The Geometric Worlds of Katrin Asinc

The local artist’s first exhibit in Ecuador: “Geometria Espacial—Solidos Platonicos” is currently being held at Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana in the Guayasamin and Kingman halls and will be open to the public until May 17. Exhibition visit hours are: Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm.

By: Louis Gonick

Endless geometric labyrinths, gateways into mysterious spaces and optical illusions are the elements that compose Asinc’s works. It all began with a worn-out drafting table Asinc found at a dumpster in college that she took home and used  as her own. Later that year, Asinc had to turn in a drawing but lacked paper and just smudged graphite and charcoal into the dents and marks of her drafting table for her assignment. The work is called “Mesa de Dibujo” (2003). Although the lines in recent paintings exude simplicity and minimalism, Asinc´s early works denote randomness.

"Mesa de Dibujo"

“Mesa de Dibujo”

“This process began in 2003. I have been working on this process and technique for about 11 years.”

Pleased with how the incidental marks and lines worked out in order to construct a three-dimensional image, Asinc began working on what would be “Homenaje a Chirico” (2004). The process of creating it involved unorthodox methods: “I cut a piece of wood the same size as my drafting table, tied a rope around it and dragged it through the parking lot giving it a random texture.” While working on this piece, Asinc was struggling with another painting that involved a figure in space, but its composition didn’t please her. Asinc found relief in starting all over again, and favoring geometric lines: “When I finally decided to erase the figure I realized that I could say so much more with a space that lacked figures.” The piece went on to win the Best of Ringling Fine Arts Award in 2005.

"Homenaje a Chirico"

“Homenaje a Chirico”

In an effort to perfect her technique, Asinc systematized the creative process: “I use masking tape, and without premeditation place it on the wood, random lines begin to appear and I try to connect them. To me they are like a puzzle.” Marking the lines with a knife is the point of no return. Having done that, Asinc proceeds to paint the wood. Architect Guido Diaz Navarrete notes a resemblance between Asinc´s pieces and Tangrams, traditional Chinese wooden puzzles composed of seven geometric figures.

“As I walk around the church today the colors have changed, but to a kid they will always be dark and red.”

Visiting the convent of San Francisco during her childhood and being dazzled by the wooden floors and aged paintings influenced Asinc´s penchant for tones of ochre and red. According to Asinc, color in her works plays a subjective role and “the viewer gives the color meaning”–she makes no binding statements and leaves all of the interpretative work to the audience. Layering is also a key element in Asinc´s work, as all of the three-dimensional effects are the result of varying tones that give the illusion of light and depth. Transparent colors are employed to build the layers, and the blacks are a combination of four colors. A recurrent color is turquoise, which in many situations represents the sky or freedom. It acts as a balancing counterweight among the wooden tones.

“It is a very limited earth tone palette that resemble wood stains. I always leave one area with no color to show the true color of the wood, to remind me of the surface I work on.”

Mathematically, Platonic solids are regular, convex polyhedrons with congruent faces or regular polygons with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. Through the use of these solids, Asinc achieves what Dr. Ines M. Flores labels as “geometric abstractions, with frequent architectural allusions, that stimulate the viewer’s imagination, producing in some cases the illusion of depth and perspective.”

The geometric layout of the works suggests movement and invites the spectator to walk into the painting. Once inside, the cryptic array of paths from which once can chose to proceed into, seem to be ever-increasing with time because the treatment of perspective to the shapes creates a zooming-in effect. Due to the complexity of the spaces, once a path is selected another bunch of possibilities spring up. The labyrinthine nature of her works is in many ways symbolic of the intricacy of life.

Despite this is her first show in Ecuador, Asinc has considerable experience in the field. She comments that artistry is a product of passion. Given that the profession yields a success rate 50% or lower, an artist must be prepared to deal with all kinds of opinions and follow gut feelings. Artistic realization is not defined by monetary profit, but through a successful execution of the driving principle of art: expression. As an artist, Asinc remarks, your job is to transmit “your point of view and show the world a piece of you through your images.” Through Geometria Espacial—Solidos Platonicos, Asinc drags us into realms of geometric harmony, aesthetic purity and multiplicity.

 

Information was obtained from an interview I conducted on April 29.

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