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Paula Castillo
at William Siegal Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Kathryn M Davis

Continuing through October 8, 2010

Paula Castillo\'s sculptures made of found metals ride a finely articulated line between pure formalism - \"art for art\'s sake\'\' - and the joy of organic representation. Just what they might represent is ineffable, but it is something most indisputably of the land, this earth that has nurtured the New Mexico native for all her career\'s duration. Castillo does not trivialize the earth, making of it a tourist commodity the way, say, a poster of an O\'Keeffe painting tends to do.
Castillo\'s metal works have a hardscrabble beauty won through the act of survival, a polished-bone beauty that has nothing left to hide. Its plain dignity lies in the fact of its having been stripped bare. Yet Castillo manages, with an overarching intelligence, to inject into her artwork the inescapable and rare humor of scrubbed-clean, humble poverty - the barrenness that early Spanish settlers in mountainous northern New Mexico must have experienced haunts Castillo\'s work. Boat-like shapes float through the exhibition in a land that boasts aridity; animales made of rusted nail heads fold in upon themselves as if to disappear under a blazing sun, inadvertently exposing their vulnerability.

William Siegal Gallery

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