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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    This stunning and sculptural textile, Umbra 53, 2007, by Colombian Olga de Amaral is undoubtedly an extraordinary example of her ravishing, and innovative tapestries. These tapestries have come to represent the boundless possibilities of materials and artistic language used in her oeuvre. Shortly after studying textiles at Cranbrook, she returned to Colombia and began rediscovering the peasant crafts as well as the different looms and materials they used, a finding that led her to start her textile studio. It wasn’t until a trip to Peru that she began exploring the aesthetics of textiles in Andean and Pre-Columbian cultures, much in the same way many Western artists had studied and found inspiration in paintings and frescoes. For Amaral the Baroque altar churches in that region—with their dense, golden, and ornate features—were reminiscent of the importance of gold in the Pre-Columbian cultures, and as a result the Andes occupy a privileged place in Olga’s artistic territory. This trip also inspired her to test different fibers, woven strips, and braided variations that would lead her to a life-long study and understanding of the feel of fiber, the magic of texture, and the chromatic possibilities of prepared and natural dies. This exploration enabled her to extend the way she used threads and fibers. Soon after she began incorporating gold leaf into the texture of her work and weaving heavy surfaces on to pre-woven rolls of fiber, like the one we see here in the present lot. This incredible work also follows the large formats Amaral has often experimented with, a scale that reflects a boldness that enabled her to achieve ingenious visual forms of textiles with consistent textures, into which she has even incorporated horsehair and plastic. The sculptural proportions of this work are achieved by the sheer volume and scale of it. The result are cutting-edge elements that ultimately communicate the “grace of [these] full-scale works, resulting in the synthesis of a language which gave her tapestry a new ‘fine-arts’ quality” (L. Smith Edward, ed., Olga de Amaral—The Mantle of Memory, Somogy: Paris, p. 35).

A Selection of Colombian Contemporary Art to Benefit Vivarte



single channel animation and LED monitor
53 1/8 x 31 1/3 in. (134.9 x 79.6 cm)

$10,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $9,000

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 18 November 2015 6pm