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Olga de Amaral

Artist 321

Olga de Amaral

Postwar Latin American Abstraction

Textile art

Olga de Amaral (born 1932) is a Colombian textile and visual artist known for her large-scale abstract artworks that are made with fibers and then covered in gold and/or silver leaf.

Artist Olga de Amaral
Artist Olga de Amaral

She transforms two-dimensional textiles into sculptural installations that seamlessly blend art, craft, and design. Her works are called ‘off stretcher’ allowing for 360 degree viewing of her weaving processes.

Estelas Series ,&nbsp2007 Rook & Raven  Olga de Amaral
Estelas Series ,&nbsp2007 Rook & Raven Olga de Amaral

She uses her art as means to search and answers the inner questions in her life. As a result, Amaral’s work is deeply driven by her exploration of Colombian culture and threads of her own identity.

The themes of architecture, mathematics, landscape, and the socio-cultural dichotomies of Colombia are woven into her work with each strand of fiber.

Her surfaces embody the hidden aspects of her inner self and through her legacy She is one of the key players in the postwar Latin American Abstraction art movement. She has been creating art for over 60 years.

During 1950s she studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and focused on fiber art.

Sol luna, 2013.170×44 cm, linen, gesso, acrylic and gold leaf. By Olga de Amaral
Sol luna, 2013.170×44 cm, linen, gesso, acrylic and gold leaf. By Olga de Amaral

She explains the experience, "In Cranbrook, the textile workshop had eight looms placed against the windows: one of them, in the corner, would be my home for a year. There, I lived my most intimate moments of solitude; there was born my certainty about color; its strength; I felt as if I loved color as though it were something tangible. I also learned to speak in color. I remember with nostalgia that experience in which souls touched hands".

In 1965, de Amaral founded and taught at the Textile Department at the University of Los Andes (Colombia) in Bogotá.

Her tapestries are created using natural and man-made fibres, paint, gesso, and precious metals. This can be gold or silver leaf. She works using various handcraft, artisanal process and techniques.

"I am not familiar with current tendencies in textile design. It seems to me that those who weave artistically base themselves only partially on fiber craft, which in my opinion, makes no sense. I consider that one must base oneself on precision, on mathematics, on color theory. What is woven, does not occur by chance, but totally the opposite - it is very calculated. I can't do that because I am not trained and because I am in the midst of an abstraction. Finally, my work is nothing more than my way of telling how I feel about life, about the soul of things." – Olga de Amaral

Sources Consulted


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