Mini Didactic 5
Fri, 09/04/2020 – 16:39
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Oil on canvas
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth © Luchita Hurtado
Photo: Jeff McLane/Hauser & Wirth
Although Hurtado’s art practice took place mostly in private for almost eight decades, the one exception was in 1974, when she exhibited a group of large-scale paintings at the storied Woman’s Building in Los Angeles. The paintings here—a partial reconstitution of the works from the 1974 show—appear at first to be geometric abstractions, but most contain embedded words and phrases. Some of the canvases Hurtado cut into strips, reconfigured, and stitched back together again. The artist has explained about the genesis of these paintings:
I did many self portraits. And then at one point I decided I would use letters, and I did…. I started with a portrait that said, “I am.” And I decided that was as much me as my real face and figure. And so at one point I began then to write things. And I decided to cut them up and make them even more unlikely that you’d ever read what I had written. I accomplished that by cutting the painting into strips and then sewing them, and then stretching them.