Edna Andrade: Astrologer’s Garden

Locks Gallery

May. 13, 2024 - Jun. 27, 2015

600 Washington Square South
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106


Locks Gallery is pleased to present Edna Andrade: Astrologer’s Garden, an exhibition bringing together paintings and drawings by the late artist highlighting her thematic and formal explorations of space. The exhibition will run from May 13 through June 27, 2015 with a reception on June 5th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. This exhibition celebrates a forthcoming traveling exhibition and the release of a 176-page monograph distributed by University of Pennsylvania Press.

Andrade is widely known for her contributions to the field of Op Art, but unlike the retinal interventions of her contemporaries Victor Vasarely or Bridget Riley, Andrade’s meditative, geometric abstractions developed towards explorations of pattern networks, spatial abstractions of architectonic volumes, and landscapes. While her passion for the nature of human perception has tied her legacy to the contributions of the Op Art movement, it would be further understood in the context of the Bauhaus figures that were a major influence on her, such as Josef Albers. Her perceptual fascinations lead her to engage with practitioners of architecture, philosophy, mathematics, psychology, and design—forging an interdisciplinary dialogue within her work.

Evoking many definitions for the word “space”, paintings throughout her career revisited moon motifs, architectural spatial diagrams, and the optical flattening and deepening of the painterly plane. The works on view highlight Andrade’s engagement with the design of the sites she traveled to, and her personal connection with architectural rendering—both Andrade’s father and husband were practicing architects, and she honed her own rendering skills as a designer during World War II working for the government under designer and architect Eero Saarinen.

When some of the work on view first debuted in 1989, Andrade wrote of her recent travels, “All these places—India, Japan, and Cranberry Island—have claimed me in different ways. In India, Islamic tilings and the plans of temples revived my long-time preoccupation with pattern. The haunting spaces of the observatory in Jaipur and of the pavilions at Fatehpur Sikri led to renewed experiment with illusionistic representation of architectonic volumes. The glittering intarsia of Rajasthan encouraged the medium of collage, and called for the use of iridescent pigments.”

This gallery exhibition, the forthcoming museum exhibitions, and the survey monograph, arrive at a crucial time as our understanding of Andrade’s highly technical approach continues to evolve. Op Art is again being revisited by a younger generation in light of the changing relationship to opticality through digital technology, and the work of Andrade continues to be informed by that rich dialogue.

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