Born in Canada and raised in Puerto Rico, Gisela Colon now lives in Los Angeles—the perfect place for an artist at the forefront of California’s Light and Space movement. As a child, Colon (b. 1966) and her scientist father and painter mother moved from Vancouver to San Juan, where Colon went on to earn a BA from the University of Puerto Rico in 1987. Having since made Los Angeles her home, Colon first worked in abstract paintings, which she exhibited until 2011. In 2012, inspired by the California landscape and in the tradition of Craig Kauffman, Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, and other members of 1950s and ’60s West Coast minimalism, Colon began diving into sculpture with an intense study of the writings of Donald Judd. Under the guidance of her mentor DeWain Valentine, Colon used Judd’s idea of “specific objects” as a point of departure, developing what she calls “non-specific objects”—biomorphic, blow-molded plastic shapes that call to mind seeds, bacteria, and living organisms on the cellular level. This area of warm hyper-minimal is distinctly her own. Colon's intimate melding of color and light plays off the material to give the objects their ambient color. Key to these curvilinear “Glo-Pods,” is their ability to change appearance depending upon external circumstances, which has been contrasted with the rigidity of the more masculine work, like Judd’s, in West Coast minimalism. Nevertheless, Colon and her forebears share an abiding interest in the power of light as material.
For the 2016 show Radiant Space at McClain Gallery, she was the only female artist represented alongside Light and Space stalwarts Larry Bell, Peter Alexander, and her friend and mentor Valentine. Colon has had solo exhibitions at Castellani Art Museum, Niagara, New York; International Museum of Art & Science, McAllen, Texas; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, California; Galerie Lausberg, Düsseldorf, Germany; and elsewhere. Her work can be found in various museums and private collections, including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, California; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California; Jarl Mohn Family Foundation; and Beth Rudin DeWoody Foundation.