Written by 11:18 AM news

Gisela Colón: Quantum Shift

On view March 6 – May 29, 2021

Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) presents Quantum Shift featuring work by light and space artist Gisela Colón. This is the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. A virtual opening reception and artist talk will be held on March 18 at 6pm.

Gisela Colón (b. 1966) introduces mutable, transformational qualities in her practice using a unique sculptural language of Organic Minimalism. Colón produces objects that are seamless, featuring little to no edges, lines, or place for the viewer to rest their eye, nodding towards an energy of constant fluctuation and growth. Made from carbon fiber material using advanced aerospace technology, the “Pods,” “Monoliths,” and “Ellipsoids,” are light-weight yet durable objects, both from this earth and not of this earth, birthed from a symbiosis of high art and physical science.

The word “quantum,” relating to energy contained in matter within the universe, paired with the word “shift” referencing a physical change in movement or space, together symbolize a change in consciousness. Colón’s choice of the exhibition title brings vital attention to her belief in the power of interconnectivitity and the idea that the capabilities of the human race lie beyond a specific gender. To complement the conceptual, the viewer will experience the synergistic shift of form, color, movement, and time, as they explore the works in person or virtually. Quantum Shift is emblematic in positing the dawn of a new era, serving as a symbol for hope, and acting as a vehicle for positive transformation and renewal for the future.
Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Gisela Colón currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Gisela Colón Liquid Trapezoid (Red Gold), 2020, Blow-molded acrylic, 42 x 58 x 12 inches

Quantum Shift is sponsored by Leidos and will include an online viewing room, a video-walkthrough, and a series of public programs – to be announced soon. While Tephra ICA remains closed to the public, limited appointments, including those for press and media, are available. To schedule, please contact Sofia Blom at sblom@tephraica.org. For more information please visit tephraica.org.
Opening Reception and Artist Talk: March 18, 6pm. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A. FREE and open to the public. RSVP in advance at info@tephraica.org for Zoom Room link and password. Sponsored by Reston Community Center.

Gisela Colón
Liquid Triangle (Alpha), 2020 Blow, molded acrylic 20 x 20 x 8 inches

Formerly Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) was introduced earlier this year in a significant rebrand (Tephra ICA). The repositioning emerged as the institution’s programs, audience, and impact continued to evolve over the past several years, and the original name and acronym no longer aligned with the organization’s reach and vision. Learn more.

Tephra ICA is a non-profit, non-collecting institution committed to promoting innovative contemporary art and thinking. Leading with curiosity and care, the organization is a catalyst, generator, and advocate for visual arts. The institution is devoted to celebrating artists and values the power of art to broaden and shift perspectives, start difficult conversations, and consider alternative ideas.
Tephra ICA is supported in part by ARTSFAIRFAX, Reston Community Center, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Gisela Colón (b. 1966) is an American contemporary artist who has developed a unique sculptural language of Organic Minimalism, breathing life-like qualities into reductive forms. Operating at the intersection of art and science, Colón is best known for her pristine light-activated sculptures, created with innovative materials of the 21st century, such as optical acrylics and aerospace carbon fiber.

Colón has exhibited internationally throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Most recently, Colón presented a monumental site-specific installation in the Land Art Biennial, Desert X AlUla 2020 in Saudi Arabia. Her work is currently on view at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia in the exhibition A Very Anxious Feeling: Voices of Unrest in the American Experience, and at the Mint Museum in North Carolina in the exhibition In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art. Her work will be included in the traveling exhibition Light, Space, Surface: Southern California Art From LACMA’s Collection at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN (2021), Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts (2021-2022), and The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (2022).

Gisela Colón’s work resides in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), San Diego, CA; Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami, FL; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Grand Rapids Museum of Art (GRAM), Grand Rapids, MI; and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO, amongst others.

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, the artist now lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

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