Immersive Abstractions showcases Laura Turón’s visual and social practices at the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts in El Paso.
January 19–March 10, 2023
Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, El Paso
Immersive Abstractions, Laura Turón’s solo show at the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, offers a concise but detailed look into the decade-long career of the El Paso–based artist. The first floor of the gallery was transformed by Turón, whose work relies on time-consuming, repetitive actions to produce breathtaking visual effects and impressive, captivating experiences, which she then uses as platforms to develop a deep and meaningful community engagement practice.
Combining previous work—including experimental mark-making through deconstructive drawings—with new installations, Turón’s use of abstraction in this exhibition offers an opportunity for the audience to think about place in an alternative way. This is particularly the case with two alluring pieces: Imperfectly Aligned and Sound Sensory (both 2023). In collaboration with local partners, Turón transformed the space using mirrors, lights, and projections with installations that are immersive and participatory, as the audience can manipulate them through sound, touch, and, most importantly, their own presence.
Blue Paradox V (2023), a huge mural in the gallery’s atrium, references the artist’s use of paradox drawings, a system that creates 3D effects using 2D shapes. The stunning mural, created with blue painter’s tape, also offers a look into the artistic process—usually, the taped surface is painted over and the tape removed, switching the positive and negative spaces. Using this technique, in 2016, the artist began her most ambitious project to date: an old school bus refurbished into a mobile gallery, appropriately called Paradox Travelling Art, which was on view at the opening of the exhibition as part of the retrospective.
Through workshops in underrepresented communities, artistic collaborations, public art installations, and many other activities, Turón has used her practice to offer spaces of creation, reflection, and meditation. The show, curated by Laura August, smartly showcases the evolution of the artist’s work and at the same time celebrates the community created along the way.