Sunday, March 16, 2008

Annelisse Molini at Latino Arts

By Aisha Motlani
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If there's one thing Puerto Rican artist Annelisse Molini has learnt from her architecture training it's the power of the sectional drawing. She uses it to great effect in her paintings, though in a much looser and agitated manner than most architects might. Her canvases, thickly caked in acrylic paint that's scraped and scuffed, slice through the earth and reveal it's immensity and depth in contrast to the tiny human figures that toil within and above it. They conjure up the churning landscapes of a Tolkein novel; coagulating dark matter, fires blazing within the bowels of the earth.

What I enjoy about these paintings is the artist's clear and fervent attempt to reveal a deeper rooted entity acting as a mainstay to the chaotic patterns of city; the tracery of telephone lines and ladders that whirl around like roller coasters in her paintings are offset by the ponderous quality of the land that supports them.

Often her works present a view through an aperture, one set of conditions framed by another. In Su Mesa esta Servida the ground itself seems to dissolve in one area to reveal a subterranean suburban idyll. In Afframba Roje a facade of a building is framed by shadows that seem to leak out of their frame and create an ominous pool of cut-out shadows leading up to the door like a red carpet. Ruta Sesenta y Vente is composed of a cluster of canvases pushed up against eachother to accomodate the artist's sprawling vision.

You can see her paintings at the Latino Arts Center, 1028 S. 9th Street through March 28

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