by Judith Hoffberg, ArtScene • November 07

Desy Safán-Gerard is a psychoanalyst who paints, a musician who translates music to the visual, an artist who reacts to geography and events in her life which need expression. Her earlier totemic paintings harken back to her Chilean roots, where her textures are manipulated in homage to nature mingled with ritual. But she is best known for her small, intimate works that make the viewer experience her feelings and thoughts about music, life, nature and even the lowly oak leaf. Incorporating elements of surrealism, abstraction and expressionism in her line and textural surfaces, Safán-Gerard varies the mood and the modulation to create an intuitive abstraction. Her work is lyrical and poetic, which for the artist leads into dream motifs (Santa Monica College Gallery, Santa Monica).

Probing the Psyche: the Art of Desy Safán-Gerard

by Roland Reiss, Dean, Department of Art, Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA • May 98

Ultimately all art is situated within an historical continuum and more recently it may be seen to exist within arguments characterizing the modern/postmodern dichotomy. The idea of the postmodern has been mutating rapidly through a series of ruptures which require that it be redefined almost annually. These ruptures have increasingly involved the unraveling of mainstream ideology and the questioning of belief in a progressive linear version of art history. As a consequence of these developments we have been able to see the value in art developed along less rigidly conventional and predictable lines. With fresh eyes we are now able to discover the pertinence to this moment of art which is personal in character and does not fit the established mold. It is in this kind of art we truly see the present and perhaps glimpse the future.


Tracing the Accidental

by Joan Hugo, Los Angeles • February 03

Chance Favors the Prepared Mind ~by Louis Pasteur

During her thirty years of art practice, Chilean-born artist Desy Safán-Gerard’s work has negotiated persistently between abstraction and figuration and between the accidental and the controlled. Early work included experiments with stain painting, where bright swaths of color swirled and dissolved into each other. But as a student of Los Angeles painter Keith Finch some years ago, she worked from the model as well, while also doing abstract line drawings on prepared sheets of watercolor-washed paper.


Desy Safán-Gerard: As in the Line

by Peter Frank, Los Angeles • April 03

If we cannot reduce works of art to single integral components, it is still possible in a body of artwork to identify an integer that, first among equals, seems to present itself as that body’s signatory characteristic. In Desy Safán-Gerard’s painting and work on paper that integer is line. As mark, stroke, vector, and contour, Safán-Gerard’s line is the key to her visual thinking, the armature around which she builds her pictorial world. Color often plays a vital role, of course; texture figures importantly and constantly; and images potently anchor the composition and message in many of Safán-Gerard’s works. But line – as line – is ever-present, ever-pronounced, and ever-persuasive.