Penland Gallery: Sculptures and Drawings by Cristina Córdova
The work of ceramic sculptor Cristina Córdova continues to be exhibited at Penland Gallery through November 20. Titled Cerca y Lejos, this first solo exhibition since 2011 features two- and three-dimensional images of her family members with evocations of her native Puerto Rico in the work. Meaning “near and far,” the show’s title refers to the closeness of her family and the distance of her homeland.
Córdova came to Penland School of Crafts as a resident artist in 2002. “From the day she got here,” says Robin Dreyer, communications and marketing manager, “everyone at Penland knew that Cristina was an exceptional person with an exceptional gift and an exceptional work ethic. It has been nothing less than a thrill to watch her work grow in size, complexity and conceptual depth in the last 14 years.”
Córdova has commented that this show represents a shift toward naturalism in her art. This shows in the life-sized dimensions of the sculptures and in the accurate depictions of her family members. “The poses resonate with allusions to classical sculpture,” says Dreyer, “and the figures are placed in front of photo mosaics built from images of Puerto Rico.”
Large portrait drawings, in mostly clay and charcoal, accompany the sculptures. “While these are engaging images no matter how they are viewed,” Dreyer says, “one has to physically stand in front of them to fully appreciate the impact created by their scale and their placement on the gallery wall.”
Visitors to the gallery will see a newly renovated and expanded space. “The Penland Gallery,” says Dreyer, “has been expanded to include a beautiful exhibition hall and it is exciting for us to be able to properly present artwork of this scale and impact.”
Also featured this month are works by woodworker Christina Boy and sculptor Christina Schmigel, landscape art by Laurencia Strauss and large outdoor sculptures by Hoss Haley and Bill Brown, Jr.
Penland School of Crafts is located in Penland, NC. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit penland.org/gallery or call 828.765.6211.