COLORATURA: Recent Paintings by Myra Barraza

The Koppel Project Station / October 7-15 / London

A metaphysician in a pink sweater slept under a pine tree.

Giorgio de Chirico: ”Geometry of Shadows”

The Coloratura exhibition presents a group of recent oil paintings by the London-based artist Myra Barraza.

The title of this show comes from music and is applied to singers, sopranos particularly, who are flexible enough to produce a wide vocal range with runs, cadenzas, trills, roulades and the like, on demand. Farinelli, the famous soprano castrato, is most well known for singing baroque coloratura roles; Mozart's Queen of the Night is perhaps the most typical coloratura soprano role.

The wording seems appropriate for this exhibition showcasing but a selection of the work of a prolific artist who, in the past year alone with limited time and financial resources, has managed to develop, parallel to each other, three series of oil paintings in a wide range of sizes and formats. Isla Bonita, Playground and Coloratura are showcased in this instance. They clearly all merge in surprising combinations, in an intense search where text, texture, colour and images come together in a range of expressive tones from sombre to acid house, metaphysical to plain joyful or even comic, camp to refined sophistication. 

What would seem to be common art historic references isolated in themselves become, under Barraza’s vision, richly articulated artworks that speak of the disintegration of spaces and limits as they evolve or overlap into each other. These works perfectly reflect, in their complexity, the contemporary metamodernist codes of integrated pluralism within its simultaneous coexistence of symbols and stylistic approaches. 

The artist refers to these paintings as explorations of the migrant experience. One can only begin to imagine what a self imposed exile might look like, but these pieces seem to rebel in the face of disconcerting displacement or expectancy and, rightfully so, celebrate the creation of new spaces where everything might just be possible.

Rose Goldmeier

Events programme

OPENING / Private Viewing: Oct 7, 11am, TKPS.

THE COLOUR OF ARTISTS / TKPS Artist´s Roundtable: Oct 7, 4pm, TKPS. Sarah Mangan, Eleanor Engle, Myra Barraza, Gracjana Rejmer-Canovas & Agata di Masternak.

Open times: Sat & Sun 11-7pm. Outside of this schedule by appointment on request at