Mara De Luca is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work investigates the aesthetics employed in the promotion of political, religious, and societal ideologies. For MCASD’s ongoing Cerca Series, which features emerging artists from the region, De Luca’s long-term project Stations (2006-2007) will be on view, together with a site-specific altarpiece triptych made for this exhibition, which responds to the changing light conditions experienced on the Interstate 5 South on her way from Los Angeles to San Diego.
Stations is an installation of 14 paintings loosely based on Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross (1958-64). Each painting in the series proposes a conversation between abstract fields of color, painstakingly painted in a manner reminiscent of Newman's subtle Post-Painterly surfaces. These abstract canvases are then overlaid with illusionistic motifs taken from, among other images, Baroque painting, Hollywood studio advertisements, televised war coverage, and political propaganda. This work addresses the collision between abstraction and realism, particularly advertising images, suggesting that mass media and high art are part of a single visual universe of ideas and ideologies whose meanings are mutually dependent.
Cerca Series: Mara De Luca is curated by MCASD Associate Curator Lucía Sanromán.