Hauser & Wirth – Luchita Hurtado

Luchita Hurtado, The Umbilical Cord of the Earth is the Moon, 1977, Oil on canvas 101.6 x 58.4 cm / 40 x 23 in © The Estate of Luchita Hurtado Photo: Jeff McLane. Image Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth, London

(13 May – 30 July, 2022)

Featuring previously unseen works from Hurtado’s Sky Skin series, this exhibition centres on the artist’s pursuit of the other worldly and a broader reflection on life and death. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Hurtado’s gaze turned upwards, inverting the downward-facing perspective of her earlier I Am paintings. A selection of transitional drawings merge these series, as elements of the female body, including breast, stomach and knee viewed from a down-cast angle, transform into rolling mountains in a continuation of the artist’s imaginative experimentation with figurative landscapes. In the Sky Skins, Hurtado’s skies are often encircled by craggy earth, referencing the mountains of Taos, New Mexico, where Hurtado spent her summers, as well as the hills of Santa Monica Canyon, where the artist resided the remainder of the year. Born in Maiquetía, Venezuela in 1920, Luchita Hurtado dedicated over eighty years of her extensive career to the investigation of universality and transcendence. Developing her artistic vocabulary through a coalescence of abstraction, mysticism, corporality and landscape, the breadth of her experimentation – with unconventional techniques, materials, and styles – speaks to the diverse cultural and experiential contexts that shaped her life and her art.

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