In Katrina Cuenca’s debut exhibition with Galerie Stephanie, her abstract works continue with dynamic floral compositions and vibrance— now staged in bright and lustrous borders of gold and white.
Her new series of artworks draw from elements of spirituality associated with the Hindu goddess of beauty and prosperity, Lakshmi. Entitled “Amala”, she celebrates this sense of purity and hope through refined organic formations, graceful compositions within white’s infinitude, and the elegant strength in her paintings and sculptures.
Goddess Lakshmi is widely revered as the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and purity. In Indian art, Lakshmi is often depicted as a beautiful woman with four arms, seated on a lotus flower, holding a lotus bud and a pot of gold coins in two of her hands, while the other two hands are shown in gestures of blessing and protection.
Cuenca’s art is reminiscent of this both aesthetically and metaphorically. For this solo exhibition, Cuenca portrays a unique blend of contemporary and traditional. Her four-by-three feet paintings such as “Pristine Overgrowth”, “An Unencumbered Brilliance” and Breadth of Clarity” embody a coeval abstraction drawn from an established narrative. These bold and vibrant colors with intricate floral parallels convey her work’s attempt to showcase a transcending purity and grace in her growing body of works. This is further extended through her use of soft and creamy colors on her copper sculptures—colors which appear to be deftly picked from the petals of her two-dimensionals.
Cuenca’s Amala, in hindsight, is serenity dancing through time. The use of white and gold leaf to accentuate the balance of her works’ colors create a space of hope in purity, seemingly melding spiritual allegories and intimate contemplations together as avenues to create new beauty in the vastness of a void.
Text by Grace Micah Oreiro