When people ask me where I am from, I instantly respond, “Do you mean where I was born, where I grew up, or where I live now?” Cuba, Texas, Florida? All of them? None of them? Cuban? American? Cuban-American? Maybe I exist only on the Hyphen…where ever that is. I honestly do not yet have an answer to what seems like a simple question to most people but below is an attempt to summarize at least who I am as an artist: what I do & have done.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHY: Lilian Garcia-Roig
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1966, she was raised and worked in Texas for 30 years but now lives and works in Tallahassee, Florida. Her latest works feature large-scale on-site painting installations of dense landscapes that overwhelm the viewer’s perceptual senses. Each individual painting is created over the course of the day in an intense wet-on-wet cumulative manner that underscores the complex nature of trying to capture first-hand the multidimensional and ever-changing experience of being in that specific location.
Formally her works are as much about the materiality of the paint and the physicality of the painting process as they are about mixing and mashing the illusionist possibilities of painting with its true abstract nature. On a more personal level all of the on-site works she has made are, at their core, about trying to negotiate the complex propositionsof sense of place and belonging which so influence the construction of personal identity. It turns out her creative work, like her life, has always been about reconciliation and improvisation.
She has shown nationally at such places as the Americas Society Gallery in NYC, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Art Museum of the Americas, both in Washington D.C and at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in CA and extensively in the south, especially in Texas and Florida. Internationally, she has shown at the Chopo Museum in Mexico City and Byblos Art Gallery in Verona, Italy.
Her MFA is from the University of Pennsylvania (1990) and her BFA is from Southern Methodist University (1988). From 1991 to 2000 she was a tenured Associate Professor of Studio Art at the University of Texas at Austin and in 2001 was a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Art Practice before deciding to move to Tallahassee where she became the Director of Graduate Studies in Studio Art at Florida State University from 2002-2008. She is currently a professor and serves as Chair of the Department of Art.
In 2021 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts. Other major awards include a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting, a Mid-America Arts Alliance/NEA Fellowship Award in Painting, State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award in painting & a Kimbrough Award from the Dallas Museum of Art. Residencies include a Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Artists Fellowship, MacDowell Colony Milton & Sally Avery Fellowship, Joan Mitchell Center A-I-R and a visiting artist at the Ludwig Foundation in Havana, Cuba.