Visual Musings: Works on Paper 2006-2008
Gloria Abella Ballen
Gloria Abella Ballen is a colorist and mystical artist whose works are filled with symbolism and implied meanings. The significance of her work is not always self apparent (definitely not narrative), and sometimes it can seem hidden to those of us accustomed to the complexities of our world being reduced to sound-byte simplicity. Her visual world is rich in the mystery of dream-like imagery, and people who are not quite like people we know. These are landscapes and peoplescapes seen through her mind’s eye, very different from physical ones we see around us. Meanings are nuanced and layered with the subtlety that she relishes.
Her drawings are filled with symbols that carry spiritual significance from Jacob’s ladder to the Kiddush cup for Shabbat meals. Her drawings are to be studied, not merely viewed. There is so much information in them that the viewer can come back time and time again to enjoy the new discoveries. The Hebrew letters and words suggest other meanings vaguely hidden in the drawings. It is her challenge to the viewer to be visually involved, seeing and thinking.
In other works Abella turns to the joy of color, rollicking with it like autumn leaves thrown into the air. The color schemes of her pieces create moods that range from bright playful to more somber ones. Enjoy the journey of discovery exploring the art of Gloria Abella Ballen. You will be rewarded esthetically, intellectually, and spiritually.
Gloria Abella Ballen
Gloria is an international award winning visual artist with a master’s degree in art from SUNY-Buffalo as well as graduate studies in anthropology and Pre-Columbian art from the National University in Mexico City and specialized studies on studio art and theory with Larry Rivers and John Cage.
She grew up in a Spanish Jewish family in South America and has lived or traveled extensively in the Americas, Europe, North Africa, and Asia. In Gloria’s own words, “My experiences of living in various countries have given me a sense of exile and uprootedness.”
Gloria has exhibited in individual and group shows from the United States to Israel, Japan, Latin America, and Europe and has received a number of awards, including the UNESCO prize in painting, the Latin American Graphics Biennial, National Endowment for the Arts, Pan American Graphics Portfolio Award, Colombian Institute of Culture Artist Award, and Outstanding Artist Award (Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition) among others. Her art has been shown from Christie’s in London to Louis Stern in Los Angeles, from the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City to the Bellevue Art Museum in Seattle among others. Her art is in the collections of museums, corporations and private individuals internationally, ranging from the National Museum of Colombia to the Museum of Modern Art (Fort Lauderdale), Occidental Petroleum, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the Alcoa Corporation.
She has been a visiting artist in England at the University of Essex and the Camberwell School of Art (London), in China at the University of Xinjiang and in Israel at the Mishkan Omanim in Herzlya. She has been a professor of art at Universities in Puerto Rico, Colombia, and the United States.
Award Winning Writing
Jewish Life, Learning, Legacy