Los Velos del Arce, 2007
oil on canvas
60 x 48 inches
Lilian Garcia-Roig was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1966. She earned her BFA in 1988 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. She was the Director of Graduate Studies in Visual Art at Florida State University, Tallahassee from 2002 to 2008, and is currently a tenured art professor in this institution.
Garcia-Roig is a plein-air landscape artist, the French expression for “in the open air” painting. Just like the French impressionists used to depict the landscape in an immediate way, from direct observation, Garcia-Roig reflects in her representations a passionate engagement with both the given visual terrain and the painting process. Her body of work essentially befogs the boundaries between abstraction and representation.
The artist loves to delve into the deep woods with her paint tubes and easel and – just like an adventurer in an uncharted territory – she is moved when she comes upon an evocative scene in nature that yields an ongoing dialogue. It is at this point when the bliss beyond the moment begins… As the painter herself says, “These complex, dense scenes offer the most potential for the interchange of figure-ground relationships to occur within my paintings. Dense landscape allows me to use colors and marks that are simultaneously thickly built on the surface and also give the illusion of space. These formal possibilities of the landscape, and the push/pull of figure/ground relationships, really excite me.”
In Catching Up With the Instant, an exhibition catalogue essay authored by renowned art historian and scholar, Dr. Richard Shiff, he comments, “The collective rhythm of Garcia-Roig’s strokes and their range of color generate effects of form and illumination readily translated into features of a natural scene. She has mastered the art of keeping tactile materiality and the optics of representation in balance and in productive tension. She calls her work “maximalist” because no sensory aspect, psychological orientation, or perceptual attitude escapes it.”
The artist has been the recipient of major awards and residencies, among others, a 2006 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painting; a 2006 Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony; 1994 Mid-America Arts Alliance/NEA Fellowship Award in Painting; 1992 Kimbrough Award, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; 1990 Charles Addams Memorial Prize in Fine Art, University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States in various venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art (FL), Huntsville Museum of Art (AL), Grace Museum of Art (TX), Michelson Museum of Art (TX), Kemper Art Museum (MO), Art Museum of the America (DC), Florida Museum for Women Artists, Wichita Falls Museum of Art (TX) and the Miami Art Museum (FL). The artist currently lives and works in Tallahassee, Florida.