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Luis Cruz Azaceta Studio Tour

news item text: Here is the full video of our Online Studio Visit with Luis Cruz Azaceta! Azaceta gives us a tour of his “bunker” as he discusses the beginnings of his career in New York, his history with the gallery and his current exhibition. He explains what inspires him as an artist and his painting process, along with the background of his current series, Innocent Incongruities. We also get a glimpse of some of Azaceta’s newest paintings, relating to the work on view in Personal Velocity: 40 Years of Painting.

 

newsletter text: Though our current exhibition of Luis Cruz Azaceta’s drawings and paintings is temporarily closed to the public, we reached out to him back at his studio in New Orleans. He gave us a tour of the “bunker” and talked about his new series, including the painting he was currently working on (Luis finished it just in time for it to appear in its finished state at
the end of the video!). Luis’s history with the gallery goes back decades - he had his first show with Allan Frumkin in 1975. Since then, he’s been a regular with the gallery, most recently with a solo exhibition of major paintings from the 1980s, back in the fall of 2018. What sets Luis apart as an artist is not only his dedication, but his ability to re-invent his style while remaining true to his subject. In the video he explains,

 

I don’t like to be repeating myself and for the work to become totally manneristic and mechanical. That’s boring to me. I like to be surprised in the process, you know, creating things that I don’t expect, and that’s what keeps me excited and moving forward.


- which perfectly sums up his current show at the gallery. Juxtaposing two distinct bodies of work more than 30 years removed from each other, “Personal Velocity” is less a snapshot of an artist coming full circle than of one constantly honing his craft. Though Luis has never shied away from difficult subject matter, perhaps paradoxically he intends his art to hold beauty. He also insists on “content” in his paintings; having studied at SVA in the ‘60s, he is dismissive of the idea of ‘art for art’s sake’, instead seeing the role of the artist as a social one.

 

...in order for the content to transcend, the painting has to be beautiful. And I’m hoping that I’ve accomplished that.

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Luis Cruz Azaceta sitting in front of his painting Incubation, 2020.

Though our current exhibition of Luis Cruz Azaceta’s drawings and paintings is temporarily closed to the public, we reached out to him back at his studio in New Orleans. He gave us a virtual tour of the “bunker” and talked about his new series, including the painting he was currently working on (Luis finished it just in time for it to appear in its finished state at the end of the video!). Luis’s history with the gallery goes back decades - he had his first show with Allan Frumkin in 1975. Since then, he’s been a regular with the gallery, most recently with a solo exhibition of major paintings from the 1980s, back in the fall of 2018. What sets Luis apart as an artist is not only his dedication, but his ability to re-invent his style while remaining true to his subject. In the video he explains,

"I don’t like to be repeating myself and for the work to become totally manneristic and mechanical. That’s boring to me. I like to be surprised in the process, you know, creating things that I don’t expect, and that’s what keeps me excited and moving forward."

- which perfectly sums up his current show at the gallery. Juxtaposing two distinct bodies of work more than 30 years removed from each other, “Personal Velocity” is less a snapshot of an artist coming full circle than of one constantly honing his craft. Though Luis has never shied away from difficult subject matter, perhaps paradoxically he intends his art to hold beauty. He also insists on “content” in his paintings; having studied at SVA in the ‘60s, he is dismissive of the idea of ‘art for art’s sake’, instead seeing the role of the artist as a social one.

"...in order for the content to transcend, the painting has to be beautiful. And I’m hoping that I’ve accomplished that."

Text/Image Swiper