Luis Cruz Azaceta: Happy-Deadly in New Orleans

Exhibition Dates: December 4 – December 31, 2004
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 4 from 6–8 pm
Gallery Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Happy-Deadly in New Orleans, an exhibition of recent paintings, works on paper, constructions and photography by Luis Cruz Azaceta. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger Gallery, located at 432 Julia Street, from December 4 – December 31, 2004. The gallery will host an opening reception, with the artist in attendance, on Saturday, December 4 from 6-8 pm.

Where is Superman When You Need Him

Luis Cruz Azaceta, Where is Superman When You Need Him, 1999. Charcoal, acrylic, enamel, shellac on canvas. 24 x 24 inches.

Originally a geometric abstract painter, early in the 1970s Luis Cruz Azaceta began to examine the ills of society through expressionist figuration. In the 1980s the artist began confronting the angst of urban existence in works that addressed issues of violence, dissolution, displacement and tragedy, and in 1996 he began to respond to issues of terrorism. In recent years, Azaceta has increasingly returned to his roots in abstraction, yet continues to address current social and political issues by employing a personal and symbolic language. There is an intentional dichotomy or paradox between his colorful abstractions and their often-violent subject matter.

The remarkable range of works in “Happy-Deadly in New Orleans” include colorful patterned abstract works that contrast with their simple one and two-word titles such as “Threat” and “Intruder,” suggesting more somber associations. Also included are chromogenic prints on wood that transform reality into abstraction as well as expressive figurative paintings. Works related to the tragedy of 9/11 continue Azaceta’s ongoing concern with issues of terrorism.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Luis Cruz Azaceta immigrated to the United States in 1960 just after the revolution that brought Castro to power. He began drawing and painting on his own, then later studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. A longtime resident of New York, Azaceta relocated to New Orleans in 1992. He has taught at the University of California, Louisiana State University, and Cooper Union, New York. His work has been exhibited nationwide, including the Alternative Museum, New York; the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk; the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, New York; and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. His work is in the permanent collection of leading museums, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Miami Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York.