The Mahler Project


MARCH 2008
A collection of oil paintings inspired by the life and music of Gustav Mahler
The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario

The Mahler Project is a journey into the mind and music of Gustav Mahler. Paula Arciniega’s Toronto debut launched her latest collection, The Mahler Project, a series of abstract paintings inspired by Mahler’s symphonies and Lieder. Paula has the infallible instincts of composing her paintings as a Master; making the deft choices of how the subject matter will be heightened with light, what will be cast into mysterious swirls of color and shadow, and choosing what color harmonies will support her visionary dramas in the strongest artistic light.


Gustav Mahler (July 7th, 1860 – May 18th, 1911) was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and conductor. He was best known during his own lifetime as one of the leading orchestral and operatic conductors of the day. He has since come to be acknowledged as among the most important late-romantic composers, although during his lifetime his music was never fully accepted by the musical establishment. Mahler composed primarily symphonies and songs; however, his approach to genre often blurred the lines between orchestral Lied, symphony, and symphonic poem.


The Mahler Project intertwines the artistic expression of Paula’s interpretation of Mahler’s music with the bold interplay of colour and texture intrinsic to her painting style. As articulated by Eugene Arciniega, Paula’s father, “Paula has the skillful virtue of all great artists – that is, Paula has the virtue of abdicating from the infringements of an overbearing ‘ego’. Her inspirations surge directly from her soul, unfurling its truth with true passion, unspoiled by the preening logic of misguided efforts to imitate. Her art bears the features of an intrinsic love of beauty, love of passion, and love of the exalted… Paula has the fearless courage to take risks and to mine deep into her soul.”