NEW YORK, NY.-
For her exhibition To Let the Sky Know/Dejar que el cielo sepa, Ana María Hernando (Argentinean American, b. Argentina 1959, lives and works in Denver) enlivens Madison Square Park
s winter landscape with a series of beauteous, atmospheric clouds and one cascading waterfall, all created in an abundance of tulle. The works are sited across three of the parks lawns, where they float above the viewer and the ground plane. The public art project inaugurates the twentieth anniversary of Madison Square Park Conservancy's art program, a milestone year featuring four artist projects, a major publication documenting fifty commissioned exhibitions since 2004, a symposium with alumni artists, a short documentary, audio interviews with alumni artists, and outreach to new communities.
Hernando creates sculptural works in tullethe sumptuous small-gauge fabric nettingthat are inspired by natural forms and transformed through the sewing process, brilliant color, and site. From its use in bridal veils, petticoats, and tutus, tulle is a material often associated with concealing aspects of womens bodies. Hernando subverts these long-held associations, daylighting the fabric and rendering itand its feminine connotationsundeniably visible.
The history of hand-worked textiles and wares serves as an inspiration for Hernando, who generates sculpture in response to the traditional and contemporary creations of women in Latin America and the Latin American diaspora, from embroideries of cloistered nuns in Buenos Aires, to the weavings and wares of Peruvian women in the Andes, to the artist's communities in Denver. Hernando's formative teen years were spent in her familys textile plant in Buenos Aires where she sewed with other workers, and she acknowledges the seminal influence of creating work with many generations of women starting from a young age:
I grew up surrounded by textiles, from my grandmothers and mother getting together in the afternoons to sew and crochet, to summers spent as a teenager sewing in the small textile factory my maternal grandparents had begun in the 1920s. Because of the impact of the women in my family, and the recognition by working at the factory that together we can make something better, I am attracted to and admire the circles of women that have gathered through centuries to collaborate and work together, to accompany each other. In my work, I look for these collaborations, these moments of togetherness, from cloistered nuns and their families in Buenos Aires - who have embroidered for my pieces - to the dignified women of the Andes - whose wares I have included in installations - to volunteers coming to sew with me to make a mountain of tulle.
For To Let the Sky Know/Dejar que el cielo sepa, Hernando responds to the bleak winter cityscape with a new series of works that stand as a metaphor for shared, human experience. During the darkness of the winter months and the weight of contemporary life, Hernando offers work of vibrant coloration and buoyancy to guide viewers to physical symbols of hope, growth, and fluidity. Her sculptures beckon with their seeming fragility and evanescence, while projecting an aura of power and resilience.
Hernandos project in Madison Square Park is organized by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Artistic Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator; Tom Reidy, Director for Capital and Special Projects; and Truth Murray-Cole, Senior Curatorial Manager. Yah Jeffries is Senior Art Department Manager. Holly Leicht is the Conservancy's Executive Director.