Paloma Contreras Lomas and Ines Doujak Are Here to Make You Think

In showing Contreras Lomas and Doujak together, CARA has created opportunities to examine hierarchies of race, class and gender in new ways.

A car embellished with many large colorful sculptural elements, including some made from textiles
A Paloma Contreras Lomas art car with Ines Doujak collages. Photo courtesy of Center for Art, Research and Alliances, credit Luis Corzo

At first glance, pairing the work of rising star Paloma Contreras Lomas and established multidisciplinary artist Ines Doujak—as the Center for Art, Research and Alliances (CARA) has done—seems like it could be a juxtaposition. Contreras Lomas (b. 1991) and Doujak (b. 1959) come from different generations. Hail from different nations. Work in very different styles. But that work, however dissimilar, is very much focused on critiquing patriarchal systems—and in showing Contreras Lomas and Doujak together, opportunities arise for examining hierarchies of race, class and gender in new ways.

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CARA executive director and chief curator of the exhibition Manuela Moscoso told Observer that her intention with “Paloma Contreras Lomas and Ines Doujak” was to “foster a space where these profound dialogues can unfold organically… sparking contemplation and perhaps even transformative insights.”

A lifesize pink sculpture of Medusa about to bang two cymbals together while riding a goat
Ines Doujak’s ‘Hope Against Hope’ (2023) in the foreground; Contreras Lomas’ ‘Doctrina Monroe’ (2020) in the background. Photo courtesy of Center for Art, Research and Alliances, credit Luis Corzo

It would be easy to declare Doujak’s Hope Against Hope (2023) the most striking work on display, if only for the styrofoam, wood and metal sculpture’s size and intensity. Pepto pink, large and unabashedly naked, the subject seems poised to make a furious or possibly wildly triumphant noise as she straddles a similarly roseate goat in the act of bucking. Ditto for Contreras Lomas’ life-size car installation—the latest in a series—festooned with an overwhelming grouping of characters, flora, entwining limbs and what could be a monumental plush knife or a ghost wearing an elongated top hat.

A video screen installation hangs on a colorful wall
One of Contreras Lomas’ video works. Photo courtesy of Center for Art, Research and Alliances, credit Luis Corzo

Perhaps more interesting, however, are Contreras Lomas’s drawings and Doujak’s Ghostpopulations collages, all of which are rich in both detail and meaning and offer a lot for exhibition visitors to visually digest. Together they create, as Moscoso put it, a “compelling feminist narrative,” even if the theme is not always immediately clear.

A black and white drawing is displayed on one wall while a 3D sculpture hangs from another
A large drawing by Contreras Lomas. Photo courtesy of Center for Art, Research and Alliances, credit Luis Corzo

Both artists have worked diligently to open the door to interpretation in the hope that the viewer will put in a similar level of effort. “Though previously unacquainted with each other and with distinct aesthetics,” she added, “Contreras Lomas and Doujak share a political approach that prioritizes the attempt rather than providing definitive answers.” Whether that feels empowering or like a chore will depend on how you prefer to consume art. Here, active consumption is rewarded.

Paloma Contreras Lomas and Ines Doujak” is on view at CARA through May 12.

A installation of colorful textile art
Elements of Doujak’ ‘HOPE IS A THING WITH FEATHERS’ (2024). Photo courtesy of Center for Art, Research and Alliances, credit Luis Corzo

Paloma Contreras Lomas and Ines Doujak Are Here to Make You Think