Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Upper Gallery Spotlight

María Magdalena Campos-Pons (b. 1959, Matanzas, Cuba) currently lives and works in Boston, MA. Her work belongs to numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art (NY, NY), The Whitney Museum of American Art (NY, NY), and the National Museum of Fine Arts (Havana, Cuba). The Copley Society is honored to have three of her works on display as part of its current exhibition, La Cubana y el Cubano.

The Messenger (El Mensajero), 2011, large format Polaroid print, 32.5 x 22 inches (82.5 x 55.8 cm)

In 19th century Hawaii, Japanese immigrants chopped and weeded sugar cane.  Campos-Pons recently had a solo at the Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA) titled Alchemy of the Soul where she delved into her history with sugar. In The Messenger (El Mensajero), we are left with an image of hope in the distance, and strength in the artist’s stance, a silent messenger.  

Back Yard Dreams, 2008, inkjet print on watercolor paper, 26 x 21 inches (66 x 53.3 cm)

The figures show a family of three generations, sequentially leading to the mother, or grandmother figure at the top.  The painted backdrop shows a history and background separate from our present time.  The washy texture shows a memory, but the specificity of the painted figure’s clothes and expression convey a strong importance and remembrance of this figure.  

En-Trance. A study for the two waters, 2009, large format Polaroid print, 32.5 x 22 inches (82.5 x 55.8 cm)

The artist’s hair surrounds her head as a barrier to her surroundings and her eyes remain closed, shutting out the exterior world.  She is in a trance, absent in response to all external stimuli.

This exhibition will culminate with an ArtWeek Boston event on Thursday, October 6, where the Copley Society and Spirio – Steinway & Sons’ latest player piano – will have a night of piano music in the gallery, featuring a performance by a Steinway artist. More information and how to sign up for the event can be found here.