The intimate Galeria Regina has an unusual exhibition, The Space Within, consisting of the visual art of Venezuelan born artist Lorena Morales, with each work accompanied by a poem by Houston's own Gerald Cedillo.
Morales uses vivid colors on Plexiglas, often in geometric patterns, to create interest and tension. Her works here feature a series of works of stripes in varying colors, and also a series of works that center on circles to capture the eye. The stripes are often interwoven, to create the sense of fabric, and the colors of the stripes can either contrast or segue into related tones.
Works in the circles series are called "Chromospheres", and they tend to dominate the gallery space, as their vividness calls out to the viewer, and their concentric energy provides a sense of commanding power.
Most of these are relatively small, but there is a larger, different style painting, "Summer Sun", orange and blue circles on embossed paper, that stands out because of its open, uncluttered space - its composition and cheerful colors are attractive, and its subtlety seems to invite the viewer in.
There is also a display of a great number of strips of colored vinyl attached to a wall, a site-specific work, in a linear pattern, and these can be created by the artist to any size desired.
For "The Space Within" Morales invited writer Cedillo to create poems inspired by her art in an attempt to examine the role of color perception through the eyes of the spectator. The result is interesting indeed, as Cedillo has a gift for expression, and the capacity to view the world with original insights, poetically expressed with sincerity and quiet charm - no flowery bouquets (thank you!)
The poems are too long to be quoted in full, but a line excerpted from each of several poems may illustrate Cedillo's talent. The poem for "Summer Sun" includes: "I was a cloudburst/full of grandfather clocks."
For "Color Weave #2", mostly green and grey stripes, Cedillo wrote: "Its longing stays/like salt on the tongue." For Color Weave #5, orange, red, magenta and purple stripes, he wrote: "Don't stand on the world's chest." For the blue and green circled "Chromospheres", he wrote: "... the fairy-tale land/of lost speech." Cedillo is an organizer for Houston's Word Around Town poetry tour, so you may be able to hear him read some of his work on the tours. He is from Rosenberg, Texas, attended the University of St. Thomas and studied creative writing at the University of Houston.
This is the fourth solo exhibition of Morales in the United States, and last year she had an individual exhibition in Dresden, Germany.
Lorena Morales: The Space Within continues through July 20, Galeria Regina, 1716 Richmond, open Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 5, 713-523-2524, www.galeriaregina.com.
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