Sandra Higgins is delighted to present the first solo exhibition in London of the renown Colombian painter Maria de la Paz Jaramillo, who will exhibit a group of portraits from her compelling series Ellas (Them), which depict women who are empowered and unabashedly sexual, but do not reject their vulnerability. The exhibition’s reception, which will be attended by artist, will coincide with PINTA Art Fair, whose Solo Shows section this year will celebrate the outstanding contributions of Influential Women in Latin American art.

Born in Manizares (Colombia) in 1948, Jaramillo has been a key figure in the Colombian art since the 70s, when she irrupted in the scene with her expressionistic etchings, which already explored the complexities of the female universe, its highs and lows, its delights and flaws. Sandra Higgins will show 9 paintings from her latest series Ellas (Them), which demonstrate a stylistic evolution towards bright and bold colours, an exuberant palette that, applied to the flat backgrounds, bring to mind the iconic Pop portraits of Andy Warhol. But Jaramillo still maintains her penchant for expressionistic techniques, evident in the un-naturalistic skin hues and exaggerated facial features of her protagonists.

The resulting paintings are as erotic and suggestive as the figures they contain. Their mood is celebratory, depicting the joys of love and everyday life, but seen from a feminist perspective. As Jaramillo herself has explained: “I decided to do this series to honour contemporary women. Women who are more open to the world and enjoy more possibilities thanks to the everyday battles fought by other women that came before them.” Jaramillo’s paintings invite the viewer to look at them closely, so that the textures of bodies, clothes and backgrounds can be admired. Her work poses a fascinating dialogue between a range of male-dominated avant-garde influences (from Fauvism to Pop) and feminist ideas.

Jaramillo studied at the Chelsea School of Art and later with Luis Camnitzer in Italy, but despite her international education, this will be her first solo exhibition in London, so it will be a unique opportunity to discover the work of this fascinating artist. Jaramillo was commissioned to paint the portrait of the Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and has recently completed a mural for the museum of the Medellin University in Colombia.