Jennifer López Ayala
Surrounded by countless monochrome eggshells, our gaze glides over Jennifer López Ayala's mosaic-like installations that stretch across walls and floors. Her installations, which number up to 100,000 individual broken eggshell fragments, evolve from local to monumental. Instead of overwhelming the eye with multiplicity, however, the geometrically arranged shell halves create a sense of infinity.
Jennifer López Ayala only discovered the artistic potential of the eggshell as a medium and object later in her liberal arts studies at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, where she studied under Helmut Federle and Katharina Grosse between 2007 and 2014. She received her academy diploma as a master student of Katharina Grosse. The latter supported Jennifer López Ayala in her artistic development and who recognised and encouraged her interest in sculptural space.
Since her time as a student, the artist has been honoured many awards. Including the scholarship for the promotion of gifted artists of the Cusanuswerk (2010-2015), the artist was awarded e.g., with the PwC 10 Years Follow Up Best of the Best Award (2019). She was also shortlisted for the FBZ Art Prize (2018) and in the Jury Selection "Terzett", the ZERO Foundation (2022). Her works are represented in renowned collections such as HSBC Trinkaus (Düsseldorf), National-Bank AG (Essen) and the Städtische Kunstsammlung Neuss. In 2020, she exhibited at the Langen Foundation Neuss as part of Art Against Hunger II, Artgate & Sotheby's for Deutsche Welthungerhilfe.
Driven by a fundamental interest in the physical and psychological potential of space, López Ayala contrasts the sensitive, rough surface of the egg with a strict geometric order. Jennifer López Ayala deliberately uses black and white for her works, as the eggshell already incorporates a spectrum of colour nuances when the light refracts off its sharp edges and is reflected on the surface. The artist describes her practice as "spacial painting". Spacial painting, that is painting in space – painting with space. With a view to its physical possibilities and limitations. Breaking open, revealing, restructuring. Starting from the basic form, colour, light and mood of a space, López Ayala works incessantly to expose existing spatial structures in order to challenge spatial boundaries and already existing spectrums of movement.
With partly aggressive lines, the artist lets her installations meet the personal zones of the viewers, who need to position themselves in the space. In the direct confrontation, the broken eggshell evokes the most diverse reactions: from the impulse to absolute destruction, to a loving caress – the broken egg is an emotional implosion.
The resulting confrontation between space, destroyed shell and the viewers, arises from the artist's desire to overcome trauma and is dedicated to exploring a path through and out of brokenness. This path is irrevocably also a physical one, for emotional trauma manifests itself not only as a mental legacy, but also leaves physical traces.
Eventually, at the centre of the installations are the viewers themselves, whose pace is slowed, who can move safely in the contemplative space. Starting from the personal space of each person, the artist enters in what she calls the "Holy Ground". A sacred breeding ground belonging to her works, that she hosts and deacidifies through the eggshells.
Ultimately, in her installations we encounter contemplative places that alternately condense and clear up again.
"No space is absolute," says López Ayala about her approach to spaces, which she subjects to a transformative process with her installations. She doesn't want to get stuck in old structures, doesn't want to tread the same paths again and again. With each installation, she leaves a piece behind and makes room for the next confrontation, because "I am a house with many rooms".
1981 born in Dusseldorf, Germany
lives and works in Neuss
2015 Diploma in Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Munich, with Prof. Katharina Grosse
2014 Master student with Prof. Katharina Grosse
2007-2015 Studies of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Dusseldorf with Prof. Helmut Federle, Prof. Siegfried Anzinger and Prof. Katharina Grosse