By María José Monge, Curadora de Artes Visuales , MBCCR
Paulina Ortiz (Italy, 1958) is a Costa Rican artist who specializes in textile work. Although she pursued studies in civil engineering and architecture, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Textiles and Ceramics from the California College of Arts in Oakland, California (1982).
She began exhibiting her works regularly in the 1980s, both in Costa Rica and abroad, participating in biennials and international awards. Her work is part of public and private collections, such as the Museo Nacional de la Estampa (Museum of Graphic Arts) in Mexico City, the National Contemporary Art Gallery in San José, the Costa Rican Art Museum, the Museums of the Central Banks of Costa Rica, the Punta Islita Open Air Contemporary Art Museum and the University of Costa Rica.
Ortiz was a founding member of Bocaracá, a group of Costa Rican artists dating from 1988 to 1991. She has taught at different times at the University of Costa Rica and the National University of Costa Rica and has coordinated projects such as the IV International Biennial of the Organization of Women in Textile Art (San José, Costa Rica, 2006) and Rescue of Costa Rican Textile. She is also founding president of the Iberoamerican Textile Network since 2006.
Bosque nuboso is an early work belonging to the Sotobosques series. This work evinces her affinity with organic matter ‒particularly what is vegetative‒, as well as her interest in the possible techniques and expressions that textile fibers such as pita, cotton cloth and ink offer. In time, the artist comes to incorporate other fibers, such as ramie, as well as industrial pigments, sand, gold sheets, feathers, rocks and shells.
Ortiz works these materials using ancestral methods and techniques, which go from the way she processes textile fibers to the way she dyes them –usually speckling and batik‒, weaves them and finishes them. These techniques result in what Ortiz calls neo-tapestries, two-dimensional and three-dimensional works that are both pictorial and materic, unique in their suggestive capability.
Although many of the names of her works glorify nature, no additional discourse accompanies this evocation. Ortiz’s work oscillates within the ritual and symbolic realms, rather than rational discourse. That which is sensory and intuitive predominates in her work, as if dealing with manifestations of vital energy that shapes the universe.
How to cite this article
Monge Picado María José. (2015). Bosque nuboso. San José, Costa Rica: Fundación Museos del Banco Central. Available at: link