Maria Carbonero

Ngone I

Date: 1996

Technique: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 250 x 200 cm

Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma

Reg. no.: 618

Not on display

Ngone I belongs to the series of minimum colouring paintings the artist began in the ‘nineties. As the decade progressed, the colours diminished even further, to the point of depriving the work of any coloured mark other than white or black ones, or a mixture of both. The use of white / black is perpetuated throughout this artist’s career, and co-exists with the realisation of paintings with intense colours. In this case, the painting was produced after a trip to Africa in 1995. The theme, a portrait of a woman, the base-theme of her creative universe, is not a face belonging to the marginal world – the subject of her first phase – but a face with African features that adapt perfectly to the factions in the artist’s imaginary before her journey. And yet the facial features are not what is truly important in this work, but rather the non-features, as they blur, they can hardly be seen, they are glimpsed amongst shadows. The truly substantial thing is the strength that the face transmits, an inner strength, amongst intense, thick, white and black brushstrokes, in a persistent play of light and darkness. A face that does not denote femininity or masculinity, an ambiguous face, which only becomes feminine in communion with the large breasts. A visceral half-body portrait that looks straight at the spectator challengingly, with a balanced dichromatic background, devoid of any narrative element that provides additional information, lends forcefulness to the character. Nothing in this work is superfluous or dispensable.

C. J.

Artist biography

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