Way Stations – Joan Belmar

September 13 – December 21, 2019

Way Stations features a stunning assortment of new abstract paintings by New York-based artist Joan Belmar. Spherical forms, often filled with transparent textural passages, populate Belmar’s compositions and are often combined with segmented lines, dots, and portal-like constructions. “Circles represent the infinite”, says Belmar, adding that they “suggest, like a Russian doll that contains one inside the other, world or way stations within other worlds.”

Belmar offers multiple vantage points and structures in his compositions. It’s as if we are looking at surface topographies of unnamed planets through a telescope, or perhaps glancing down at outstretched maps to plot routes through unknown terrain. A focal point of the exhibition is an expansive wall showcasingtwo tondo paintings, each 92 inches in diameter, which were created especially for the UMMA exhibition. These circular works highlight the collage-like approach and layering seen in many of artist’s compositions—solid blocks and bands of bold color share space with spherical forms that have a pattern overlay of hand-painted dots.

Belmar was born in Chile and immigrated to the United States in 1999. His works are in the collections of the Microsoft Corporation, Capital One Corporation, and Fidelity Investment, among others.

Belmar Polaris image    Belmar Constellations Red image


JOAN BELMAR (Chilean and American, born Chile 1970). Polaris, 2019. Acrylic, oil, and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

JOAN BELMAR (Chilean and American, born Chile 1970). New Constellations/Red, 2019. Acrylic, oil, and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist.