Michelle Concepción, the artist who pioneered a technique that creates astonishing three-dimensional depth in flat, two-dimensional paintings, will exhibit “Chaos to Order” at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries in Coral Gables, Florida from November 2019 through February 2020.
“This exhibition is particularly interesting because it presents a selection of her work from different series over a 15-year period,” according to Virginia Miller, owner and director of greater Miami’s longest-established contemporary fine art gallery.
Contributing to the varying interpretations of Concepción’s subject matter is their illusion of depth and texture.
“She developed a method of painting that creates a realistic appearance of depth and texture despite the flat surfaces of her canvases or works on paper,” notes Miller. “It’s an amazing technique that simply can’t be appreciated from a photo or on a computer.”
According to art critic Peter Frank, “Each of us sees the myriad interplays of form, color, and shade that dominate Concepción’s paintings slightly differently, perhaps, but we all recognize that her forms float, often one across another.
“Some of us are certain these shapes, whatever they are, are in motion, while others among us see them fixed in the picture, even establishing patterned rhythms.”
Author and arts educator Thyrza Nichols Goodeve states that when she looks at the paintings of Michelle Concepción, “Coordinates disappear as each canvas suggests a universe in motion, where color and scale have no measure except the size of one’s imagination…. The interlocking layers of color, texture, paint, shape, and air seem to inhale and exhale into and out of one another, freed of mass or recognizable temporality.”
“Pearls,” the artist’s current series of abstractions on paper, include both biomorphic forms and circular shapes reminiscent of asteroids, with deeply dimensional picture planes. Her abstractions on canvas feature biomorphic forms, but tend to be looser than her paintings on paper, with luminous backgrounds enriched by underpainting.
Whether on canvas or paper, her abstractions, evocative of cellular forms or ancient asteroids, offer soft, dreamy shapes that appear to be floating in a bottomless abyss, visual meditations that invite the mind to wander among them.
In his review of one of the artist’s prior exhibitions at ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, critic José Antonio Evora of El Nuevo Herald described Concepción’s paintings as an “indecipherable enigma,” adding that they are “so enveloping that one is able to be submerged in their bubbles.”
According to art historian Mayte Mari, “her paintings rely on impressions and illusions” that evoke perceptions by surfacing and disappearing. Michelle Concepción, Mari states, “seems to explore the interior of organic worlds and to make them visible – as if through a microscope” – in order to elicit a secret from their “glittering surface of endlessly changing forms.”
Born in Puerto Rico in 1970, Michelle Concepción received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also studied at the University of Barcelona in Spain and the College of Art & Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung), in Offenbach, Germany.
Concepción’s paintings have been exhibited since 1988 in dozens of important public and private galleries as well as in major art fairs in New York, Miami, Santa Fe, and Chicago as well as in Spain and Germany. At this time she has exhibitions scheduled in ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries in Coral Gables, Florida, and Galerie Arte Giani in Frankfurt, Germany.
“Chaos to Order” will be Concepción’s second one-person show at the gallery, which presented her first U.S. solo exhibition in 2008 and has included her work in six group exhibitions since 2005.
Her paintings are included in important private and public collections in Canada, China, Dubai, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.
Now in its 46th year, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries is located at 169 Madeira Avenue in the heart of the restaurant district in downtown Coral Gables, eight blocks north of Miracle Mile and just east of Ponce de Leon Boulevard. A virtual tour of the Concepción exhibition and details of each work will be placed on the gallery website. For more information, call 305-444-4493.
Image Details: Michelle Concepción, STRUCTURE 5, 2017, Acrylic on Canvas, 39 1/4 x 39 1/4 inches (100 x 100 cm)