The work of women and the movement of flowers figure prominently in the lyrical and naively touching art and installations of “The Illuminated Garden,” a show by Argentina-born Coloradoan Ana Maria Hernando at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center.
An outlined orange-red blossom and simple, patterned, yellow-green lily pad-like shapes, and their reflections, seem to float on the dark, speckled backdrop of her large, unstretched “Fire on Water” acrylic.
Equally large, but vertically hung, is “The Day,” which offers a similar, semiabstract depiction of flower or lily pad-like shapes.
Sketchily outlined flowers and leaves are “The Organs That Are Waiting” for nature's nourishment, suggested by pale pink dots, in a smaller lithograph diptych with cutouts on white paper.
Even brighter and whiter in its impact on the eye is “Rain of Full Moon,” a 2010 work depicting lunar drops or rays, made from “collaged leftover papers from a 2005 print, glue, flocking and ink on paper.”
Delicate embroidery by nuns at a Buenos Aires Carmelite monastery, visited by Hernando in 2001, is captured in thin disks of polymer resin, attached with screws, to create a dazzling “Circle of Power” on the wall.
In “The River,” a long stream of rubber tire sandals on the floor seems to flow from a video of anonymous women's hands.
Most impressive of all is “The Mountain Brings Us Boats Full of Lilies,” a large floor work in which multicolor petticoats stand up like large blossoms, floating on a lake or sea of embroidery in resin disks.
Hernando's show is recommended viewing during its run at Oklahoma Contemporary.
— John Brandenburg
‘The Illuminated Garden'