As Many Layers As There Are, II
Like many artists that grew up on the Mexico-Texas border, inspiration often manifests itself in the form of vibrant appreciation for two countries. Much of Marilu Flores Gruben’s work is a reflection of mystic and religious artifacts that she often finds in Mexican homes. On several occasions, Gruben crossed the Rio Grande River to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and literally painted within homes to capture the raw essence of life across the river, a river that Gruben says does not separate as much as it brings people together. An advocate of using various materials in her work, Gruben has most recently found fabrics to be her preferred medium. Gruben enjoys constructing installations because of the many ways in which a viewer can perceive Gruben’s preferred subjects – women. Through the anticipation of different forms of light that will fall on her fabrics, Gruben believes that only parts of her piece can be glimpsed without the whole work being revealed.
I wrap and cut gauze over chiffon to make collages. They are always sheer and translucent, but just how depends on the angle at which you see them, or the light. A color that screams at you from one angle hides itself at another. Women like to conceal things, but depending on the other party involved, not always the same thing. We all have our secrets. – Gruben
Marilu Flores Gruben was born in Laredo, Texas. She received her BA from Incarnate Word College at San Antonio in 1966 and followed up with her master’s degree in 1981 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Though her formal art education has supplied her with an impressive resume, Gruben’s solo and group exhibitions provide her domestic and international experience throughout Texas and in California, Mexico, and Argentina.