Marisol Escobar, Untitled, 1965, silkscreen, 26.5″ x 32.5″.
Probably my favorite entry in The Paris Review’s print series is Marisol Escobar’s, from 1965. It hangs in our office, where, especially on hot summer days, I gaze at it when I’m feeling thirsty. It is, at zero calories, the ultimate in refreshment. But we can safely assume that Marisol had little interest in the contents of the magazine. “I don’t like to read,” she said flatly in a 1968 interview. “It bores me.”
Very well, Marisol. Agree to disagree.
For a few more days—until January 10—New Yorkers can see this print, along with other sculptures and works on paper by Marisol, at El Museo del Barrio, where she’s having her first solo show in a New York museum.
Marisol, who’s eighty-four now, is famously taciturn—she speaks no more than she has to. (Take these exchanges from another interview: “Do you watch movies or TV?” “No.” “Would you recommend sculpture as a career?” “Yes.” “Do you communicate with any other artists?” “No.”) She’s best known for her figural sculptures, which, like her Paris Review print, satirize the culture and fit comfortably—if singularly—into the tradition of Pop Art. But she’s cryptic, to put it mildly, about her process. “In the beginning I drew on a piece of wood because I was going to carve it,” she said in that ’68 interview. “And then I noticed that I didn’t have to carve it, because it looked as if it was carved already.”
Rather than waste more words, then, I’ll get onto the work itself: below, more pieces from the El Museo del Barrio exhibition.
The Family, 1969, mixed media (wood, plastic, neon, glass), 88″ x 56″ x 65″. Image courtesy of El Museo del Barrio
Pocahontas, 1975, lithograph, 26⅛” × 19¾”.
Magritte IV, 1998, wood, oil paint, plaster, charcoal, and cloth, 70″ × 41″ × 36″.
The Funeral, 1996, oil and crayon on wood, 56″ × 122¼” × 11″.
Horace Poolaw, 1993, wood and mixed media, 76″ × 40½” × 32″.
Lick the Tire of My Bicycle, 1974, colored pencil and crayon, 72⅛” × 105⅛”.
Tea for Three, 1960, wood, acrylic, and found objects, 64″ × 22″ × 27″.
Jack Mitchell, Marisol Working on “The Family,” 1969, photograph.
Dan Piepenbring is the web editor of The Paris Review.
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