Carla Stellweg

Mahia Biblos:
Latin American & Contemporary Art.

Mahia Biblos is an Argentine born artist who moved from her native Buenos Aires at an early age, to work in Peru and since approximately 1972, in Mexico. Both nations, Peru and Mexico, confronted Ms. Biblos with a rich indigenous past and present. As a result, Ms. Biblos has since focused on non western, specifically Latin American art forms and her work can best be described as fiber/textile installation sculpture.

But, beyond the production of art, Ms. Biblos has also been a consistent proponent and a fundamental force behind the critical and historical re-evaluation of the centuries old traditions of textile/weaving. Her indepth and on-going research has already contributed enormously to the questioning of the validity of boundaries such as high and low art, fine art and popular art, etc.

Moreover, the research of his humble, indigenous and so called craft-based art form within the critique of contemporary culture in Latin America, has enabled Ms. Biblos to develop a unique and valuable discourse.

In addition, Ms. Biblos has taken her endeavor as a researcher outside of the privacy of her studio into the public realm of Mexico's university system. With this active approach she has opened the continued involvement of younger generations of artists. Is the exchange between herself and future artists/critics. Ms. Biblos has also furthered current critical issues on the survival and incorporation of native art forms to become part of the teaching agenda in Mexico.

Her extensive and profound understanding of non imported materials in the production of culture in Latin America has at the same time been pivotal to her own art which has gained a steady following and is shown in major Latin American art centers and international textile art exhibits. But, this would not be so unique if viewed just from that perspective. It is in light of Ms. Biblos international concept of contemporary art in combination with her knowledge of native traditions, that her work can best be appreciated. The installation sculptures of Mahia Biblos are ambitious, conceptually solid, visually surprising and in comparison with other important fiber/textile artists they can be placed next to Olga de Amaral, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sheila Hicks, etc.

Ms. Biblos artistic formation includes theoretical analysis of visual perception. Based on this, her subsequent employment of pigments follows the theory that color is not just an accident or a decorative enhancement but that it is an agent and integral part of the intellects capacity to translate the optical and perceptual into ideas. The way by which she integrates color with fiber/textile shapes engages the viewers interaction.

March 1995