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Argentinian artist debuts minimalist exhibit at Blaffer


Analia Saban’s painting “Trough (Flesh)” is one of 30 pieces in her new exhibition at the Blaffer Art Museum. All students can attend the gallery reception for Saban’s exhibition on Friday evening. | Courtesy of the Blaffer Art Museum

Like many contemporary artists, Analia Saban doesn’t just stick to painting canvases. She also deconstructs them.

On Friday, the Blaffer Art Museum will host an opening reception for the artist’s first major museum presentation from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday through March 18, 2017, featuring 30 of Saban’s best works from 2005 through 2015.

“I am interested in our relationship to technology, to structures and to the architecture around us,” Saban said in an interview with the art-centric website Indechs. “Only with these structures do we allow our feelings to emerge: a body to love, an airplane to explore, a pencil to draw.”

Widely acclaimed for her unconventional approach to modern and traditional arts, Saban works across the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. She constantly seeks to blur the lines between these fields through the use of technologies, like lasers, and other unique methods such as deconstruction.

“Analia Saban is unique as an artist in that she uses more than one medium to convey her ideas,” Meera Bowman-Johnson, communications director for the College of the Arts, said. “The subject matter is decidedly feminist and often based on the physical or psychological themes, but there’s a playful element to it also. She isn’t afraid of incorporating humor into her work.”

One of Saban’s signature works is “The Painting Ball.” She collected paintings from diverse sources and deconstructed them—unraveling the canvases into thin threads—to create it. Finally, she wound the thread into a giant ball.

While the ball might be incomprehensible at first, Saban said there is meaning behind it.

“Usually we think of painting on canvas,” Saban said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “It was interesting to think of painting as pigment on thread. To look at it as if I were an alien or something: What is this thing? On the microscopic and macroscopic levels.”

Aside from being innovative, Saban’s practice is also minimalist. Graphic design senior Norma Perez said she was interested in the artist’s use of materials and muted, neutral colors.

“I personally have always been attracted to muted colors because they are relaxing to the eye and therefore give an artwork a sense of calm,” Perez said. “I also think the fact that (Saban) consciously chose to use muted colors might have been to create an environment in which the viewer can see the movement of the objects and canvases involved in her works.”

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