• text
  • pictures
  • Willa Wasserman
Guadalajara, Mexico
Twinflowers
3 Feb 2024 - 20 Apr 2024
Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Willa Wasserman, 'Twinflowers', vista general.

Travesía Cuatro GDL, Guadalajara, MX. 2024.

Twinflowers, the first solo presentation by Willa Wasserman in Mexico, gathers a group of six works, a self portrait, and five paintings of roses and twinflowers, a bouquet painted from direct observation with oil and silverpoint on canvases of linen or muslin and metal surfaces like zinc and bronze.  

In 2018, Wasserman began experimenting with the Renaissance silverpoint tradition, a process used by Old Masters including da Vinci and Jan Van Eyck, which she has since carried over into many of the paintings she creates today. This technique permits the artist to create precise and meticulous drawings but also allows colors to change with oxidation, something that interests her as a way to think about change and unstable statements in painting. 

Flowers have long been used in art as a means to reflect changing worldviews, outlooks on nature and takes on pressing political and social issues. Today, flowers remain a powerful subject for experimentation and meaning, often conveying our innermost feelings and being a vehicle for healing with their vitality and sensuality. Articulating the memory of a feeling, these particular flowers were a gesture of tenderness and care from the artist’s friends, a gift during a time of healing physically and emotionally. 

Moreover, twinflowers, scientifically known as Linnaea borealis, were a favorite of Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus, founder of the modern system of binomial nomenclature. Twinflowers’ common name is derived from its distinctive and unique inflorescence, which is composed of two bell-shaped flowers growing on a forked stem and are known to clone each other. This is an aspect that has interested the artist in the past months, due to a visual condition that makes her see double as a consequence of recent surgery, something that affects her painting practice and that may be irreparable. The haziness and ethereal has been part of Wasserman’s images for some time, meant to make the viewer adjust their view, as she stated in a 2021 interview: “I just want to give people space to figure out what they see. Rather than make declarative paintings, that’s why I paint so softly. It’s because I don’t want to tell you what it is, I just want to make room.” 

Overall, a combination of intimacy and intensity prevail, culminating in a self-portrait reminiscent of early Modernist Finnish painter Helene Schjerfbeck, whose highly abstracted self-portraits Wasserman cites as a key influence in this genre. 

Willa Wasserman (b. 1990, Evansville, Indiana, US) lives and works in New York. She gained her BFA at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in 2013, and received her MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2019. Recent solo exhibitions include François Ghebaly, New York; High Art, Paris, France; Downs & Ross, New York; Good Weather, Chicago; in lieu, Los Angeles; The Gallery at Michaels, Santa Monica; UCLA New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles; and Nothing Special, Los Angeles.