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 Nina Luis  (1965 - )

About: Nina Luis


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Lived/Active: Puerto Rico      Known for: informal paintings

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Nina Luis, born 1965, San Juan, Puerto Rico

June 1993    MA in Studio Art, at NYU’s Venice-NY Program
1987-92    BA Columbia College, Columbia University, N.Y., N.Y.
1988-89    Reid Hall, Columbia University’s Paris Program, Paris, France
1984-87    Academia Pena, Madrid Spain
1983-84    Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
1981-83    Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.

March 2000  Sala de Exposiciones BBV, Tetuan 204, San Juan, PR
December 1999  Petrus Galeros, Group show, Hato Rey, PR
December 1998  Pequeno Formato, Galeria Michelle Marxuach, Museo Ballaja, SJ.,PR

February 1998  Mobili, San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 1996    Letters of Decadence and Paint, a preview of Frescura and Decadence San Jose 105, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

November 1995  Order, randomness. Postdigit, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
August 1993  Palazzo Pemma, Venice, Italy
June 1993  San Sebastian 104, San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 1992  Yukiyu, San Juan, Puerto Rico
May 1991  Lumininous, Inc Travelling Group Show. Japan, Europe, U.S.A.
April 1987  Oller-Campeche Gallery, N.Y.,N.Y.
January 1987  International Gallery, Group Show, N.Y.,N.Y.
May 1986  Academia Pena, Group Show, Madrid, Spain

1991  International award. Luminous, Inc., Japan
1986  First Prize. Academia Pena Annual Show, Madrid Spain
1995  Puerto Rico Institute of Culture Grant (National Endowment of the Arts)

Painting commissioned by Count Renato Pignataro of Bologne, Italy: 4’ X 4’ acrylic which appeared in complete color page in the December 1992 issues of Marie Claire and Imagen Magazines and May 1993 Issue of  Imagen.

Art related working experience:
1988-89    Zabriskie Gallery, Paris, France

Art oriented travel experience:
Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, U.S.A.

Residence abroad:

June-September 1993  Venice, Italy
1989-93, 1987-88  New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
1988-89  Paris, France
1984-87  Madrid, Spain
August-December, 1985  Paris, France
1981-83  Andover, Mass., U.S.A.
1973-77  New York, N.Y., U.S.A.

Mr. & Mrs, Eduardo Lopex Ballori
Count & Countess Renato Pignataro, Bologne, Italy
Composer & Director Luis Cobos, Madrid, Spain
Mr. & Mrs George Economou, London, England
Atty. & Mrs Juan Tomas Penagaricano, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Dr. & Mrs Robert Redinger, New York, New York
Dr. & Mrs Ricardo Rodriguez, Baltimore, Maryland
MS. & Mrs Ralph G. Christiansen, Jr., San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mr. Carlos Castellon, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mr. Joseph Murray, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Muvi Films
Saldana & Asociados
Banco de Bilbao Vizcaya de Puerto Rico

This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Informal painting --- characterized by Michel Tapies as an “other art” which tried to break from traditional order and structural schemes of European painting --- was an elaboration on the concept of “formless” (informe, in French). In the 1930’s Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris elaborated one of the crucial definitions of the “formless”, which informed much of 20th century art production, establishing an affinity between the formless and certain qualities of spit (crachat):

These ideas could be considered to be at the core of the experiments with texture and matter that were the trademark of matter painting and L’Informel, and of artist such as burri, Fautrier, Dubuffet, Jorn and Tapies among others, whose work stressed the physical and tactile qualities of painting. This style was often characterized by the use of thick impasto over the canvas, which bestowed a certain three-dimensional aspect to the work that emphasized its physical presence and overwhelming of the canvas’ flat surface.

The work of Nina Luis appears to draw from this tradition. Her gestural impastos are spattered on an immaculate white canvas, leaving a hefty colorful imprint. However the play between the cleanliness of the white canvas and the punctual agglomerations of paint floating in the white space seem to indicate a certain irony in the recuperation of this idiom that characterized post-war European painting.

Her techniques refer to industrial and construction labor, such as the use of spatulas similar to those employed for applying stucco and the squeegee, used for cleaning windows, in her case used to spread the paint on the canvas. This points towards a departure of sorts from the gestural and painterly resources of matter painting. In another group of works she lets the force of gravity act upon the material, causing it to drip sometimes even outside the surface of the canvas, indicating an intention to reflect on the limits of painting.

Her work can thus be inscribed in the group of new tendencies that rely on the material quality of painting in order to convert it into a sculptural body “informed” by primal gestures.

Julieta Gonzalez

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