Uprise Art is proud to present Remedies for a Generation, an online exhibition of new works on paper by Xochi Solis and Rachel Levit Ruiz that reflect on the artists’ respective Mexican heritage and notions of the body, regeneration, and health. Through juxtapositions of common and uncommon imagery, both artists build visions that operate under the logic of dreams or surrealism - a world where reality and myth exist side by side.
Rachel Levit Ruiz’s series of gouache paintings, Body Language, was inspired by her own interrogation of the mind/body connection and the idea of different facets of the body independently speaking for themselves. In these paintings, idealized figures are adorned with gold leaf, referencing Milagros – golden votive charms in the form of various body parts, traditionally offered by those suffering from illness in Mexico with the hope of healing, or worn to express gratitude after being cured. The shimmering gold leaf masks specific regions, acting as both presence and absence, suggesting these categories or regions of anatomy are unfixed or open to interpretation - in reference to her painting “Piel”, Levit Ruiz notes that while the term translates to “skin” in English, the word in Spanish is closer to “the essence of our container.” Body Language as a whole pivots on these ambiguities - incomplete versus whole, sick versus healthy - and examines the intersection of religion and medicine, where hope for change within the unseen inner body is encapsulated in a leap of faith.
Xochi Solis’ newest works reflect her ongoing practice of layering handmade paper, painted plastics, and found materials such as vintage travel books from Mexico and the Southwestern US. These newest works take inspiration from both the natural and man-made environment of Mexico, specifically iconic Mexican architecture, like Juan O’Gorman’s Biblioteca Central at UNAM and the Anahuacalli Museum that houses Diego Rivera’s pre-Colombian art collection. Both structures make use of vibrant, natural materials endemic to Mexico, such as colored stones and volcanic rock. Native to Texas, Solis found that working with these found images recalled her initial exploration of her Mexican heritage as a child, as well as her continued desire to find images of people that look like her, and the wonder and awkwardness she feels today in relation to identity. Solis pairs these complex compositions with toned mat boards to create reflective works that approach themes of metamorphosis, regeneration, and succession, seeking a way to bridge this disconnect, like a scar heals a wound.
- Xochi SolisAustin, TXArtist Page
Xochi Solis (b. 1981) is an Austin, TX-based mixed media artist. Her works include multilayered, collaged paintings constructed from paint, hand-dyed paper, vinyl, plastics, and images from found books and magazines. Xochi considers the repeated act of layering a meditation on color, texture, and shape, all leading to a greater awareness of the visual intricacies found in her immediate environment, both natural and cultural. Xochi shares her studio time between Texas and Mexico.
- Rachel Levit RuizMexico CityArtist Page
Rachel Levit Ruiz (b. 1990) is a Mexican artist and illustrator based in Mexico City. Her figurative works, from black and white drawings to gouache paintings, examine the body and its relationship to the mind, to others, and to the physical world. In her most recent series, Body Language, Ruiz was inspired by her own interrogation of the mind/body connection. She responds to theories of health that suggest “physical well-being is independent from emotions and socio-political realities” by crafting a world in which different facets of the body speak for themselves. Ruiz’s work has been featured in The New York Times and The New Yorker.