Artist talk: September 19 / 3 PM
Marcia Wood Gallery is pleased to present Tidal Range, an exhibition of new paintings by María Korol, on view from September 9 through October 16 at 764 Miami Circle NE. Tidal Range is Korol’s debut solo exhibition at Marcia Wood Gallery.
María Korol's work recontextualizes history and tells stories in empathy with the marginalized and the oppressed past and present. As a Latin American immigrant in the United States, she gravitates toward narratives of migration, social clash, and cultural intermingling.
The exhibition Tidal Range is grounded in Korol's interest in history, literature, and personal experience. The content and execution of the artworks in this show are partly informed by her years as a dancer.In her native city of Buenos Aires, she studied classical and modern dance, including the Graham and Limon techniques, until she was twenty-three years old. Korol's goal was to achieve a type of motion that would somehow connect her to cosmic forces like those of the earth’s rotation and its revolution around the sun, a magnetic type of dancing that would not be excruciatingly rooted in the body’s musculature. She situates the image of the ocean within this line of thought, thinking about high tides and low tides, the pull of the moon in relation to the earth, the feeling of a body submerged underwater without gravity, and the renewal of coming up for air. Patterns of movement, flow, and transformation in nature are the stage on which the drama of human life unfolds, with its cycle of growth, decay, and final silence and stillness.
Korol's art-making practice is influenced as much by language as images. In the titles, she quotes and paraphrases Jane Bowles, Clarice Lispector, and Julio Cortázar, creating another space of interpretation, so that the artworks are observed not simply as objects in front of the eyes, but as the result of craft, design, thought, and feeling. The physical and mental performance that takes place daily in the studio as she renders figurative scenes in ink and later subsumes them into layers of abstraction becomes a type of choreography. Music, naturally intertwined with dance and language, is another important point of reference. The artist shares a playlist of songs as another entry point that informs the artwork.
Korol shifts between a conception of dance as locomotion within the individual and a collective movement, including diasporas, and migration paths. The recurrent motif of the ship points to the trans-Atlantic travel that resulted in the conquest of the American continent and its subsequent re-populations, with the unfortunate racial disparities that these events engendered, which persist to this day. In this context, Korol thinks particularly about people of color and women engaging in a daily “dance” to avoid the objectifying gaze in order to own their bodies, take command over their sensuality, and endure the stress of trying to make themselves heard. Edouard Degas’ drawings and paintings of dancers serve as a point of reference; his flaneur vision of young women entering the fantasy of ballet to overcome poverty contrasts with Korol’s works, as she inhabits the body of the working-class dancer, revealing her inner life. In an earnest and vivacious engagement with painting and drawing materials and clay, María Korol breathes these metaphors into a multi-layered visual experience.
María Korol was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1980 in the middle of a military dictatorship, and she was exiled to Brazil for four years and later returned to grow up in her home country. She moved to the United States in 2004. Korol has shown her work at MOCA GA and Swan Coach House Gallery in Atlanta, The Painting Center in New York, and the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, among other places. She is a distinguished fellow of the Hambidge Center, the JUNGE AKADEMIE, and the Women’s Art Institute. She is the recipient of the 2020 Edge Award with the Forward Arts Foundation, and was selected for The Creatives Project and the Hughley Fellowship. Her work has been published in ART PAPERS, Burnaway, and ArtsATL. Based in Atlanta, she is a visiting assistant professor of art at Morehouse College.