Martha Zuik (1941 - )

Fuegos artificiales (1986)

Watercolour and ink on paper
height: 50cm
width: 35cm
Mixed Media

Donated by Albino Dieguez Videla 1995


The vertical, upward explosion of forms and of colour in this work is immediately evocative of a display of fireworks. It is unlikely, however, that Martha Zuik set out to create an image of 'artificial fires' (as the Spanish translates literally); this work, like Arbol, was created rapidly and relatively randomly.

According to the artist, her works are constructed according to chance and play. At the same time, Zuik pays great attention to the quality of the line in her drawings: 'the thickness, the thinness, and the things that occur within the line are intrinsic to the drawing's character. Each line should have it's own personality and have experienced things, just like human beings. The drawing is important as a whole but so is each single line'.

In Fuegos Artificiales the lines are drawn with Chinese ink and do vary hugely from narrow, spidery marks like hairline cracks on a wall to thicker bird-like, arching forms. Like tendrils the lines connect horizontally across the base of the work but the overall motion is skywards, a direction that is reinforced by broader, background sweeps of watercolour that burn red at the base, gradually turning blue and then yellow.

Joanne Harwood, 2008

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