Lucite Hurtado, Pioneering Artist Is on the Brink of Her First Big Retrospective, at 98. So that should be encouraging to all of us older women.
A string of solo exhibitions will shine new light on the work of the Venezuelan-born artist Luchita Hurtado.
By Anna Furman: New York Times
Jan. 29, 2019
On a cloudless afternoon in October, I meet the artist Luchita Hurtado, 98, in her Santa Monica home studio — a sand-colored three-story building a 20-minute walk from the Pacific Ocean. Inside, her riotously colorful paintings — in which genderless figures transform into trees — animate the walls of her compact 145-square-foot studio, interspersed with dried leaves and a framed rare butterfly. She offers me a bowl of wrinkled red jujubes, then settles into a padded arm chair in the middle of her tchotchke-filled living room and regales me with stories. She recounts searching for Olmec colossal heads from a two-seater plane above San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán; camping at the Lascaux Cave in southern France before the site closed permanently to the public in 1963; posing for Man Ray, and forging friendships with Frida Kahlo, Isamu Noguchi and Leonora Carrington.
Last summer, Hurtado’s lush paintings, rich with cosmic motifs and geometric abstractions, captivated visitors of the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A. 2018” show. Exhibited sporadically over the course of her life, and almost exclusively in group shows, Hurtado has recently experienced a rise to fame that has been thrilling to witness — albeit maddening in its lateness. Later this month, Hauser & Wirth will dedicate three floors of its gallery on New York’s Upper East Side to her charged figurative drawings from the ’40s and ’50s; in May, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London will mount a solo exhibition that spans seven decades of her work; and in 2020, the year she turns 100, Hurtado’s first international retrospective will debut at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and then travel to a series of art institutions in the United States. In the Studio With Lucite Hurtado
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