Nature Inhabited

“ "Interested since the nineteen nineties in exploring the origin of life and in her own recreation of its scientific-visual interpretation, Georgina Quintana (1956, Mexico) currently presents in this museum show, an evocative drawing expansive project, under the suggestive title of Still Nature Inhabited. She traces the evolution of living beings, starting from their existence as microorganisms until their transformation in human beings. Performed out of her inspiration and the interpretation of ancient books about Natural History drawings, the work of Georgina Quintana merge her philosophical reflection with her own poetic drawing expression that stands out because of its sensuality, subtlety and fusion between reality and fiction."

           "In the context of her drawings, the inks on textile outstand particularly. The seer perceives the freedom of movement in her brush that does not hide the control and mastery in the artist’s hybrid expression that fluctuate between drawing and painting organic forms in a synthetic way”.  

           "Attractive, because of their interaction with the audience, the sculptures of organically-cut shapes decree the coexistence of all living things. Surprising, playful and naive, the sculptures hide mirrors in places which, when discovered, reflect the faces of the spectators and therefore manifest the coexistence or identification of the human being with an inhabited nature that more often than not, is ignored."

Blanca Gonzalez Rosas
Art Section– Proceso Weekly Magazine - # 1891 January, 2013.

A Visit to the Cloister

The paintings, drawings, embroideries and objects by Georgina Quintana take us on a stroll through alluring natural worlds that embrace with the sculpture motives at the Cloisters at the Museum of Art in Querétaro. The artist created painted furniture, embroidery shared with Rafaela Tarín, objects-toys made with artisan Don Schinda, and diverse games so that people of all ages visiting the exhibit could interact with the artwork.  Even though the oil paintings--and most pieces--created by Georgina are very elaborated, they are perceived as lightweight and aerial, as they transmit light and joy, sharing the expressive line of the artist and her personal accent of colorful atmospheres. Cloth and wood are the foundation for this Visit to the Cloister which isan exhibition and installation in situ (created for the museum).  As one partakes in the show, the gaze discovers works that range from the traditional formats of paintings on the wall, like Friends who look alike, to the soft sculptures and installations containing one or many parts, like Tentenpié, Manuela and The Backdrop(with holes for the visitors to be able to take photos). Trace of 4 Swampsis one of the ink drawings on pellon while the others are about trees on cloth from India. The individual pieces as well as the exhibition as a whole, articulate this world of fantasy that Georgina Quintana especially created for Querétaro.

Graciela Kartofel
Art Historian-Curator

Circular Adventure

Between 2011 and 2013, the artist Georgina Quintana worked on a circular adventure. Starting with oil, she traveled onwards through Mexican popular handicrafts inserting herself onto the process of the remaining masters of the field. Exchanging experiences with them, Georgina created drawings that turned into movable or stiff wooden toys, which the artist later painted herself. Some of these artworks are big constructions and include scenes that Georgina painted with oil on canvas, which spin around fantasy theaters and circuses.

Why is the work of these particular years described as a circular adventure?  Because Georgina Quintana--a renowned and celebrated painter--, dedicates herself to drawings and print in an accomplished way, experimenting and inventing her own characters out of the Mexican toy tradition, creating installations and works with different cloths, all to resume using oil and brushes at certain times, intensely expanding the references made to the sky and to the earth.  The extremes touch each other; the circular movement is evident and inspirational.

At the Museum of Natural History and Environmental Culture, in the Chapultepec Forest, in Mexico City, as well as at the Queretaro Museum
of Art, Georgina Quintana has had exhibitions showing the different stages of her circular adventure. I recently found a catalogue from 1995 with the prologue by Alberto Ruy Sanchez, on her exhibition titled “Rafaela’s Foundings."  Twenty years later--and even though her artwork has evolved--, the final two paragraphs from this text continue to have validity as they read:

Currently, not only Georgina Quintana’s brushes "have cast roots and branches, fruits and birds, fish and stars, books and volcanoes."  Also her pencils, markers, Indian ink and oil spill old and new forms of life over the linen, the wood, the paper and the pellon.  Algae, insects, branches, paths, huge pachyderms and tiny beings emerge from her line that is as documental as it is fantasy.

Graciela Kartofel
Art Historian-Critic-Curator

From the Garden of Codices
Capilla de Domina – Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

In her most recent exhibition at the Dómina Chapel of the Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo in Oaxaca, Georgina Quintana continues to develop an artistic language that has been evolving since she was a young and emerging creator during the eighties in Mexico. She integrated reflections on the pre-Columbian past and the New Spain through the Florentine Codex and the Codex de la Cruz- Badiano. The garden adjacent to the Temple of Santo Domingo inspired her to create drawings for artist books and codices. Wooden objects—cut and painted—pay tribute to the richness of folk art from Oaxaca. Harmony and restlessness coexist in the exhibition.
Georgina Quintana works simultaneously with enduring and ephemeral elements. The exhibition consists of works created in various mediums, formats and supports among which fabric, wood and paper are predominant. Quintana does not limit her work to permanent surfaces but also creates on the walls with drawings that expand the concepts of other works—fully aware that any drawings the walls of institutions and galleries are destined to eventually disappear at the end of every exhibition. In From the Garden of Codices, she develops a possible extrapolation: viewers can feel that they are the characters painted and that they are invited to use the astrolabe, telescope or balance.
In her personal proposals that address gender themes, she introduces the "frill," a singular way of rendering the painted and drawn fabric that is not the smooth canvas on a stretcher, nor is it a loose and wrinkly fabric, but a spackled fabric, drawn and painted and with added metallic eyelets to hang the work—which creates some movement. It is a three dimensional pictorial contribution to pictorial discipline and the theme of gender. Another innovation if the painting with overlapping fabrics, where opacity and transparency articulate a greater or lesser perception of the work. These creations by Georgina Quintana go beyond mixed media, they are deconstructive resolutions.
In the paintings the female figure refers to certain women that might have been interested in science, celestial studies and plant species. It is well known that hose women that ventured into those disciplines reserved to men were few and far between, and those that did it had to hide it. Thus, each work approaches possible secrets that history reveals from time to time. This exhibition is part the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia to which the Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo is part of. Likewise, From the Garden of Codices differs from other personal shows by Georgina Quintana from 2012 to the present: namely, the monumental interactive installation at the Museo de Historia y Cultura Ambiental in Mexico City; and the installation, paintings and toys at the Museum d Arte de Querétaro. In Oaxaca, the artist focuses on the intimate dimension of the chapel. The authorial line connects the works and leads the gaze to plants, instruments and labyrinths.

Graciela Kartofel

Georgina Quintana: The Maker Of A Mythical City

“When speaking of myths, one connot speak but of memory. Georgina Quintana’s memory is a long river of light whose glimmerings join together and become manifest through connections and associations that interact in the waters she calls “The River of Reality”, where the flow of events become “Gitàs”, chants created in the psychic state that aspires to utter plenitude, encounters which are the milestones of all this artistic’s trajectory. In the beginning, through the perspective of those miniature windows we look onto an infinite point in eternity....
... This is what Georgina Quintana shows us from her synchretic capacity –reconciled and reconciling- for a knowledge that, in her, can be sensed as already integrated. One must remember that this journey is not the inner seach for self that Aeneas, Ulysses, Hercules, Dante undertook, being more akin to the voyage than the Aztecs, or Moses, seeking the promised land. The journey through the desert or the red sea can be interpreted as the symbols of the sages in the piritual process, whether that of the human being in particular, or the stages undergone by culture. Whatever the case the search is directed toward the country of origin, towards an encounter with the truth. We might add that aside from her individual search within this artist lies a space that is always open to the truth in other people, and for this reason her river is a continuous movement of openness and respect. There is also a mirror of quiet waters, light and darkness, dawn and sunset: “Because in life you have to know where you are, where the sun rises and where the sun sets”. Peacful in her search, this arist advances from passionate creativity towards the untainted serenity of her soul.”

Jeannette L. Clariond

Georgina Quintana's Discoveries

“...The implicit pantheism of the paintings dedicated by Georgina to her daughter is a consequence of the artist’s journeys to India, Nepal and China from 1990 to 1992. The wisdom of the Vedic books inspired a profound spiritual change in her that renewed the direction of her art and of her existence. In one decade –just ten years- she has trodden the winding road that lies between skepticism and hope.”

Raquel Tibol

The material nature of Georgina Quintana's painting also produces its own evolutionary snake by
assimilating and occasionally quoting her own classic painters in stable, dynamic compositions: the key word in this new work seems to be harmony.

The visual poem that the work of Georgina Quintana offers us  -through these discoveries made by Rafaela – is a forest of symbols. It is well known that a spiritual life without symbols is as meager as sleep without dreams. Quintana's paintbrushes have burgeoned into roots and branches, birds and fruit, fish and stars, books and volcanoes. As in the legend about the Chinese artist, now everything will prove to be different. The gift of vital harmony has taken over her paintbrushes.

Alberto Ruy-Sanchez
In Georgina Quintana, Los Hallazgos de Rafaela
Mexico, Galeria OMR 1995

Georgina's recent work has taken a drastic turn towards subtlety. A long period of self-containment and meditation – perhaps inspired by Hindu mysticism – has led her to explore the most delicate aspects of her painting. Her work now combines the magic of ancestral Asian thought with western philosophy and transfigures the feminine into a nature which generates human life: history has become the evolution-ovulation of original organic forms and points to the mystery of the absolute origin.

Luis Carlos Emerich
In New Outlooks, Young Mexican Artists, Brussels, Belgium, 1993

Georgina Quintana paints habitable crannies; she says there is always an extra room, the curvature of the earth, the night of earth. “Whatever I see from my window, from airplanes. It is a transformation of what I see: putting together a landscape that does not exist.” Machinery, structures, and equipment that goes up and down, the buildings: an urban subject developed from a vision of the earth.

Javier Molina
La Jornada, Mexico City 1985