Artist's Biography - Graciela Rodo Boulanger
Graciela Rodo Boulanger
Her perspective on the universal innocence of children and her interpretation of the spirit of Latin America give a unique stamp to the work of Bolivian artist Graciela Rodo Boulanger.
After a retrospective of her work last year for the Organization or American States at the Museum of Modern Art of Latin America in Washington, internationally-renowned critic Jose Gomez-Siere observed: "Her work shows personality. She's well-liked, especially by collectors of prints, and her prestige is growing and growing."
More recently, her highly-stylized approach and abilities as an experimenter and colorist won her acclaim as a highly-prominent Latin American artist.
Rather than depicting children as smiling and laden with sentimentality, Boulanger's interpretation emphasizes their mood and sensitivity.
And they are, as a critic once wrote, "never coldly-drawn."
"When there are two figures, they touch and that touch is it language of love. They are happy and seem secure. But they are above all formal about themselves. It is as if each child is posing stiffly and ritually in one frozen instant of time, awed by the richness and goodness of that instant; as if each were thinking beyond its own vocabulary."
Although she has lived in France for the past two decades, her style is strongly influenced by her native Bolivia and the Andes.
She once told an interviewer "...you'll find in my paintings something that is typical of my country. It's the light, the colors, the movement, and the atmosphere, the feeling.
"There's a strong contrast between the neutral background and the brightly-colored figures. The mountains of Bolivia are drab, brown, grey and the people wear intensely bright colors. La Pat is at a high altitude. The air is so clear and the sun so strong the colors seem to vibrate."
Iler portfolio is also distinguished by its diversity. She works with equal facility in oils, watercolors, pastels, lithography and etching. Recently she added sculpture and tapestry.
"For me," she says, "the subject dictates the medium. Some subjects, for example are better suited to oils, others to watercolors. It also depends on what you want to say and how you feel the day you're working."
Graciela Rodo Boulanger, has been featured in 100 exhibitions on three continents and her renditions of children have also appeared on Bolivian and UNICEF postage stamps.
The daughter of a concert pianist, she herself gave many piano recitals in her early years. In Paris in the 1960s, she studied with renowned engraver Johnny Friedlander and art became her vocation, the piano her recreation.
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