SALTWORKS is pleased to present Alejandro Aguilera's Black Drawings, a series of large works incorporating crayon, ink, coffee and collage on craft paper. Black Drawings represents a pivotal growth period in Aguilera's technical range and subject. The drawings in the exhibition were created in 1998, at a time when Aguilera had recently immigrated to the United States from Cuba and was living in Miami.
During this time, Aguilera worked as the head textile designer for a Miami company supplying decorative wall fabrics to luxury cruise lines for their high-end suites. Aguilera designed and painted geometric patterns influenced by African culture onto long reams of fabric for his work. At night, he would create his own artwork using craft paper from his day job, to continue his exploration of African patterns and culture with the readily available materials of ink, coffee and found paper.
The Black Drawings began as "formal experiments in technique and improvisation inspired by music, textile design through geometrical forms and the natural landscape." The works then expanded to incorporate early modernist takes on African Art specifically those from the art historical movements of Primitivism, Cubism and Futurism. Since his arrival to Atlanta, Aguilera added the Southern Vernacular Art to his library of influences.
Alejandro Aguilera was born in Cuba in 1964 and currently lives and works in Atlanta. He has exhibited throughout the US, Cuba and Mexico. His works have been acquired by numerous public and private collections worldwide. Selected collections include the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, FL; Rubin Museum Contemporary Art Collection NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Monterrey, Mexico; Peter Ludwig, Aachen Museum, Germany; Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale; National Museum Palace of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba, among several others. He received his Master of Fine Arts, Instituto Superior de Arte [Higher Institute of Art], Havana, Cuba in 1989 and completed a Postgraduate fellowship, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston in 1990.