Strong Art in Juarez

Friday night saw the opening of the 4th showing of works of Chihuahua artists at INBA. This event sponsored by, among others, the Casa Redonda, the contemporary art museum in Chihuahua as well the the State govenment, the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Arts and the Museo de Arte in Juarez is the result of a contest among artists in the State of Chihuahua who had to create new works for the show. For the first time, this exposicion is being shown in Juarez.
There are 13 artists showing all of whom demonstrate interesting and different sensibilities. Though not all of the works are successful, or equally strong it is an excellent show in which virtually all of the artists show a facility with classical art training but in the service of very personal sensibility. Everyone seems to have studied extensively with different teachers and it shows.
Nicias Miguel Aridjis, originally from Michoacan, has a very strange surreal painting involving large insects a somewhat angst ridden figure but set in a curious broken field of grey green.
Cecilia La Catrina Briones here has a strong abstract painting blacks and red united by a white bar threading its way between the two. The title indicates it concerns itself with walking of rpeace.
Esteban Lopez Quezado paints very heartfelt works which involve collage, a strong awareness of anatomy but in the service of emotional themes involving exposed bleeding hearts among other things.
Alfredo Tellez (Bandido) uses surrealism in a painting set in a brown color fields of what appears a religious scene except the woamn who appears almostt saintlike is carrying an umbrella to protect against the heavy rains.
Issaac Yapor Blanco paints his portraits on chairs-they stare hauntingly from the back and seat.
Vidal Rios Rangel has been simplifying the human form to abstraction and here extends the working with the abstract.
There are others and as I said, not all are equally successful, but all show an awareness of and a working with strong art techniques, and as I have said in a previous post it is precicely in this return to strong formal technique combined with a highly personal sensibility that we can create a new form of strong visual art.-david sokolec

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