Miguel Arzabe makes vibrant abstract paintings in oil and acrylic. They take visual cues from indigenous weavings of the Americas and modernist painting. His process proceeds through actions borrowed from the history of abstract expressionism - paint is poured, smeared, pressed, pooled, pulled, sprayed, wiped, and brushed. There is a tension between control and chance mark-making. Crisscrossing swaths of parallel strips are applied to the support during the process of building up layers, masking certain areas and echoing the form of the weave.
In tandem with painting, Arzabe works across other media, such as video and paper weaving. Ideas migrate and overlap freely between the subjective realm of painting and other conceptual modes of making. The work as a whole addresses issues of agency, progress, how value is created, and existential conundrums. “Arzabe draws all these and more allusive threads together into a raggedy but visually arresting fabric.” - Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle