Lydia Azout // Language of Silence

Lydia Azout

Lydia Azout’s artwork emerges from the same wonderment that gives rise to philosophy and makes the world a larger and more profound place, and, as Plato argued, our ordinary reason glimpses the shadow of mystery that hovers over all that exists. Her task has consisted in projecting that shadow in such a way that each of her artistic projects produces a kind of opening up to what can only be named − like the title of her exhibition at Dot Fiftyone Gallery itself − through the “Language of Silence”. 

Her three-dimensional pieces contain timeless forms that seem to come and go from the sphere of the invisible, perceived through a poetic vision which was already hers as a child and which turned into the permanent origin of an art linked not only to the notion of a sacred space but also able of broadening it: each work of her has an impact on its environment and opens up perception to the threshold of a new knowledge.


Her sculptures and installations convey her journey: she has found vestiges of ancient seminal forms, and she revives them through the use of elements drawn from nature and transformed through human intervention, like metal, for instance, which contains the lessons associated to fire and lasting shapes. Whether covered by the dark patina of iron oxide, or playing with the light that steel reflects − as is the case in this exhibition −her works open up the abstract to the representation of the invisible, and radiate a cosmic meaning to the surrounding space. 

Far from the use made by minimalism of a type of geometry devoid of meaning and utilized as form that reflects on form, her abstract geometric figures, as revealed by many of their titles, are imbued with spiritual qualities; they reproduce forces.  


The discoveries of modern physics that enthuses Azout, reinforce the understanding of the principle of the powerful energy which not only flows freely and incessantly, open to randomness and uncertainty, but which is, however, altered by the mere gaze of the viewer. Probably, nothing shocks her as strongly as the understanding of the fact that the subjective vision focused on the smallest particles of matter can affect its behavior. The power of a gaze of changing that which is beheld places the entire universe within the sphere of an interaction that is precisely the field in which her work projects itself. On certain occasions, she can do so through the sole action of the gaze or of the “emanation” of the forms that interact with their environment, as is the case of the different works featured in the Dot Fiftyone’s exhibition.


On the other hand, “Out of the Ordinary Geometry”, her parallel exhibition at the Frost Art Museum (September 12 – October 21, 2012) featuring large-scale sculptures and installations on iron, flows through two channels: the active bodily participation in the penetrable sculptures, made for dance which may even be envisaged as an echo of the dynamics of the flower of life; or the presentation of offerings in sculptures that amazingly synthesize the spirit of sacred architecture.


Carol Damian, (The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Director) describes Lydia Azout as sculptor that has focused on the basic elements of form and shape as symbolic of the power of nature, especially the feminine forces she regards as reflections of creativity, cosmic order and harmony.


Lydia Azout’s works are thresholds open to mystery, containers of the archetypal forms that reach us in a renovated version, but that contain a millenary memory. But they are experienced in the space of her installations, in a real time from which they radiate their luminous strength and create a particular mystic atmosphere; since through the doors of artistic imagination and of perception, they allow us to understand that we are linked together, without realizing it, in a cosmic warp.

Lydia Azout studied at the Taller de David Manzur in Bogota from 1970 to 74. Later she continued her studies with Luis Camnitzer in city of Lucca (Italy) during 1981 then in 1988 she took workshops at the Institute of Marble and Art in Pietrasanta (Italy). 


Individually she has been exhibiting since 1978 in major galleries, museums and biennales around the world, such us the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota and in Cali, The Alejandro Otero Museum of Caracas –Venezuela. Her work is in the permanent collections of museums in Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and in numerous private collections worldwide. She currently lives and works in Bogota, Colombia.


Adriana Herrera, Independent Writer and curator.


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