Municipal Bonds is pleased to present Indivisible Particles, our debut exhibition with Chilean-French artist Cécilia Andrews. Teeming with abstract portraits—extolling the gaze, lauding the hand—Andrews's works on paper are articulated by collage. Cut-out and reassembled faces, with blurred contours on found papers, speak to the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of identity—mutable as nature, united as humankind.
Andrews's approach is based on minimalist representation and the study of dualities: transparency and opacity, fragility and solidity, lightness and darkness, emptiness and fullness. She explores these complementary/diametrical dynamics in her work through the interaction of contrast, the perception of opposition, and the use of varied dimensional media. In her portraits, symbols are inlaid as facial features: human cells and plant leaves; missing or multiple pairs of eyes on a single face; color-blocked skin and tears—a surreal language about our shared humanity.
The indestructible connection among humankind, and between humankind and nature, is fundamental to Andrews's process: "I am attracted to primitive or ancient cultures because of the space they devote to the relationship between nature and the sacred, and to the use of symbols and ceremonies. Tribal cultures that were directly inspired by nature developed a language and a direct relationship with these elements, especially the moments of meditation during ceremonies: the personal or collective moment of taking the time to venerate nature or have emotional experiences of the sacred. I try to give a symbolic charge to my work, as if it were a question of transcribing a subjective feeling of veneration, gratitude, meditation or fusion."
The title loosely references an ancient Greek and Indian concept about philosophical atoms-in this symbolic system, humanity exists as indivisible particles in one inseparable whole. The interconnection is reminiscent of John Donne's essay, "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." And yet humanity's wholeness is more existential in the final verse, "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
Cécilia Andrews (b. 1969) was raised in Santiago, Chile, and has lived and worked in Paris, France since 1993. She earned a BA and MFA from La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Andrews has participated in various solo and group exhibitions, including: Biennale Révélations, Paris in 2019, by invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Chile; Qingdao Sculpture Gallery, Qingdao, China in 2015; Moveable Feast, Hôtel de Sauroy, Paris in 2012; Corps à Corps, Alexandre Cadain Gallery, Paris in 2010; Elite Fine Arts Gallery, Miami, Florida in 2003; Reencuentro, Cécilia Palma Gallery; Tomas Andreu Gallery, Gallery del Cerro, and Galeria Gasco, Santiago. She has taught at the glass center CERFAV, Pantin, France; and has taken part in artistic residencies, including ARNA, Sweden in 2016, and the Painting Symposium, Chilean Patagonia in 2017. Her work has been selected for the Salon de Mai, the Salon de Montrouge, Paris, and the Prix Novembre, Vitry. She regularly collaborates with Editions Odile Jacob and Le Monde Diplomatique, among others.
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