COOP Gallery / 507 Hagan St. August 5, 2023 - August 24, 2023

Paula Rivera Calderón

COOP Gallery is pleased to present HOME by Paula Rivera Calderón. Part traditional exhibition of meticulous illustrations and part playful experiments with accessible and found materials, Home invites you into Calderón’s inner sanctum. Paula’s paintings offer a slice of both her home life and inner life, with imagery arranged in vaguely sequential vignettes reminiscent of her home in the Puerto Rican diaspora of Philadelphia. Layered throughout is the repetitive reimagining of natural elements that have morphed into Paula’s own personal iconography: dogs and butterflies, suns and moons, plants and rivers, a child’s outstretched hands. Calderón’s mark making is bold, with contrasting graphic black outlines and blocks of bright color, yet she approaches her subject matter with gentleness.

While her paintings offer suggestions of a narrative, they were made as visceral outpourings from the artist’s reflections on the feeling of home and the comfort she wishes to cultivate. While her family is her main inspiration for her work, she is also interested in contemplating nourishment and rest and their connection to vitality. Her combination of hyper-focused and off-focus imagery creates a sense of movement and awareness that our personal narratives are always happening inside a larger scene. The viewer leaves her work feeling as privileged as being invited into her actual home.