Proyectos Monclova is concluding its 2023 exhibition cycle with the showcase of Colima 302 by Mexican artist Georgina Gratrix
For the first time in Mexico City, her paintings are displayed, characterized by their thick impasto technique. The artist focuses on two pictorial genres. The first is still life, for which she references images found in postcards, paintings, photographs, and various visual media, both in print and online. She also draws inspiration from her everyday life, such as her dining table, compositions in her studio, her dogs lounging on the couch, or the bouquets she creates herself. For this latest production, Georgina worked in a studio in Mexico City for several months. This geographical change influenced certain elements in her still lifes, including whimsical floral arrangements in the shape of dogs, as seen in the paintings "Puppy Bouquet 1" and "Puppy Bouquet 2," as well as the representation of clay vases, flowery tablecloths, and marigold flowers. In these still lifes, Gratrix incorporates flowers she found in the markets of Mexico City, primarily in the Jamaica Market, a place that significantly contributes to the visual imagery in her paintings. For the artist, it is important to revisit representative elements of the places she inhabits, and this perspective reveals the changes in consumer culture in each country, city, or region. One piece that explicitly reflects the artist's interest is "Flores de Malinalco con un xolo," which features a bouquet mainly composed of orange lilies in a colorful vase and a clay figurine representing a Xoloitzcuintle.
The second genre that Gratrix focuses on in her pictorial work is portraiture. In her portraits, the artist frames the faces of her closest friends, family members, and even her dogs, individuals she interacts with daily. She also paints portraits of celebrities and individuals with hybrid physical characteristics, as seen in her self-portraits titled "Self Portrait as a Botero Poodle" and "Self Portrait as Green Parrot." Her work is characterized by the use of thick layers of oil paint that provide volume and a sense of plasticity to the elements depicted in her paintings. Art critic María Minera has described Gratrix's work as an orography, as the artist treats the canvas as a territory conquered by volumes that, more than appealing to the eye, evoke the sense of touch.
Georgina was born in Mexico City in 1982 and grew up in Durban, South Africa. She graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2005, specializing in painting. In 2018, Gratrix received the Discovery Award at the 50th anniversary edition of Art Brussels for her presentation at the SMAC Gallery in Brussels, Belgium. In 2021, the Norval Foundation in Cape Town presented a significant solo exhibition titled "Georgina Gratrix." Her first museum exhibition was "La Reunión," and other solo exhibitions include "ESTE DEBE SER EL LUGAR" at the KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts in Durban, South Africa (2021); "The Pleasure is Mine and Nine Weeks" at Nicodim Gallery in Los Angeles, USA (2020); "On Repeat" at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg (2018); "Puppy Love" at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town (2016); "The Berlin Paintings" at Die Tankstelle in association with Nolan Judin Gallery in Berlin, Germany (2013); "My Show" at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch (2012); and "Everything Ecstatic" at Ten Haaf Projects in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2010.