A Letter to Tamara Gonzales

Norte Maar, Tamara Gonzales, new paintings, Bushwick, Brooklyn

This month The Brooklyn Rail invited Raphael Rubinstein as guest editor, in turn, he invited critics to submit their reviews in letter form. Rubinstein explains:

“We know that some of the most memorable writings on art have taken the form of letters, including, to name a few examples, Vincent van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, Rainer Maria Rilke’s Cézanne-inspired missives to Clara Westhoff, and the letters Samuel Beckett sent to Georges Duthuit in the late 1940s about the paintings of Bram van Velde…The theme for this edition of ARTSEEN is, thus, not a theme but a form: the letter—a letter addressed perhaps to an artist, living or dead, but, just as plausibly, to anyone else. The occasion of the letter can be an exhibition you have just seen, or maybe the fact that there is something you have always wanted to say to someone about some work of art. Write not for any general reader but to a specific addressee, and, with luck, your letter will arrive at its destination.”

Sharon Butler, the artist and blogger behind Two Coats of Paint, visited Norte Maar to see the newest series of paintings by artist Tamara Gonzales. In her ‘review/letter’ for The Brooklyn Rail’s ARTSEEN Butler writes:

“[Tamara] I’ve seen your work around for a while—in group shows at Janet Kurnatowski and the Dependent Art Fair—and most recently took in your solo show at Norte Maar in Bushwick. As poet Elizabeth Bishop suggested in a letter to James Merrill after reading his 1954 book, Short Stories, perhaps rather than offering any kind of criticism, I should simply say thank you.

Traditionally made by women, lace has been embedded within stories of politics and trade as intricate patterns have passed from one culture to another. And, of course, in terms of art historical precedent, painters like Peter Paul Rubens, Judith Leyster, Francisco de Goya, and Diego Velázquez all delighted in rendering delicate depictions of exquisite lace. Combining lace imagery with spray paint is brilliant feminine machismo—so amusingly facho!

[…] Tamara, your new paintings are glorious—literally, in that they seem to depict a magnificent, ecstatic glory. They vividly reflect the warmth and fullness that has grown in the Bushwick art community over the last few years.”


TAMARA GONZALES : Untitled is on view at Norte Maar through April 29th. Copies of TAMARA GONZALES: UNTITLED, the limited edition artist book that accompanies the show, are still available for purchase.

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