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Alquimia III (Alchemy III)

A work made of strips of linen and cotton, plain weave with exposed warps; applied gesso; painted with gold leaf and pigment; joined by knotted extended ground weft fringe.

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  • A work made of strips of linen and cotton, plain weave with exposed warps; applied gesso; painted with gold leaf and pigment; joined by knotted extended ground weft fringe.

Date:

1983

Artist:

Olga de Amaral (Colombian, born 1932)
Bogotá, Columbia

About this artwork

Alquimia III comes from Olga de Amaral’s largest series of more than 40 works on the subject of alchemy, which she began in the early 1980s. The work’s title refers to pseudoscientific attempts to turn cheap metal into pure gold. In Amaral’s hands, simple materials—in this case, linen, cotton, and pigment—are transformed into something valuable by artistry and the addition of gold leaf. She was inspired by the Japanese practice of kintsugi, in which artisans repair broken pottery by sealing the cracks with gold, thus celebrating imperfections.

Status

On View, Gallery 59

Department

Textiles

Artist

Olga de Amaral

Title

Alquimia III (Alchemy III)

Place

Colombia (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1983

Medium

Strips of linen and cotton, plain weave with exposed warps; applied gesso; painted with gold leaf and pigment; joined by knotted extended ground weft fringe

Inscriptions

362 "Alquimia III" 1983-OLGA DE AMARAL [recto, sewn to lower rt. corner; text written in black ink on cloth tag, painted white]

Dimensions

204.5 × 79.4 cm (80 1/2 × 31 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Nicole Williams Contemporary Textile Fund

Reference Number

1986.1006

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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