Constanza López Schlichting: Via Crucis
Constanza López Schlichting
Two years ago I was commissioned to do a painting in memory of the 11M attacks in Madrid (year 2004). I made a series of drawings of people who were helping each other by physically carrying one another. I called this work ‘Human’ because it is in situations of pain and need that our most human side is reborn. One of these works looked like a descent. A woman was holding an almost dead body. When I finished the painting, I put a red stain on its side. Thinking of all those who had been killed in this cruel way, I had to remember the One who had died like this, before everyone else, and had overcome death.
This work was selected for the first Biennial of Contemporary Religious Art held by the Spanish diocese of Plasencia (to which I offer my congratulations for this necessary initiative) and my work was exhibited in the cathedral of that city along with other works.
Jesus taken prisoner; Ecce homo
In my painting a new facet arose, a new ‘aroma’, as Eduardo Chillida would say. In art you cannot force anything. You work, and then things either come up or they do not. Gradually the desire to speak of this Man – our Lord – began to emerge in me. First because the encounter with Christianity is the most important thing that has happened to me in my life. And secondly because I have been able to continue to dedicate myself to painting as a profession, which is often unpredictable, painful, always risky, because I am convinced that it is a vocation. I respond to Another. Since then I have begun to think: how can I not talk about Christ if Christ is the most important thing to me?
I believe that this Via Crucis, this Way of the Cross, despite its faults and its smallness, has been inspired by the Lord. In the wood shop they cut me a board and 14 parts came out. ‘I am going to paint a Way of the Cross,’ I said to myself. After more than half a year people in the diocese of Granada happened to see the paintings. The chapel of St. John Paul II at the Center of Higher Studies of La Inmaculada needed a Way of the Cross. I had also chosen to follow the Biblical Way of the Cross of St. John Paul II. Another ‘coincidence’.
Perhaps what may be different from other Stations of the Cross is that it has not been painted as a series. And that it responds to a totally free expression. Each scene inspired a dominant color. I painted the stations in a skipped manner and over several months. And each one is a painting in itself. In doing so, I was very inspired by Mel Gibson's film ‘The Passion’. I have painted and drawn actors at other times as one of my sisters is an actress and I have accompanied them in rehearsals. Some of the characters are inspired by Peter Cámeron's ‘The Women They Loved’.
Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem; Jesus on the Cross
That people can pray with my painting is something precious, it is a gift. The Way of the Cross has been installed in its place, but it could not be inaugurated because two days later the university was closed due to the pandemic caused by Covid-19...
See all the paintings here: /userfiles/files/Via Crucis Biblico Granada 2020 CLSchl_EN.pdf
Constanza López Schlichting was born in Spain. She has a BA in Art History from the Complutense University of Madrid and there she also completed courses in drawing, modelling and ceramics. In 1998 she moved to Berlin where she studied drawing, painting and engraving at the School of Fine Arts (HdK) with painter Klaus Fussmann. As a result of her friendship with Berlin painter Achim Niemann she developed a taste for a simple and minimal language. Her training was further enriched by taking courses with masters such as Alfredo Piquer, Joan Hernández Pijoan and Antonio López. For several years she painted in the cities of Madrid and Milan, exhibiting in Italy, Spain, Germany, Panama and the USA. She has participated in various international fairs, e.g. in the International Art Fair Estampa in 2017 (together with the Montsequi Art Gallery). She was selected in different national and international competitions such as the Reina Sofia competition in Madrid, the BACS biennial of religious art in the French city of Menton, and the biennial of San Lucas in Plasencia. She has had almost twenty solo exhibitions in Europe and more than thirty group exhibitions. Her work can be found in public and private collections. On the internet you can find Constanza under: