Mariana Escribano


Jose Manuel Springer

In her most recent work, Mariana Escribano departs from more concrete experience, such as the aesthetic experience offered by a wall or a grouping of metal sheets placed in rows in order to offer a game of perception involving lights and opacities that are the result of pure inventiveness and what has been called autonomy in painting. Chance and intention combined lend her works an exuberant articulation in the layers of paint and color. The form remains suspended within a sensation of depths that she achieves through her refined technique.

For several years, autonomy in painting has been the motor that drives the work of Mariana Escribano. Her work does not represent the real world, though they depart from fragments of it. Nor are they abstractions in the sense that the artist in her work does not try to break down perception, but rather-on the contrary-she concentrates her look on the experience of pure color. The effect of her work seeks is to make concrete, to allow form and color-the basic elements of painting-become the mode of expression, and speak for themselves. Together significant and signified carry the concrete experience of painting.

The work has no association with the external world, nor does it have a metaphysical meaning (the origin of painting), i.e., it does not represent anything but itself. This is what is called concrete experience, the product of pure invention, experience that arises from perception not form the intellect, from the retina and not from the mind. There is certain complicity between perception and invention. Mariana Escribano paints what her eyes see without appending any interpretation whatsoever, guided by the quest for color's sound, the measure of form and music of light.

The order of the world can be translated into biomorphic forms, such as a cell or a reflection. The microscopic world loses its physical contours, becoming zones of light and reflection. Similarly, taking light as point of departure, the painter extracts from the white primer of the canvas the tones and pigments that conform color, building circles and spheres of chromatic harmony. Her painting produces a scheme of luminous sensations that stimulate us in the same way musical notes and chords do.


To illuminate means to animate life with light. The painting of Mariana Escribano departs from the relationship with the essential order of the universe, expressed in circles and spheres, forms that symbolize the creation and expansion of the world, from the atomic particles to the galaxies that dot the cosmos. Contemplating her works creates the impression of a movement between the material microcosm and macrocosm. The system of grids and networks of circle and points of colors provides stability to all that is ephemeral, where what interests us is the energy that provides the work with cohesion.

A binary system

The conformation of the kaleidoscopic pictorial space is the result of a binary hybridization: color and structure, cohesively joined by means of their harmony and clashing. The result of these interactions is contained in the external form of the circular composition that expands across the field of the canvas. With these elements the artist launches her exploration of the limits of painting, ranging from the physical application of the paint to the delimitation of the pictorial space within the angles of the frame and the projection of internal space.


Escribano's painting becomes a means that allows a panoptic observational point of view because it is not subject to the severity of the vanishing point that underpins perspective, and it preserves a synoptic form that makes it possible to embrace everything in one glance. Both characteristics constitute the exploration of painting from its syntax, from the form that weaves or constructs its pictorial plane.


Given the sequence that exists between the several series of paintings, some of Mariana Escribano's work can be seen as stages in one single work. Pearl is in a certain way the beginning of P-RE, given that it is a play on vibrant color between circles of complementary color and brilliant whites that form an external structure, a motif that continues cyclically through both works.

In some exceptional cases-C-U, for example-the work make reference to history and pictorial tradition, as when the artist uses sandpaper to efface the pictorial surface in order to produce a weathered effect in the color or when she interposes the surface on top of the color figures. These color effects remind one of Seurat's Pointillism, though Escribano's work seems more pure, given that the point give the impression of rejecting each other, keeping their autonomy as part of a layer or specific texture, while in Pointillism, the circles join up in order to generate other tones by means of addition.


The experience of painting is still an exercise of the eye which travels the canvas' surface. In the small space that the light travels between the painting's surface and the retina Mariana Escribano finds a universe of possibilities that impel her to work in accord with the dictates of her pictorial obsessions.