Goldfinch is pleased to present a solo exhibition by the Chicago-based artist Sofía Fernández Díaz. Fernández Díaz, who hails from Mexico City, combines experimentation, intuition, and play to discover unexpected commonalities between disparate materials. She is inspired by naturally occurring patterns and formations in the natural world, which she recreates through mediums such as beeswax, fibers, glass, and natural dyes in mixed media works that form sensual, immediate, and visceral connections with viewers.
"For the last year I've been making Patitas, which are tiny legs," Fernández Díaz explains. "This has been a huge connection with the objects that I collect, it's like I'm interviewing them [and] thinking through their histories and stories. The patitas are allowing these objects to stand in space in such a different way. It gives them a stance, a characteristic for them to come alive. Patitas have brought playfulness and humor into my process and work."
An underlying characteristic of all of Fernández Diaz's sculptures is the fluidity of their material nature. The artist's intuitive and exploratory approach aims to recognize and act upon the inherent potential of everything in the world around her. "I am looking for the transformative aspect of each material, homing in on the little shifts that will allow them to become sculptures," she notes. "How does material act, how does it perform? How do they change? How do they form? How does gravity allow them to react?"
Many of the sculptures on view are small enough to cup in the palm of one's hand, a scale that Fernández Diaz hopes will encourage viewers to mentally hold them closer, to see them as objects that are at once alien and familiar. "For me, there is an urge to engage with them physically, to know their edges, softness, sharpness, tactility; imagining the possibility of moving it around your hand becomes an easy bridge to get to know the thing you are looking at."
Sofía Fernández Díaz came to Chicago after receiving the Joan Livingston scholarship to earn her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies at SAIC. After graduating, she was selected to receive a Spark grant by Chicago Artist Coalition and invited to hold a 2023 Radicle Studio Residency at Hyde Park Art Center. She previously earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a degree in Art Anthropology from CIESAS in Mexico City.
In addition to being exhibited, published, and collected both nationally and internationally, Sofía has spent more than a decade exchanging ideas with artisans across Mexico, sharing her documentation and intimate knowledge of their processes and daily rituals through workshops on natural pigments and dying.