Ana Montiel is a Spanish visual artist and designer who is recognised for her use of colour. Montiel's paintings are often made using spray guns on stretched canvas, acrylic sheets, and wood. Her practice explores colour theory and the nature of perception and impermanence.Read More
Montiel's artwork resonates with the Light and Space art movement that was popular throughout the 1960s and 70s.
The artist lives and works in Mexico.
Montiel was born in 1981 in Logroño, Spain.
She attended the Fine Arts Secondary School at Escuela de Artes y Oficios de La Rioja (now called ESDIR) in La Rioja, Spain. While Montiel was at school, she actively ignored the practice of painting. It was only when she attended the University of Barcelona to study a BFA that she began to embrace the medium.
Montiel stayed in Barcelona for over ten years and eventually moved to London for five years, keeping up her practice in both cities. After a trip to Mexico, she decided to pack up her life and move to Mexico City, where she practices art full time.
Ana Montiel's artistic practice explores the nature of perception by creating abstract paintings that have a spiritual and meditative quality. Montiel applies her interests in neuroscience and quantum physics to her painting, making visual representations of what she believes to be maps of the unconscious.
Montiel uses a vast range of colour in her practice. She applies several layers of coloured paint to her canvases using a spray gun, sometimes adding as many as forty layers. Montiel applies paint until she is satisfied with the work's dense, coloured grain.
Montiel's practice explores both digital and physical methods of creating artwork. Her series 'The Fields' (2017–18) is made for the digital realm, originating as a file on a computer that sometimes translates into a form of physical media such as a canvas or printed Perspex.
For her series 'The Fields', Montiel made several abstract colour works that depict a range of tones, gradients, and sensations. The variation of colour in 'The Fields' captures infinite doorways to the unknown, evocative of James Turrell's experimental light works.
Montiel's ethereal paintings examine the altered states of consciousness by creating visual representations of how the world might be perceived.
'Initiation' (2022) is a series of artworks Montiel made for three solo exhibitions at OMR in Mexico City. The paintings feature a granular technique that Montiel uses as a way to paint parallels with the ambiguity of human insight and awareness.
Montiel's diptychs range in colour and gradient. For this series, the artist placed an emphasis on the production process of each work by favouring a freer, painterly approach instead of the stricter and more meticulous methods she has used in the past.
The artist used the gallery space as her production studio during the run of the show, constantly changing the exhibition space with the remnants of the process. In this way, she involved the architecture of the space within the work and created an in-situ mural as a result.
Ana Montiel has participated in a number of art fairs and biennials. Selected art fairs and biennials include Art Basel in Miami and Frieze Art Fair in London.
In 2018, Montiel was invited to participate in a public programme event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The event featured Montiel in conversation with Ylinka Barotto, assistant curator at the Guggenheim Museum. In the same year, Montiel was selected to participate in an arts residency at Residency Unlimited. The Rockefeller Foundation and Peana Projects supported Montiel's three-month residency.
Ana Montiel has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions.
Solo exhibitions include: Initiation – Stage 1: Departure, OMR, Mexico City (2022); Initiation – Stage 2: Limbo, OMR, Mexico City (2022); Initiation – Stage 3: Transfiguration, OMR, Mexico City (2022).
Group exhibitions include: Form Follows Energy, OMR, Mexico City (2022); How Rest The Brave, Nest Gallery, The Hague (2022); Resistance Of The Sleepers, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2020); Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, FF Projects, Mexico City (2020); Polyphonies of Perception (The Things We Thought We Saw Together), José Garcia Gallery, Mexico City (2019); Blue Monday, Estudio Aldo Chaparro, Mexico City (2019); Prima Materia, Peanu Projects, New York (2018); Secret 7", The Jetty, London (2018).
Phoebe Bradford | Ocula | 2022