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Simpson Center for the Humanities

"Tiempo y azar / Time & Chance" Explores the Work of Artist Arturo Artorez

Join us on Friday, August 1, at 6:30 pm in the UW School of Art’s Jacob Lawrence Gallery for the opening reception of Tiempo y azar / Time & Chance. This exhibition, which runs July 29-August 16, 2014, explores the work of Seattle-based visual artist Arturo Artorez. It is curated by Lauro Flores (American Ethnic Studies).

Artorez was born and raised Mexico City and has lived in Seattle since 1976. His works have been exhibited in Canada, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, the United States, Mexico, and Peru—at times alongside masters such as Cuevas, Tamayo, Toledo, and Guayasamín.

Since 1988, Artorez has been drawing and painting on unconventional media—particularly, on time cards and lottery tickets. Applying his distinctive figurative technique and surrealist approach, the images he draws on the time cards often show mysterious beings and settings. The transformation of a utilitarian object (moreover, one that is an instrument of control) into an aesthetic entity becomes an act of liberation from boredom and daily drudgery. Similarly, the characters that Artorez depicts on the lottery tickets inhabit a surreal, almost phantasmagoric realm. Many of them set their sights on the wheel of fortune, perhaps as the only “escape” from their precarious existence.

A good deal of irony permeates the artist’s visual commentaries. These poignant statements also allude to the existential condition of the painter himself. Thus, his life and current circumstance become beautifully conjugated with his artistic subjects. Both thematically and materially, Tiempo y azar / Time & Chance encapsulates Artorez’s experiences, conditions of production, and aesthetic representations as these have unfolded over the last two and a half decades.

Sponsored by American Ethnic Studies, Spanish & Portuguese Studies, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Simpson Center for the Humanities, and Consulado de México en Seattle.

Learn more about this exhibition.