Carioca artist Maria Lynch has enjoyed worldwide success and shown her work in cities from the US to Norway, but it wasn’t until she made her return to Rio that the colours and shapes of the Cidade Marvilhosa began to come alive in her work, and everything began to fall into place.
It has been a long journey to the 2011 show at HAP for the sculptor and painter who first studied photography, sculpture and painting at Parque Lage, where shapes from the natural world surrounding the grand old house in Jardim Botânico served as an inspiration. From the texture of a leaf to the hull of an insect, Maria now refers to these early works as “Amorphous beings made of colour.”
A search for new influences and experiences led her to London to the Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2006, where for three intense years she immersed herself in the international contemporary art scene. But it was only upon coming back to Rio that things really made sense. “Today, with globalisation, an artist can take part in the international scene from their own country, representing that country through artistic expression,” she says.
The tropical influences of Rio can certainly be seen in her latest offerings, showing until 20 November. Paintings such as "Oleo", with its vibrant colours and sculptures made from colourful fabrics that wouldn’t be out of place in a carnival parade, there is nothing amorphous or shapeless about these works.
The plaudits have followed, with Lynch receiving the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2009 and the fine arts prize Prêmio de Artes Plásticas Marcantonio Vilaça from Funarte in the same year. With recent exhibitions in the Imperial Palace and the HAP gallery in her native Jardim Botânico, Maria Lynch has truly come home.