Equilibrium: Fanny Sanín

Abstract painting of varying sizes of rectangles divided into three vertical sections flanked by thin, light blue stripes. The central composition includes red cross-shapes with cream, grey and black rectangles; on either side are symmetrical black, brown, and gray horizontal stripes.
Jul 14 to Oct 29, 2017

Equilibrium invites viewers into the rigorous working process of pioneering Colombian-born artist Fanny Sanín. Known for her colorful geometric abstract compositions, Sanín makes between four and eighteen carefully composed preliminary works for each finished painting.

This exhibition explores her methodical process through a selection of some the artist’s earliest abstract expressionist works as well as two complete series of preliminary drawings and their attendant, finished geometric compositions. Sanín’s signature painting style is smooth and meticulous, yet her studies pulsate with visible gesture. She uses drawings, which Sanín describes as the most important part of her process, to experiment with arrangements of form and color until reaching the desired visual equilibrium.

Born in 1938 in Bogotá, Colombia, Sanín developed her visual language while studying at the University of the Andes in Bogotá during Colombia’s vibrant avant-garde art scene in the 1950s and 1960s. Sanín continued her studies in the U.S. and the U.K., and she has lived in New York City since 1971. She maintains close ties to her native country, where, in 2015, Sanín was honored with a year-long exhibition at the Museo Nacional in Bogotá. Her work hangs in public and private collections throughout North and South America.

Color pencil sketch shows an abstract geometric design. On a field of black, the composition features a central vertical red stripe flanked by elongated rectangles in pink and gray. Radiating horizontally from the center are smaller rectangles in white, gray, black, blue, and green.

Fanny Sanín, Study for Painting No.2 (4), 2011 ; Color pencil on paper, 20 3/4 x 18 3/4 in. (framed); Courtesy of the artist; Photo by Robert Lorenzson

Exhibition Sponsors

Equilibrium: Fanny Sanín, presented in the Teresa Lozano Long Gallery of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), is organized by the museum and generously supported by the members of NMWA.

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    Online Exhibition

    Learn more about the artist in this special online exhibition, Balancing Act: the Paintings of Fanny Sanín.