Fernando Ureña Rib looks very comfortable with his canvases, it
is because he has been painting since a very early Age. Born in
La Romana, Dominican Republic in 1951, This International artist
began his Art training at 12, graduating with a degree of
Professor of Art from the National School of Fine Arts in Santo
Domingo in 1968, followed by Art Studies in Europe and the U.S.
Ureña Rib has seen his work exhibited
around the World. He holds a prominent position on the Art scene
in his own country since 1968. He is drawn to Montreal annually,
where he rents a studio in the Belgo Building of the downtown
area. There he immerses himself enthusiastically in the creative
and diverse atmosphere of Montreal producing here his works.
The result of his latest prolific
output is a series of paintings titled Carnavalia now on display
at the Dominican Republic Tourist Board offices on Crescent
Street. Ureña Rib creative flow is broken into two distinct
currents, each powerful in its pull, but marked by different
Many years ago he drove the attention
of Art critics with his sensual, organic, Abstract Paintings of
unique and beautiful sensibility, blossoming against the
backdrop of contemporary art galleries in a powerful explosion
of color and form. However, Ureña Rib is primarily a lover of
the human body, the female in particular, and the nude is
recurring theme in his production. It is also the focus of his
latest series, as the artist continues to explore the many
facets of human anatomy.
¨I have been attracted to the female
form since I can remember ¨ he said. " It is not just the female
body. It is the interest in and the discovery of the
possibilities of movement of the human body>"
In his canvas, nude female figures
overlap in a continuous dance, the image fragmented by the
folding of space and time, lines upon lines, a tangle of limbs
and faces, a vibrating, shimmering mosaic of color planes.
Basing his pictorial exploration on the Greek philosopher
Heraclitus's assertion that all things are happening at the same
time , he attempts to re create his seemingly impossible vision
The result is series of rhythmic
figures, beautiful nude bodies of idealized women, serene beings
of mythical rather than human proportions.
Nymphs inspire these stylized females,
a symbol of the Forces of nature and the Feminine power.
"I want these paintings to symbolize
the power of woman. Not just political power, but all the power
they possess." said Ureña Rib. Not just political power, but all
the power she possess. As in Tantric Buddhism, he is seeking the
elusive mix between spirituality and sensuality. The
idealization of the form - all figures in Ureña Rib are of
perfect proportion- is aimed as pleasing the eye, and the models
chosen for the portraits are invariably young and lithe.
Taking advantage of the proximity of
several contemporary Dance studios housed in the Belgo building
where he paints, Ureña Rib often uses dancers to pose for him,
their muscular bodies perfectly suited to carry his visual
Adorned with colourful and fantastic
headdresses, these women participate in a magical carnival. They
appear in a variety of compositions: in groups of three or more,
at times resembling the same figure in a kaleidoscope of
movement, at other a gay crowd partaking of a sacred ceremony.
Renouncing contemporary Art's
preoccupation with intellectual Angst- which he sees as the
residue of post World War nerves- Ureña Rib aims to create
beautiful, pleasing images. An excellent colorist, he constructs
a rich surface, a pattern of overlapping colors in perfect
visual harmony. "I do not thing there should be a divorce
between Art an Beauty," he asserts. " In this century, the
concept of beauty is seen as poisonous, but I think we are
arriving at a point where that is going to be changed, soon.