It’s hard to tell whether Analia Saban is a painter or a sculptor. She has an uncanny knack of reinvigorating both mediums, collapsing, perhaps even subverting them to great effect. In September 2012, for her first show at Tanya Bonakdar in New York, Saban used primarily white acrylic and unprimed canvas for works that oozed tactile forms, evoking domestic spaces such as beds, towels and sinks. In one recent work, she cast a frayed bedsheet in white acrylic and hung the hardened form upon the wall.
Like many of Saban’s explorations – often referencing the body – the tactile quality of the ‘surface’ and the physical weight apparent in the sheer amount of paint used creates a powerful visceral physicality. In this the works shift from paintings to sculpture. On occasion, the unprimed linen canvas is just a component part of a larger assemblage in which the paint adheres to another form, or is only just held onto the canvas in bulging plastic bags. In these works gravity pulls the paint away from the canvas, forming large pregnant bellies protruding from the stretcher. Stains mark the canvas or cracks form on the acrylic surface. These small markings draw the viewer into an intimacy with the work, suggesting something private. The paint itself often appears wet, in the process of hardening, as if it might drip onto the floor before your eyes.
The Argentinian-born artist also works in photography, juxtaposing photographic prints with canvases, in some painting across both the canvas and the photo print or removing the photographic image with blue tape. For this work she received the newly minted Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers from the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida.
This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue.
26 February 2015