Los Angeles-based artist Gisela Colon has been associated with California Minimalism, specifically the Light & Space and Finish/Fetish movements. Colon’s painting-sculpture hybrids, fabricated out of blow-molded plastic meticulously saturated with iridescent, reflective pigments, mark her as part of the next generation of southern California artists using light as exploratory media. Colon investigates the properties of light in solid form and luminescent color through the use of industrial plastic materials. Her work offers a unique and innovative development in the Light & Space movement by creating the illusion that light emanates from within the object. Colon’s use of amorphous, organic, asymmetrical lines and light-reflecting and radiating pigments make her objects seem to dissolve into the surrounding environment, allowing the experience of pure color and form in space.
Colon attended the University of Puerto Rico, graduating magna cum laude in 1987 with a BA in Economics. Colon moved to Los Angeles to pursue graduate studies, receiving a Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1990. After practicing law for over ten years, she was able to turn to art full-time in 2002, quickly developing a following for her abstract paintings. Colon’s increasing interest in light and space and issues of visual perception brought her to her present series of work and her conscious association with Light-and-Space and Finish/Fetish artists such as Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Craig Kauffman, DeWain Valentine, Helen Pashgian, Larry Bell, Ronald Davis, Mary Corse, and Peter Alexander.
Art critic Mat Gleason has explained: “Rather than have some technological trick embedded into the art, [Colon] has made objects that are altered by the world around them yet never stop being themselves. This artist has thus delivered a meditation on the flexibility of the feminine as antidote to the rigidity of the masculine.”
Art critic Steven Biller has stated that: “Without question, Colon’s approach to shaping, forming, and coloring is advancing the trajectory of the resurgent Light and Space / Finish Fetish movement.”
The Pods shift color before the viewers’ eyes depending on lighting, and the viewers’ choice of location.
Art writer and biographer Hunter Drohojowska-Philp describes this phenomena: “When the most recent iterations of the Glo-Pods are mounted on a white wall, the ‘inherent mutability,’ so desired as an effect by Colon, is indisputable. Depending on the combination of artificial and natural lighting, the colors slip and slide like an oil slick on water. Further alterations are apparent as a viewer approaches the work. Among the many shifts, in a single work, pale aqua can turn to lavender and appear to melt within the form. At close proximity, the focus shifts to the frosty surface, as though one were looking through a white cocoon to the pupa within. At a greater distance, the pupa can seem to vibrate with the growing intensity of its perceived colors. There is no there, there: no singular location in which one can grasp all the implications of a single work.”
Colon’s work is the subject of a national museum exhibition tour which commenced at The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown Ohio, on view from September 13, 2015 to December 31, 2015. This solo exhibition will travel throughout the United States to several institutions as follows: Kent State University Art Gallery, Kent, Ohio (January 19- February 19, 2016), International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS), McAllen, Texas (April 14- August 7, 2016), Castellani Art Museum, Niagara, New York (August 21 2016- February 12, 2017), Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS), Macon, Georgia (March 3 – June 11 2017), Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico (June 30 – September 24, 2017), San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, Texas (December 15, 2017 – February 4, 2018). Colon’s work will also be included in a thematic exhibition at the Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University, Pennsylvania, titled Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Materials and Aesthetics, Fall 2017.