Soho20 Gallery in Chelsea is pleased to present Mariángeles Soto-Díaz's first solo exhibition in New York City, "The Divine Geometry of Chocolate." In this series of abstract oil paintings, Soto-Díaz works with the emblems of abstraction, using grids, the drip, squares, geometry, and color-fields to address the principle of pleasure. These luscious paintings do not illustrate chocolate so much as evoke anticipation of an exquisite sensory experience. In her words, these paintings delight in "parallels between the sensual materiality of chocolate and that of oil paint."
As in her prior series using spices, Soto-Díaz also unsettles geometric abstraction with post-colonial perspectives. From its use in pre-Columbian civilizations as both currency and medicine, its seduction of Europe and role within the slave-driven history of cacao production, to the modern struggle to create sustainable cacao production standards, chocolate's semi bitter history is nothing but rich.
A native of delicious cacao-producing land of Venezuela, Soto-Díaz uses a blend of Latin American and North American traditions of abstraction, and while infusing them with a dose of conceptualism, she crafts her own brand of neo-modern painting. Soto-D’az has exhibited internationally and her work is in many public and private collections. She holds an MFA from Claremont Graduate University, where she studied with Karl Benjamin, a central figure in the Hard Edge Abstraction movement.