E La Nave Va

June 9 - August 14, 2021 San Antonio

Ruiz-Healy Art is delighted to present E La Nave Va at our San Antonio gallery featuring works by Fernando Andrade, Richard Armendariz, Cecilia Biagini, Nate Cassie, Ana Fernandez, Leigh Anne Lester, César A. Martínez, Cristina Muñiz, and Mark Schlesinger. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, June 9th and will be on view until Saturday, August 14th.


In Italian, the phrase E la nave va translates literally to "And the ship sails on."However, it can be understood in a more philosophical context to mean that, in spite of everything, life goes on. Taken from Federico Fellini's 1983 surrealist film, and the title of Cecilia Biagini's recent painting, E La Nave Va encapsulates the strangeness of the past months as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to reach its denouement. The exhibition expresses the collective over-thinking, daydreaming, and fantasizing that, for better or worse, accompanies our changeable future as life goes on. E La Nave Va features artists of the gallery program not included in the previous exhibition Plurality of Isolations, and three guest artists, bringing familiar and new perspectives to the role of art during periods of uncertainty.


Fernando Andrade recalls the "feeling of uneasiness every night before bed. Staring at statistics and news in April of 2020 caused deep anxiety, stress, and heartache." The artist states, "During that time, the only outlet was my studio. Staying active and focusing on colorful, improvised abstract painting helped me channel the world around me as I attempted to heal my state of mind."


The prints Richard Armendariz made for E La Nave Va are "direct and indirect references to the tumultuous time we are all living through, whether it's the flow of asylum seekers or protests in the streets due to unwarranted police violence, we are finding ways to express ourselves." The work Do Not Count Us Out for example, is "referential of Baroque ceramics and Moche ceremonial vessels. Flowers, full of significance and meaning, are given at the beginning and at the end of our lives... The text has a multiplicity of meanings ranging from the cries of protestors in the streets to the last words of wisdom from a loved one."


The titular work, E la nave va,by Cecilia Biagini is "about construction and the unpredictability of paint to transmit motion." In her painting, forms build up inside other forms just to decompose again, expressing "the state of the world and the vision of the future." Juxtaposed against the painting Full Meaning, the works represent "Learning the need for synthesis, dematerialization, and the continuous navigation of the paradox of our existence."


In his recent sculptural works, Nate Cassie refers to loss during the pandemic and the unprecedented natural disaster experienced by Texans in February. "To me, they are like mountain tops in the clouds - atmospheric and weathered… they are in part inspired by the snowstorm we had during this already extraordinary year. The vessels are vase forms one might use to display a large flower arrangement, but they are empty which speaks of loss or mourning."


On her recent watercolor paintings, Ana Fernandez states, "We’re all subject to the laws of gravity and like a river cutting into the earth and making its path, so do we. The line of demarcation that separates before/after the pandemic is stark and remains etched in my mind like a high water mark after a flood. One day we will be far enough away from this catastrophe to wonder how we survived in those high waters, but for now I will continue to move forward and not look back."   


Leigh Anne Lester reflects on the passage of time during isolation. "Art making is a compulsive act...I couldn't help but keep making things but the longer the pandemic wore on, the more untethered I felt to things in the past and in the future for that matter. I found I started new things in materials that I don't traditionally use. I also went back and did what was known to me in my work. Sampling from previous pieces to create a new iteration." The artist says her recent works inspired "a sense of newness that felt like moving forward."


César A. Martínez comments that this experience put his career into perspective. "It never occurred to me until now that all my professional life I have worked and lived as if there were a pandemic out there. The word isolation is not really a part of my thinking process."


The past year has helped Cristina Muñiz slow down and reevaluate her artistic process. "The work began with a series titled Outside Artists Windows. Most were inspired by what was outside my window, but others were inspired by the act of walking with my dog and experiencing a new level of health." She says the pandemic has allowed her "to be comfortable in what work I could produce physically."


Mark Schlesinger echoes feelings of disorientation as communities begin to open up again. "Elise and I traveled to Boston for almost a week in early March. On March 11, we came home and locked the door. 409 days later, I go out and to the market. I cannot see that the avocados are hard and the potatoes are bruised."




Installation Views