Martha Jimenez and the incantations of the fish

A new exhibition by Martha Jimenez is always an adventure in the magical terrain of a plastic imagination, characterized by the sharpness of vision, the intensity of the forms and, above all, by the magnetism of a configuration of the world that has the deep dynamism of a creation, emanating from a singular sensibility, at the same time medullary feminine, sensual, and also steely and sharp in her understanding of the Cuban universal. It is, above all, in this sample titled Incantations of the fish, a special dialogue between the three-dimensional sculpture, and the two-dimensionality of a painting of subtle intensity.

Martha Jimenez presents a series of works in clay pottery, where the mastery already proven in previous creations, now reach a scope of mystery and suggestion that accentuates and delves directions of her style. The whole exhibition is an image of deep sensuality - the tank, where three figures submerge themselves with a sensuality that is all the more disturbing since one of that joyous trio is shown only in rotund and attractive legs-. A second work - from the series "The Hive" - joins the characteristic plasticity of the artist, an ironic and also sensual acuity: it is an allegory of the honeycomb, in this case both zoomorph and human, that at the same time refers to the direct reality of the city of bees, and also to the intrinsic fertility in the feminine. Another sculpture of small format presents a woman standing, whose cut skull, whose rest of wings, are complemented with cut arms.

The prodigious balance on tiny feet depends not only on the sculpture itself, but proclaims the participation of the spectator, who has to complete those arms that belong to the illusion that the receiver brings. She is the triumphant woman, who draws to herself a creative genesis of the spectator. The painting, for its part, is striking in its various sienas, in its way of making women a center of illumination, either in the painting in which a woman hangs from the moon, or in painting - one of the more dazzling pieces - in which a woman's face, in a magnificent close-up, shows feline eyes and a fish-shaped pendant on her neck. The feminine is, in the two-dimensional works, formally reformulated, as in the abduction -evocation of so many canvases, among them the famous one of Carlos Enríquez- that here it is produced in reverse and it is a woman who takes riding a rooster, kidnaps a naked man.

Splendid, effective, self-possessed, the author advances here other visions and spells, where the fish is a leit-motiv in sculptures and paintings, and where the substrate is the tireless magic of a fascinating artist.

By: Dr. Luis Alvarez Alvarez.
February 2007.