La montaña negra se ha vuelto gris

Paula Cortazar

“I belong to this landscape and I seek to comprehend it”, whispers Paula Cortazar (Monterrey, Mexico, 1991). Her small frame, the fragility of her hands, and a voice as thin as a thread, introduce me to her rocks which she treats as precious stones, others resembling three-dimensional drawings, as well as some volumetric drawings that could well be personal mandalas or the registration of a hypnotic state. The road to this exhibition begins in Lyon, France, where Paula conducted an artist residency. Every day she would pass by the lake La Saône and observe the water; its small creases modified by the sunlight, and the infinite capacity of forms in these endless repetitions. She made close-up photographs of the lake that resemble abstract drawings. Upon her return to Monterrey, she re-connected to her childhood’s landscape and with the weekend promenades she’d make with her mother up to those unique mountains that enclose the city. Destiny, which is never fortuitous, took her to work right inside La Huasteca canyon, surrounding her with a landscape that would not stop and insisted on telling her something. Then, she understood that in this landscape was a part of her, of her origin and of her city. The drawings she made while in Lyon were a precursor to her work with rocks, which functions as an exploration on the possibilities of drawing. Here, the organic line of work in which landscape is the trigger of experimentation with drawing is very clear. These explorations then transform into final works that could very well be propositions of a landscape that was created by the artist. Her journey ends with the encounter of these larger stones that are turned into sculptures and which she says she wanted to treat as diamonds in the raw. Each stone is selected by the artist, choosing only from the ones that have been naturally broken off the mountain. Here, there is a grand gesture of communion in which the artist has a perfect ally: nature.

Domitila Bedel