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b. 1920, Venezuela

Luchita Hurtado Biography

Born in Maiquetía, Venezuela, in 1920, Luchita Hurtado has dedicated seventy years of her painting and drawing practice to the investigation of universality and transcendence. Developing her artistic vocabulary through a coalescence of abstraction, mysticism, corporality and landscape, the breadth of her experimentation with unconventional techniques, materials and styles speak to the multicultural and experiential contexts that have shaped her life and career. Hurtado emigrated to the United States in 1928, settling in New York where she attended classes at the Art Students League. She relocated to Mexico City in the late 1940s and, in the following decade, moved to San Francisco Bay, making frequent visits to Taos, New Mexico, and ultimately settling in Los Angeles.

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Although she associated with a vast network of internationally renowned artists and intellectuals, including members of Dynaton, Mexican muralists, and Surrealists, Hurtado’s practice has always remained an independent pursuit. Her body of work is cohered through an examination of self-affirmation, introduced in her early period from the 1940s to the 1960s in an output defined by surrealist figuration, biomorphism and geometric abstraction, executed in brightly hued palettes with striking expressive range. Hurtado’s work continued to evolve throughout the 1960s and 1970s, demonstrating a marked shift toward naturalistic representation and figuration that led to a production of contemplative self-portraits known as her ‘I am’ paintings. Asserting her presence through a personal perspective of the body— rendered from above at skewed angles— Hurtado coalesces our gaze with hers, creating a depth of field activated by the unexpected position of the floor as a backdrop, juxtaposing soft corporeal lines against the hard edge geometric patterns of a Southwestern rug. This series was followed by a group of surrealist Body Landscapes wherein the human figure assumes the form of mountains and desert sand dunes. Functioning as a symbolic proxy and an intimate meditation on the Earth as mystic progenitor, these works underscore the interconnection between corporeality and the natural world— a delicate balance that is now in jeopardy. Hurtado recognizes the urgency of this ecological crisis and her environmental advocacy continues to inform and suffuse the ever-expansive visual language of her work.

Exhibition view: Luchita Hurtado, Just Down the Street, Hauser & Wirth, Zürich (11 May–31 July 2020). © Luchita Hurtado. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Luchita Hurtado Featured Artworks

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Distant Gravity of a Day by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoDistant Gravity of a Day, 1977Oil on canvas
101.6 x 51.1 x 3.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Untitled by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoUntitled, c. 1961Graphite and ink on paper
30.5 x 22.9 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Untitled by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoUntitled, 1961Acrylic, ink, and pastel on paper
61 x 45.7 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Just Down the Street by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoJust Down the Street, 1965Oil on paper
46.4 x 60.3 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Untitled by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoUntitled, c. 1968Oil on paper
61 x 48.3 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Untitled by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoUntitled, c. 1957/1968Oil and conte on paper
61 x 48.3 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Untitled by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoUntitled, 1965Acrylic on paper
59.7 x 45.1 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Portrait by Luchita Hurtado contemporary artwork
Luchita HurtadoPortrait, 1965/1968Oil on paper
61 x 48.3 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery

Luchita Hurtado Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Luchita Hurtado, Just Down the Street at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
Open Now
11 May–31 July 2020 Luchita Hurtado Just Down the Street Hauser & WirthZürich
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Beside Itself at Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong
Closed
30 April–30 June 2020 Group Exhibition Beside Itself Hauser & WirthOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Material Actions at Hauser & Wirth, St. Moritz
Closed
7 July–8 September 2019 Group Exhibition Material Actions Hauser & WirthSt. Moritz

Luchita Hurtado Represented By

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz

Luchita Hurtado In Ocula Magazine

Frieze Los Angeles: Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Los Angeles: Shows to See By Tessa Moldan, Los Angeles

Los Angeles' art scene has a lot to offer during Frieze Los Angeles, with galleries, non-profits, and museums gearing up for the fair's second edition between 14 and 17 February 2020. In this Ocula Lowdown, Tessa Moldan lists a selection of the city's must-see shows.

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Luchita Hurtado In Related Press

Finally, a Deeper Look at Luchita Hurtado’s Long Career Related Press Finally, a Deeper Look at Luchita Hurtado’s Long Career 17 October 2019, Hyperallergic

LONDON — The Venezuelan-born American artist Luchita Hurtado is among a group of women artists finally getting their due as nonagenarians. At 98, her exhibition at London's Serpentine Gallery, I Live I Die I Will Be Reborn, is her first solo show in a public institution. Earlier this year she had a solo show at Hauser & Wirth, New York...

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