Puerto Rican artist who has worked in the engraving field for several decades. She is also known as an important educator who has promoted the use of non-toxic materials in artistic compositions.
Haydeé Landing Gordon was born in 1956, in Santurce, Puerto Rico. After earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico, she moved to Mexico. There she studied at the San Carlos Academy in Mexico City, where she earned a master’s degree in 1986. She lived in Mexico for about ten years.
After returning to Puerto Rico, Landing taught at the Fine Arts Department of her alma mater. In 1989, she won the Grand Prix at the XVIII Biennial of Ljubljana, Slovenia, one of the many honors she has received (such as honorable mentions at the Mexico Biennial of the Engraving, and the XII San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Engraving). She has also exhibited her work in New York, California, Spain, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal and Italy.
From 1989 to 1995, she was director of the Graphic Arts Department at the San Juan School of Fine Arts, where she experimented with digital technology. In her courses, she has worked with non-toxic intaglio, while also integrating photography and digitalized images. Some of the inoffensive materials she has used are ferric chloride, floor wax, dishwashing liquid and vinegar, which replace petroleum-based products such as resins, solvents and mineral spirits. She has taught a generation of young artists in Puerto Rico.
Although she has mostly dedicated herself to engraving and printmaking, Landing does so with a good dose of experimentation. For example, she has combined various media in her creations, such as photopolymers, relief templates, textured acetate, intaglio, stencils and silkscreen. In her exhibition Espacios, in 2010, she used photography as a basis for works in paper and cloth. The photography was retouched and changed digitally and later printed on fabric.
Thematically, Landing’s work has explored the conflicts between colonized subjects and their oppressors, between men and women, and the struggle for cultural survival. The distorted and twisted images express loneliness and anxiety. Thus they express the situation of modern humankind.
In Memoria colectiva, for example, critics have seen a chaotic version of the colonized communities in the tangled and incomplete figures that are shown in the engraving. Poet Vanessa Droz believes that Landing’s compositions have always had a strong political content and that the desperation in her works reflects the worries that lead to social injustices. Memoria colectiva, in fact, was presented as part of a collection that reflected on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1). She also contributed to the cover of Derechos fundamentales y deberes cívicos de las personas, a publication by the Civil Rights Commission of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Some of her pieces are found at the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Author: Alejandro Carpio
Published: September 03, 2014.
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