Los Angeles artist Victor Estrada to premiere 3 major new paintings at NYU’s 80wse Windows Gallery.
80WSE is proud to present Victor Estrada’s exhibition “Figures in an American Landscape: Lusus naturae,” in its 80wse Windows Gallery. The exhibition of three large new paintings made especially for this presentation will be the artists first solo show in New York City in fifteen years. “Figures in an American Landscape: Lusus naturae” was organized by 80WSE curator Michael Cohen.
Seen together the paintings form a loose triptych. Each figure consists of a brown protean surrealist mass – an earth mother-ish figure in the first, a large globular mass in the second and a floating figure with a skull beneath it in the last.
The artist says of these works “At stasis and free floating, the figures imply movement through external space and internal space …. The space is American and Mexican and personal.” This “American Landscape …. allows for different spaces to be alluded to such as: nature, urban, suburban, psychological, sexual, political, financial, cyber or other spaces.”
“I see the paint as a material, kind of like mud. It's like a living thing
which can be piled on itself until it becomes something. It creates thought as it moves around on the surface. … It's like magic. It opens a door to another world.”
“They are figures which allude to sexual tensions and pleasures and are also having a hard time becoming one thing. … They are overwhelmed by their generative qualities, yet they … are comfortable with their ambiguity. What they are is not certain. They are monsters of a sort.”
“I would also like to suggest that with current immigration issues being resolved .... .the American landscape will formally change again. … it is a self that is being recreated ....”
Issues of change, mutability and excess have been part of Estrada’s oeuvre since the beginning of his career. While complex in association, the paintings can be seen to convey the hybridity and psychological change that lies within the formation of an American identity. As well, themes of fertility and mortality make their appearance for this first time in Estrada’s 80WSE works.
Victor Estrada has had solo exhibitions at Shoshana Wayne Gallery (Los Angeles), Finesilver Gallery (Texas) and Friedrich Petzel Gallery (New York). Recent group exhibitions include “After the Gold Rush: Reflections and Postscripts on the National Chicano Moratorium of August 29th, 1970,” Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA ; and “Phantom Sightings,” El Museo del Barrio & Americas Society, New York, NY, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ and Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico. Victor Estrada was also a major participant in the seminal LA exhibition “Helter Skelter” in 1992. The artist holds a BFA and MFA from Art Center College of Art and Design where he worked closely with Mike Kelley. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
For further information please contact Hugh O’Rourke at 80WSE Gallery, 212-998-5747. 80WSE Gallery is located at 80 Washington Square East in Greenwich Village. It is part of NYU/Steinhardt’s Art and Education Department.