From Sep. 23 through Dec. 22, 2022, the Fairfield University Art Museum is displaying “Gladys Triana: A Path to Enlightenment Beyond Exile” in the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery. 

Gladys Triana is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in Cuba. The majority of her work is meant to rebel against authoritarian rule and the oppression of hegemonies. Having been exiled from her native island, Cuba, since 1969, many of her early paintings reflect her struggles and artistic victories. Explorations of inner versus outer exile, the ontology of women and human evolution are showcased in Triana’s work. 

In this exhibition, we see a collection of Triana varying and unique works over the decades. From drawing to sculpture to deconstructions and reformations of her own artwork, her work is brought together in one reflective exhibition. 

While many of her early paintings reflect her inner struggles, much of her most recent work (video and photography) emphasizes inner freedom and the continuing evolution of the human species.  

I was fortunate enough to visit this exhibition myself, displayed in the Walsh Gallery. Just as described, I noticed that the artwork was comprised of various mediums. The work of art that stood out to me was the first one I noticed as I entered the exhibition, titled “The Scream.” Each piece of brightly-painted paper is pieced together to form a face. Amidst the blues, yellows and reds of the collage, I was able to make out what looked like two eyes and an open mouth, resembling a scream, as the title suggests. What truly impressed me with this work of art was the intricacy and detail displayed in every individual piece of paper which made up the entire collage. Each piece contained different colors, different textures, different patterns and different brush strokes. I am impressed that Triana was able to take all of these different pieces and make them work together in a way that is both abstract and cohesive, forming the shape of a screaming face.

I was also taken to the telescope that sat in the middle of the exhibit, pointing to a large sculpture entitled “The Path To Memory: The Island”. The telescope is part of the installation of the path to memory, as it points to pieces of art straight ahead and on the surrounding walls. 

I found myself impressed by the range of Triana’s work that was displayed here on Fairfield’s campus. Each piece of art is quite unique and holds great meaning in reflecting Triana’s own struggles and artistic triumphs. 

I encourage all students to take a walk through this exhibition and find what speaks to them. “Gladys Triana: A Path to Enlightenment Beyond Exile” will be displayed in the Walsh Gallery until Dec. 22 so be sure to check it out before the end of the semester. This exhibition can also be viewed virtually on the Fairfield University Art Museum’s website. There is much more to read and learn about Triana here, her history and her work here. It is a truly beautiful exhibition and one that I would recommend everyone on campus to experience.  

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