“Merino, Casty, Magallon—Three Artists, Three Ways to Art”

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Magallon sculptureIn the Exhibition “Merino, Casty, Magallon—Three Artists, Three Ways to Art,” the three prominent Baja artists present a fascinating merger of their works and talents. Brought together in the show are the paintings and constructions of Francisco Merino, the glass sculptures of Jill Casty, the sculptures and paintings of Lila Magallon.

The Exhibition has two Opening Night events, Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14 from 7 to 10 p.m., and will be open Saturday, 11 to 2, at the new Galeria Bellaterra (formerly Galerias Pax).  It then continues at the Galeria through the holiday season and into January. At present, the art can be viewed Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Evening hours will be arranged. Call for further information.

With this exhibition, the artists want to honor the cultural legacy of Susana Alexander y Santin, the founder of the pioneering Galerias Pax.

Francisco Merino’s work—always bold, changing, dynamic—has been presented in galleries and cultural centers in what he likes to call the “Three Californias.” A notable example was the broad and challenging retrospective held at the Galeria Olchoa in La Paz.  Often mixing genres, such as painting and construction, Merino creates works of strong colors, varying in tone with his mood and theme, and provocative shapes and patterns. These are works that move between representation and abstraction, often blurring the distinction between the two approaches. In both paintings and constructions, he finds new ways to turn the everyday into a surprise and revelation.

Jill Casty has returned to La Paz after a productive and successful year in Italy, where her sculptural ensembles of fused glass and metals were presented in four solo exhibitions. Her colors—as transformed in glass, layered and textured, full of light and energy—are even more brilliant and joyous in response to the clarity and unique intensity of the light of the Baja. “I want to explore,” she has written, “an art that finds a harmony within the chaos of our modern world.  An art that is a festival, a celebration. A toast, ‘To life.’ ” Her work here conveys that spirit with its impressions in abstracted form of the essences of nature’s beauty, or with its expressions of her emotional responses to moments shared with the natural world.

Lila Magallon—whose work was seen here in her large, popular and impressive retrospective at the Centro Cultural La Paz—continues to work in several media, ranging from drawing to sculpting. Whether exploring the figurative or the abstract, she is concerned with discovering the forms to interpret who we are, as humans and as individuals. Her stone sculptures, small but powerful, recall ancient primitive forms, yet in their intense focus, whether natural or surrealistic, they are an enigma. They carry a sense of mystery that is hidden in the stone, is still a part of who we are. Whether touching on the primitive or the sublime.

The Galeria Bellaterra is at 1250 Guillermo Prieto, between Cinco de Mayo  and Constitucion, in La Paz. Telephone, 612 1411004.

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