Livia Ortiz Ríos


Using chaos theory as reference, my works examine the complexity of visual systems and the relationship between elements in opposition. The opposites couple, in a space where unpredictable changes and possibilities can occur—the in-between. A space where all elements shift, evolve, and transform. I am particularly interested in that in-between space. The space of transformation where deterministic elements lose their control evolving into totally unpredictable. These transformations are reflected in the textures that reveal the pass of time in the pictorial space. The paintings are made as monotypes on acetate or plexiglass which in some have traces of history of previous paintings. Organic and structural shapes are combined in front and back of the paper alluding to the shift and movement of the elements. 

The pieces are usually installed within a gap from the wall creating shadows and reflection. The light, shadows and transparent negative spaces generate forms that simulate movement. But that also activates physical space beyond its own surface. 

The juxtaposition of layers, pictorial space, gap, support, transparency, and reflection of materials allow me to approach painting as a discursive practice that opens questions about its own possibilities. Inviting the viewer to appreciate the beauty of the modes of transformation, expansion and losing control. 

Livia Ortiz Ríos (1985. Arecibo, Puerto Rico) Lives and works between Puerto Rico and New York. In 2012 she completed her MFA in Studio Arts from the Memphis College of Art. Recently, her works were exhibited at Embajada Gallery (San Juan, 2022), Kilometro 0.2 (San Juan, 2022) and 7 Lispenard (NYC, 2022). Previous group shows include: […] Entreformas at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico curated by Abdiel Segarra Ríos, ProxyCo Gallery (NYC, 2021) The Green Gallery in collaboration with Embajada Gallery (Milwaukee, 2021), Freight + Volume Gallery (NYC), Masur Museum (Louisiana, 2015) and La Muestra Nacional del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan, 2015) among others. Livia’s work has been featured in New American Paintings Magazine and in 2016 was awarded a residency in Vermont Studio Center.

Untitled, Oil paint and spray paint on Plexiglass, 48 x 40 inches, 2022. Photograph documentation by Adam Reich