Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content

Ana Villagomez
Shadow Haggler
New York | Tribeca
June 21 – August 9, 2024

Nino Mier Gallery is thrilled to present Shadow Haggler, our first solo exhibition by New York based artist Ana Villagomez. Featuring a series of paintings, the exhibition delves into the subconscious through layered, evocative paintings that inflect abstraction with personal memory, landscape, and history. The exhibition will be on view from June 21 to August 9 at our Tribeca location.

Throughout Shadow Haggler, bold patterns juxtapose more fluid, protean washes of color. Rigid geometries contain ghostly forms, to varying degrees of effectiveness. This overall tension between the orderly and the spectral begins with the construction of each work. In making each painting, Villagomez embarks on a transformative process of erasure and addition that begins with an automatic underpainting, which she then covers in darker hues that have been watered down. Utilizing tools such as scour pads, spatulas, and rags, she scrubs, lacerates, and effaces sections of the top layer of darker paint to reveal the underlying compositions. This method resembles an excavation, where the act of erasure is as critical as painting, producing surfaces akin to complex topographical maps. The paintings emerge as subconscious geographies, mapping her inner world through a tactile and dynamic process.

In creating her compositions, Villagomez channels inspiration from a diverse array of sources. The sharp juxtapositions and graphic techniques in her work echo works from art history as much as they do the visual language of pulp novels and historietas from her childhood, shaped by time spent in her family's bookstore. The landscapes of her upbringing, too, influence her work. Villagomez grew up in various regions of Mexico as well as in Houston, Texas. Memories of Mayan architectures and the ritualistic atmosphere of exorcism tourism in her family’s hometown infuse her work with a sense of mysticism and its commodified afterlife in an increasingly globalized economy.

The rich historical and cultural narratives of Villagomez’s upbringing are now latent in her painting. The continuous recycling and repurposing of materials in her neighborhood, painting over old buildings and surfaces with new vibrant hues, is mirrored in her artistic approach. Moreover, her process of layering, erasing, and reconstructing parallels the way memories are formed and reformed over time. Each painting is an amalgamation of personal history, cultural references, and abstract forms, creating a new and more truthful representation of reality.

Shadow Haggler thus forms a sustained meditation on memory, identity, and the subconscious. She often grapples with the concept of the shadow, both in Carl Jung's psychoanalytic sense and as a metaphor for a disembodied feeling. Her paintings reflect this duality, with forms that seem to float between the tangible and the intangible. Birds, animal-human hybrids, and abstract shapes form and dissolve throughout her canvases, creating a dreamlike landscape that invites viewers to explore their own subconscious drives and dreams.

Ana Villagomez (Born 1991, Houston, TX; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) holds an MFA from Hunter College, where she was a Ruth Stanton Scholar. Solo exhibitions include Pazda Butler, Houston, TX; Farewell Books, Austin, TX; and Project Row Houses, Houston, TX. Group exhibitions include Deli Gallery, New York, NY; Harper’s Apartment, New York, NY’ Christies, New York, NY; Fredericks & Freiser, New York, NY; and Martha’s Austin, TX; among many others.