bodiless too, but organic. Formal designs of traces, falls, processions, emptiness, light knots, shelters, gleams, dark displacement, invented just to symbolize moods, in an aesthetic impulse similar to abstract Surrealists when they trusted on the topographic and expressive automatisms. Here the tools to extend the plastic material have been used at different rhythms. There are less waves, diagonal strokes are smooth, there are almost no crossings, light is more equal, lineal strokes are more representative, especially when concentrated. In the paintings of the Vertigos series, we feel cosmic metaphoric pulsations, heterogeneous contents, melancholy charges surely produced by the indetermination of appearances. A system is planned to space out the nature, without dispising it, rescuing its transcendent properties in an act of non temporal reflection.

Beatriz Ezban, along her aesthetic exercise, learned that plastic combinations are endless, and that this multiplicity is enriched when the artist does not look for an habitual logic nor obeys fleeting modalities.

Raquel Tibol
La Jornada Newspaper. March 2003
close window