Olga de Amaral is a textile artist, who combines, art, craft and design. Using fibre, paint, gesso and precious metals, she creates two-dimensional, textile-based sculptures. In her engagement with materials and process, Amaral’s work become essentially unclassifiable and self-reflexively authentic. In their engagement with materials and process her works become essentially unclassifiable and self-reflexively authentic. Amaral is an important figure in the development of post-war Latin American abstraction. Her work is deeply driven by her exploration of Colombian culture and her own identity. Architecture, mathematics, landscape and socio-cultural dichotomies in Colombia are woven together through the use of thread. Her creation of ‘off-stretcher’ works, using non-traditional materials, acquires greater historical resonance with each passing year.
Her use of gold, inspired by the interwoven histories of pre-Hispanic and Colonial art, gives her work a presence at once sensual and otherworldly. In his prologue essay to the book Olga de Amaral: El Manto de la Memoria (2000), Edward-Lucie-Smith comments on the transcendent qualities of her art: “A large part of Olga’s production has been concerned with gold, but there are in fact no equivalents for what she makes in Pre-Columbian archaeology. Nevertheless one feels that such objects ought in logic to exist — that she has supplied a lack.”