Born in Ecuador, Lucía Falconí, who studied and lived for years in Germany, embodies the global concerns of many contemporary artists while retaining a very specific and sensitive connection to her own heritage. Rainforest imagery—huge leaves, exotic plants, and birds—becomes a metaphor for a changing physical and social environment. By abstracting and recombining elements from nature, she alludes to personal relationships, social connections, and the animism embedded in Ecuadorean culture, as well as her own emotional states. Falconí capitalizes on the properties of various sculptural media, using ornately embellished ceramics to suggest the lushness of the jungle, delicate white porcelain to imply fragility, cast bronze to reference permanence and stability, and carbon fiber to respond to change and technology. Her recent work—brightly colored tropical foliage formed from aluminum cans and elaborately framed portraits of indigenous people—conveys both hope and concern for her culture and natural environment... see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.