Blue Pyramid

Isabelle Borg (1959–2010)

Oil and mixed media on canvas. 87cm x 47cm. 1998.

Though Isabelle Borg was known mostly for her figurative and landscape works this piece forms part of her geometric abstract phase. Blue Pyramid eliminates all traces of figures, or architecture resulting in one of her most minimal works.

Created after her trip to Cairo in 1991 one may note that she was impressed by the quality of light, and influenced by the pyramids and Islamic architecture, which incorporates geometric shapes in its design. The use of geometry is thought to reflect the language of the universe and help the believer to reflect on life and the greatness of creation, something which left a lasting impact on Borg. The careful and calculated use of form and well-balanced colour scheme is what is striking yet paradoxically calming about this work.

This balance and meditative quality are repeated throughout her abstract works which formed part of her 2001 exhibition at St James Cavalier titled ‘Sol’. These works were created at an experimental phase when she used pure pigment in the preparation of the canvas. Her colours are intense, yet fragile and chalky due to the fact that pure pigment was mixed with the gesso base. She would at times allow the chalky base to show through the picture combining with wax mediums and varnishes which resulted in different effects of light and texture.  One may be tempted to compare her work to Nicolas de Stael (1914-1955) due to the similar way that line gives way to bold colour however, her work is more akin to the controlled spontaneity of Jackson Pollock (1914-1955) and the early work of Mark Rothko (1903-1970). To quote Isabelle Borg “It is more to do with experience than just a matter of construction and composition”, leaving interpretation open to the viewer.