‘Miradas’ Mexican art exhibit offers depth, drama

JOHN BRANDENBURG
For The Oklahoman
Modified: February 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm •  Published: February 15, 2012
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photo - Javier Chavira,
Javier Chavira, "El guerrero" (The Warrior), acrylic and crayon on paper

/> Tamayo’s starkly simplified, earth-toned 1980 etching of a man’s “Head with a Hat” is totem-like, while his lithograph of a wild looking dog, with a lurid open mouth, baying at the moon, has plenty of playful pizzazz.

Cryptic and hard-hitting is “The Prisoner,” a tempera-charcoal drawing by Alfredo Ramos Martinez, of a captive in a sombrero, looking out helplessly from a claustrophobic forest of armed, sombrero-wearing guards.

Masterful, too, is a rich, glowing, green-hued lithograph by Hungarian-Mexican artist Gunther Gerzso which translates the image of “a woman of the jungle” into flat, abstract shapes, like cut pieces of paper.

Among outstanding works by later artists are a stylized yet forceful acrylic-crayon profile of “The Warrior,” by Javier Chavira, and an abstract lithograph by Gustavo Ramos Rivera reminiscent of Arshile Gorky.

Three other excellent works are contributed by Graciela Iturbide, Miguel Castro Lenero and Alejandro Colunga.

A woman seems part of the oakum she is selling in Iturbide’s black-and-white photograph, and the golden coil of a snail emerges from a scumbled blue “mountain” in Lenero’s abstract oil painting.

Wildly animated and wonderfully macabre is Colunga’s 1980 lithograph of a masked, broadly gesturing, nearly monstrous “Boy with Tricycle.”

Containing more than 90 works by artists on both sides of the Mexican-American border, the exhibit is highly recommended and shouldn’t be missed during its run through May 4. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free. Call 951-0000 or visit the website at www.cityartscenter.org for information.