Sarah Grilo

America Has Changed, 1967


Location Gallery 1

Sarah Grilo

Title America Has Changed, 1967
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 133,5 x 119,5 cm
Copyright © The Estate of Sarah Grilo; de las fotografías | all photographs: Archivo Helga de Alvear | Joaquín Cortés
Exhibition number AW104

Layers of colour, numbers and letters overlap, evoking an old billboard that‘s seen many coats of paste. Only individual words and sentence fragments are recognisable: "Not enough time" – "Only"" – "more than"" – or, top left: "America has changed".

That was artist Sarah Grilo’s choice of title for this picture: ""America has changed"".In her home country of Argentina, she’d made a name for herself as a pioneer of abstract painting and become known internationally as a result. In the early 1960s, a scholarship took her to New York, where she remained for almost a decade. The city inspired her enormously:

Sarah Grilo: “Here I find everything I need for my painting. Things are constantly happening that can be incorporated as abstractions; all you have to do is to look out the window or walk down the street.”

In New York, Sarah Grilo started painting with an enthusiasm she’d never felt before. And her painting changed. Instead of abstract figures, writing now started to occupy an ever greater place in her work. The multifaceted impressions of a metropolis literally inscribed themselves into her paintings. As she roamed the city, posters, graffiti, advertising slogans and newspaper headlines caught her eye, and she condensed them, compressed them into various typographies and scribbles on canvas. And created not just a style of painting, but also a form of poetry. As in a poem, the fragments can come together in your consciousness to form a text and a sound.

Further artworks from this exhibition