Mariángeles Soto-Díaz (1970 - )

On Sugar, Spice and other Delectable Abstractions #018 (2002)

Acrylic and spices on canvas
height: 25.5cm
width: 25.5cm

Donated by Mariángeles Soto-Díaz 2004


This painting is part of the series Soto-Díaz has worked on from 2002 to 2006, On Sugar, Spice and Other Delectable Abstractions exhibited in 2003 at the Oresman Gallery in Northampton, Massachusetts. These works combine references to sensory experiences with an apparently highly intellectualized frame of a geometric almost monochromatic canvas. Here the beige-cream canvas is only disturbed across the top by three circles of brown which upon closer inspection can be seen to be made of cinnamon. Soto-Díaz's work evokes a larger European reference to minimalism, while using cinnamon which derives from the East and denotes some form 'other', the 'other' of the New world and a feminine world of cooking. The Venezuelan critic, Bélgica Rodríguez said of this: 'the encounter of opposites gives rise to a sensory experience, transforming itself in front of the viewer into existential messages... the surface is traversed by a visual tension between what is hidden and what the layer of paint reveals to be deceased, especially in the transparencies in the series with cinnamon and cloves.'

Soto-Díaz explains this 'aromatic' series, as an indulgence 'in the alchemy of sweet spices, using them as pigments to create a series of abstractions'. She further explains: 'I purposely worked on an intimate scale, conceiving them as 'kitchen' paintings. Whether read as cultural nods to the centrality of food in the ethics of care, forgotten narratives from crumbled empires of spice, or formalist kitchen experiments, these paintings are meant to be delectable, in many senses.'

Bélgica Rodríguez, 'Mariángeles Soto-Díaz: Puntos Suspensivos.' El Nacional. 28 June 2002

Maya Luna, 2008

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