Latin American Masters gallery presents, FICTIONS, an exhibition of recent paintings by Jesus Lugo (Mexico, b. 1963). Lugo’s paintings are characterized by the precarious balance of complex structures, figurative in nature, but composed with an “all over” fluctuating space more a kin to abstraction. The architecture of Lugo’s painted world combines a disparity of styles: Japanese printmaking, social realism, and the omni-present iconography of pop culture. Among the most curious aspects of Lugo’s art are his collage-like elements, imagery, which seems to be cut from magazines and glued to the surface of the canvas. Upon closer inspection, the collage is revealed to be trompe l’oeil. Lugo’s “fake” collage underscores his incorporation of pre-existing imagery, into a new context grounded in the tradition of painting.
Lugo has often painted the intersection of specific historical events and the aesthetics that accompany them. He has painted Tatlin’s utopian constructivism along side the images of Marx, Lenin and Stalin, Manet’s little drummer boy along side the slaughter of the Napoleonic war, and the banality of 1950’s American conformist culture along side images of Jackson Pollock. In the largest of the canvases in the current exhibition, Ciudad Pl, Lugo takes an everyday illustrative style exemplified by Norman Rockwell and creates a city scene where people go about their daily routines within a massive scaffold-like structure that seems in danger of imminent collapse.
Regarded as one of the most gifted Mexican painters of his generation, Lugo first came to national prominence in 1999 when his painting, Arquitectura del Te, took first prize at the Johnny Walker Invitational at the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico. In 2002 he was awarded first prize in the Rufino Tamayo Biennal, given to Mexico’s top painter under forty-years of age. Most recently he received an Artist in Residence Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont (2006). FICTIONS is Jesus Lugo’s second solo-exhibition with Latin American Masters.