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El Paso Museum of Art
Current Exhibitions

Gaspar Enríquez:  Metaphors of El Barrio
January 26, 2014  – May 11, 2014
Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery
   
Presented by
 

Gaspar Enriquez (American 1942 -   )
Tirando Tiempo (Doing Time), 1992
Acrylic on board, 48” x 36”
Collection of Joe Diaz

 
   

Gaspar Enriquez (American 1942 -   )
La Gabby in Red, 2012
Acrylic on board, 41” x 29”
Collection of Larry Mendez

 
 

Gaspar Enriquez (American 1942 -   )
Un Veterano Chingon, 2006
Acrylic on paper, 57” x 52” framed
Collection of Paul and Suzanna Dipp
 
After more than thirty years working as an artist Gaspar Enríquez is at last being recognized as one of El Paso’s most respected and hardest working artists. Gaspar Enríquez: Metaphors of El Barrio presented by CommUNITY en ACCIÓN presents artwork from throughout Enríquez’s career assembled from collections in El Paso, Texas and throughout the United States.
 
Enríquez is often identified as “the quintessential Chicano Texas artist,” although it would be correspondingly just as correct to describe him as an American, portrait painter who blends realism with contemporary popular culture.  Nevertheless, one could easily go down a list counting off the significant series of artworks and other accomplishments of Enríquez’s career: the wearable and the book-like metal objects of the La Familia series, the black and white full-figure portraits of the En la Esquina series, the artist portraits and metal heart icons of the Puro Corazon series, the publication of the twelve paintings of the Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez series. The list goes on but, does not even mention the artist’s involvement with numerous mural projects throughout El Paso, the years contributed as president of the Juntos Art Association or the three decades teaching art at Bowie High School.
 
Enríquez’s art has been continually admired, exhibited and collected because it is serious, real and confronts relevant issues. His subjects range from children to teenagers, from artists to everyday persons and typically depict persons from El Barrio, where the artist grew up. The slice of culture that Enríquez explores includes many details about the importance of traditions, family and identity in Mexican-American life. Integrating the iconography of youth culture, and Catholic and pre-Columbian religious simultaneously Enríquez subtly critiques/examines the bicultural, Chicano experience.
 
Even after retiring from teaching art Enríquez continues to balance numerous complex projects simultaneously. For example, for the last several years Enríquez has been deeply involved in the restoration of an ancient adobe building into studio spaces in the 400-year-old presidio of San Elizario in El Paso`s Mission Valley. And since 2012 Enríquez has been busy completing numerous sketches and several large portrait paintings as part of a commission for the new El Paso Baseball Stadium.
 
In addition to including over fifty paintings, prints and sculptures from 1983 - 2013 Gaspar Enríquez: Metaphors of El Barrio also includes a video interview with the artist and a book of the same title with texts by Constance Cortez, Ruben Cordova, Christian Gerstheimer, Benito Huerta and Lucy Lippard. Enríquez’s art has been included in many exhibitions throughout his career such as: CARA/ Chicano Art/Resistance and Affirmation 1965-1985, Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, Arte Caliente: Works from the Joe Diaz Collection and Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity.
 
Special Exhibition Ticketing
Non-member adults age 13+                                               $10
EPMA member adults, children age 12 and under                     FREE
Active Military personnel and their family with ID                     FREE
 
Tickets may be purchased upon arrival at the Museum Store during regular hours of operation.
 
[Click here] to see a short video of Gaspar Enríquez speaking about his art-making process.
 
 

 
Luis Jiménez: Native Son
February 9, 2014 – May 25, 2014
Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery
 
Luis Jiménez (American, 1940–2006)
Barfly – Statue of Liberty, 1969
Acrylic on fiberglass, 88” high
Gift of Suellen and Warren Haber
El Paso Museum of Art Collection
 
Complementing the museum’s concurrent retrospective devoted to Gaspar Enríquez, the smaller exhibition Luis Jiménez: Native Son features work from the permanent collection by an artist who served as an important role model to Enriquez. Significantly, both Enríquez and Jiménez before him served as significant mentors for a variety of Chicano artists in the region.
 
Sometimes called the “Godfather” of Chicano art, Luis Jiménez was born and raised in El Paso as the son of an immigrant father from Mexico. He went on to become one of El Paso’s first artists to gain national recognition. A sculptor, printmaker, and draftsman, Jiménez specialized in fiberglass and epoxy sculptures, lithographs and etchings, and colored-pencil drawings. In his art Jiménez celebrated humanity and his Mexican-American heritage.
 
Luis Jiménez: Native Son features lithographs and drawings ranging in subject from humans to animals, and including finished works as well as detail studies for the monumental figural sculpture Sodbuster (completed 1981). Variously narrative or allegorical, the images illustrate Jiménez’s attention to nature, humanity, the life of immigrants, and the world of the barrio.
 
One of the large color drawings in the exhibition was a commission by the Guild of the EPMA Association for the design of a poster announcing the exhibition Raíces antiguas, visiones nuevas = Ancient Roots, New Visions, which toured nationally in 1977-78. Jiménez utilized many of his prints to investigate ideas for sculpture, and Alligator Study relates to the monumental sculpture he created for the central square of El Paso, affectionately known as “La Plaza de los Lagartos.” The lithograph was gifted to the museum in 1995 by Frank Ribelin. Finally, in addition to Jiménez’s drawings and prints, the exhibition includes the 1996–98 fiberglass maquette for Fireman. Depicting a fireman shooting a hose onto a large flame, the composition expresses Jiménez’s admiration for ordinary workers. Notably, it also serves as an allegorical self-portrait of the artist, who learned to weld and airbrush in his father’s El Paso neon-sign shop.
 
Admission to the Museum and this exhibition are free to the public
 

 
Saint Anthony of Padua
December 1, 2013  – May 4, 2014
Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery: Retablo Niche 
 
Nicolás Enríquez (1704–c. 1790)
Saint Anthony of Padua, 1720
Ink/Copper, 6 ¾ x 9 inches
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Miller
1977.1.22
 
The latest in the series of themed exhibitions from the Museum’s growing collection of retablos is Saint Antony of Padua/ San Antonio de Padua. Established in the late 16th century Saint Antony of Padua retablos are meant to show contemplation of the mystical life of the Christ child.
 
Known as the patron saint of lost articles, unmarried women seeking a man and of the poor, Saint Anthony was born in Lisbon and is one of the most well-known Franciscans in the world after Saint Francis of Assisi. Saint Anthony is often depicted as a younger man without a beard wearing the Franciscan robe of blue or brown with Christ in his arms and holding either a lily or a book. The retablos included in this exhibition depict Saint Antony of Padua indoors, outdoors and at times in heaven. The Christ Child almost always wears red and either holds a cross or a flower.
 
Seventeen of these eighteen works of art from the 18th and 19th centuries were produced by trained and self-taught anonymous, Mexican artists whose spiritual devotion to this subject motivated their artistic abilities. The eighteenth retablo in this exhibition (depicted below/above) is actually a signed, early retablo by the distinguished yet understudied artist Nicolás Enríquez (1704–c. 1790).
 

 
 Ricardo Chavarria: 41, 47, 50-53, 59, 60, 61
February 23, 2014 – June 29, 2014
Gateway Gallery
 
Ricardo Chavarria (American 1980 -     )
47, 2012
Acrylic on canvas, 48" x 40"
Fernandez-Stevenson Collection
  
The bold acrylic abstractions of Ricardo Chavarria emanate and pulse with color, light, and a unique internal energy, which seems to both radiate and move back within itself. Several of Chavarria’s paintings—some of them executed in the last year and appearing for the first time—will be featured through spring 2014 in the EPMA’s Gateway Gallery. The artist’s captivating compositions combine the transcendental presence of Western color-field painting or Eastern sand mandalas with contemporary LED-like color and industrial-looking surfaces. Chavarria uses plastic syringes and squeeze bottles to apply his thick paint. The resulting creations are the product of an interesting tension of processes: improvisation of color and design choices evolving within the strict parameters of an initial center point and grid system, and time-intensive labor producing a uniform surface akin to manufactured rubber.
 
Born in El Paso in 1980, Chavarria has for the past year been working in a studio in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He began focusing exclusively on painting in 2008, following studies at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, Arizona, and a career as a sound and recording engineer in New York. One of Chavarria’s paintings appeared in the EPMA Artists on Art series in summer–fall 2012, and from 15 May to 23 June 2013 five of his works were featured at the contemporary art gallery The Proposition in New York, which represents the artist.
 

 

 

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