I went to see the Betsabeé Romero show at the Nevada Museum of Art a few days ago and would like to write about two parts of the exhibit. The exhibit is Romero’s first solo museum exhibition in the western United States. She is one of the most highly evered Mexican artists of her generation. and is known for combining indigenous and folkloric designs with non-traditional art-making materials, and for creating inventive installations inspired by literature and diverse cultures. She created a series of four new installations for the exhibition, with an overriding thematic focus on transportation—both literal and metaphorical.
The first pieces were large circular discs that were suspended about a foot away from the wall and facing a window. The light from the window penetrated the surface of the various materials on the discs to reflect beautiful colored shadows on the wall behind them.
The soft light and color filtering through the discs were magically multi-dimensional. Their overall affect was one of serenity.
Another part of the exhibit was Romero’s use of go cart wheels and gold leaf to make both physical sculptures and prints on paper. Romero transformed tires in art from their status as a symbol of urban blight to one of progress and creative thinking. This part of the exhibit was called, “Urban Stalactites and Stalagmites” and used Spanish and colonial patterns common to Mexico.
The tires were inked, at one point, and rolled across papers to create serigraphs that repeated the designs.