Without a glance 2012
Guadalajara, Enero de 2011
Francisco Javier Ibarra
Artist Lorenza Aranguren’s most recent series of works springs from a dual purpose, without limits. Its
very title (“Without a Glance”) is surely provocative, going beyond artistic mediation into the realm of
sensual attack, ethical and aesthetic questioning, a voice that’s anything but abstract, howling in the
desert of what’s ostensibly invisible; all its letters, all its paint layers forming a challenge: walk on by,
without a glance.
In this exercise displaying her consummate artistry, Lorenza Aranguren turns painting into a medium
that’s approachable: cautiously, via contemporary artistic language it offers reflections of the current
human condition. Her work doesn’t allude, represent, allegorize; it simply views the world, but a world
apparently blinded by its own conviction, or at least not quite disposed to take on the supreme
responsibility, commitment, freedom and complicity that implies really seeing.
From each painting in this pictorial array (it would be iniquitous and insensitive to label them abstract),
what ‘pops’ in every direction is the glazing, functioning perfectly as a vehicle of transparency and
visibility.These are compositions in chiaroscuro; a range of grays in frenzied flight, or incisive
black-and-white tones. Nothing remains of those vigorous colors, that chromatic virtuosity from
Lorenza Aranguren’s earlier canvases and series. As if they’d been stripped of their comforting and
rhetorical protective mantle, in order to see — to see sketchily, with the eyes of hands and spirit, with
the eternal eyes of art — and then to reach an epiphany, a new vision, a moment of dazzling
confusion: her painting’s poetic intensity.
In this sense, “Without a Glance” becomes a complete experience, almost alchemical, reaching
vision’s inner sanctum, painting’s most expressive powers.
Going against the current in a world where, as much-lauded Portuguese novelist José Saramago
would say, “we’re blind, blind people who see; who seeing, don’t see”: this is also a world where
images have become an incessant bombardment, a daily saturation and unavoidable dictatorship of
political correctness. At every turn these images keep us from seeing ourselves as we really are —
from seeing the real world -- as we respond to the blind logic of presentation and representation…
Faced with such contemporary realities, Lorenza Aranguren decided to paint each of these works
blindfolded, to work acrylic and wax sgraffito on canvas, blindly picking up brushes, palette knives,
paintpots. Expressing thus all her rage, helplessness, “blindness”; her reflections, critical passion and
urge to say what’s what: creating a many-faceted transfiguration that leaps joyfully into view,
canvases flinging the light at us to remove some of our own blindfolds, revealing us to ourselves and
sowing seeds of rebellion so we’ll look at life and the real world now with our own eyes, seeing what’s
really important, what’s right in front of us, right beside us, what we almost always don’t want to see,
what we walk by without a glance, whether actually or metaphorically.
With this unsettling pictorial series, twenty pieces in various formats, Lorenza Aranguren re-asserts
her aesthetic challenges, her contemporary artistic vision, her reflections upon the human condition.
Without a doubt this transformative experience also acts upon us, we who view her works, as her
paintings constitute an initiatory journey inviting us to look again, contemplate; pushing us to go
beyond what’s most evident, past prejudices, the ego’s visible landscapes, our everyday blindness; in
a word, Lorenza Aranguren shows us, through her irreverent canvases, a way to see beyond.