Congratulations to Luis Cruz Azaceta, who will be included in two group exhibitions this fall, at the Ogden Museum of Southern art and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. The 2020 edition of the Ogden’s Louisiana Contemporary is curated by René Morales, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at the Pérez Art Museum. Opening September 5, it will include works by 56 artists highlighting Louisiana’s unique visual arts culture. Opening September 18 at the CAC New Orleans is the group exhibition Make America What America Must Become. Deriving its title from a 1963 quote by James Baldwin, the exhibition examines and challenges power structures in America through art.
Azaceta will be represented in both exhbitions by paintings from this past year, all part of a new body of work done while in isolation and which addresses the COVID-19 pandemic. Social and political issues have been at the forefront of his work since the start of his career and Azaceta has always used his art as a platform to address the most pressing issues of the time. In these new paintings, Azaceta builds on ideas from his recent series experimenting with compositional incongruity and contradiction, through the lens of the novel coronavirus and its immediate implications. As he did in previous bodies of work, such as his extensive series on the AIDS Crisis from the 1980s, Azaceta continues to adapt his painting style to best express his beliefs, in turn utilizing modes of abstraction and representation with equal vehemence.
Azaceta explains “I’m constantly trying to change from series to series, a different way of creating art. I believe that art has the power - and that’s what sustains me as an artist - to transform the world, for a better world. Art is what puts us in a different condition [as humans], that we are able to create beauty.”