“Her paintings have grown larger, colors stronger and brighter (if that is possible) as her creative juices explode and burst before us. Not being able to stop at the end of the canvas, she now paints the frame to continue the color and essence of her subject.”
—Ruth Draper, former NEA Regional Director, former Utah Arts Council Director
“What might be said to be Spanish sensibility for dramatic gesture (even if this is in a glance) and a southern feeling for the intense colors of the sun and shadows filled with reflected color, combines with an unexpected northern or expressionistic note. In Pilar’s works there is an unexpected intensity of color that is chosen for personal rather than descriptive reasons. Color combinations overall, as well as particular colors chosen to depict areas in shadow or lower in
value show an emotional focus: it is not the appearance of things or an outward harmony that moves the viewer, but the strength of an inner pain and joy that is implied that is impressive. There is both a southern joie-de-vivre, and a northern angst.”
—A.R.T.S. Resource, San Francisco
”A Painter able to balance bold patterned content with vibrant fauve color, and do so at the edge of acceptability, must be a master.”
—Dr. Vern G. Swanson, Director, Springville Museum of Art
“When writing about Pilar Pobil’s paintings, it is a good idea to avoid all generalizations. This painter can use all categories of subject matter: portrait, still life, landscape, genre, narrative – but underlying everything is a content of intense, even passionate, feeling which overwhelms mere subject matter.
This painting is not everyone’s “dish of tea”. It is impossible to pigeonhole even as “expressionist”–which term will come to mind as one follows the rhythm of the exuberant and fierce laying on of paint, which often flows out onto the frames. Pilar’s spirited and free technique pushes the images out oat you, and you respond even as you resist. Watercolor backgrounds are a means of “puffing” out the painted figures, some of which seem “quilted” as they are formed first of clay glued to the support and then painted.
The truth is that everything this artist does comes from determination to use a varied personal experience to the utmost. She is familiar with the things that can be taught (anatomy, color relationships, composition) but refuses to be bound by any of it. This may put you off, as it is unexpected, unpredictable and seems inexhaustible.
Eventually you will be possessed by this energy and the strength of the private passion expressing itself in images totally recognizable, but which invite surreal interpretation – ambiguous, existing out of the plane of our ordinary experience.
Not everything is successful, if one tries to measure work against what one thinks is the painter’s intent. But, everything is interesting, sometimes funny, often perplexing, sometimes startling or even a little mad. Take a good look at “Tango Argentino” which sums it all up—or at the portraits, single or group, where relationships are at first easy and then baffling.
—E. Frank Sanguinetti, Director Utah Museum of Fine Arts