Gaspar Enriquez (American 1942 - ) Tirando Tiempo (Doing Time), 1992
Acrylic on board, 48” x 36”
Collection of Joe Diaz
Gaspar Enriquez (American 1942 - ) La Gabby in Red, 2012
Acrylic on board, 41” x 29”
Collection of Larry Mendez
Gaspar Enriquez (American 1942 - ) Un Veterano Chingon, 2006
Acrylic on paper, 57” x 52” framed
Collection of Paul and Suzanna Dipp
After more than thirty years working as an artist Gaspar Enriquez is at last being recognized as one of El Paso’s most respected and hardest working artists. Gaspar Enriquez: Metaphors of El Barrio presents artwork from throughout Enriquez’s career assembled from collections in El Paso, Texas and throughout the United States.
Enriquez is often identified as “the quintessential Chicano Texas artist,” although it would be correspondingly just as correct to describe him as an American, portrait painter who blends realism with contemporary popular culture. Nevertheless, one could easily go down a list counting off the significant series of artworks and other accomplishments of Enriquez’s career: the wearable and the book-like metal objects of the La Familia series, the black and white full-figure portraits of the En la Esquina series, the artist portraits and metal heart icons of the Puro Corazon series, the publication of the twelve paintings of the Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez series. The list goes on but, does not even mention the artist’s involvement with numerous mural projects throughout El Paso, the years contributed as president of the Juntos Art Association or the three decades teaching art at Bowie High School.
Enriquez’s art has been continually admired, exhibited and collected because it is serious, real and confronts relevant issues. His subjects range from children to teenagers, from artists to everyday persons and typically depict persons from El Barrio, where the artist grew up. The slice of culture that Enriquez explores includes many details about the importance of traditions, family and identity in Mexican-American life. Integrating the iconography of youth culture, and Catholic and pre-Columbian religious simultaneously Enriquez subtly critiques/examines the bicultural, Chicano experience.
Even after retiring from teaching art Enriquez continues to balance numerous complex projects simultaneously. For example, for the last several years Enriquez has been deeply involved in the restoration of an ancient adobe building into studio spaces in the 400-year-old presidio of San Elizario in El Paso's Mission Valley. And since 2012 Enriquez has been busy completing numerous sketches and several large portrait paintings as part of a commission for the new El Paso Baseball Stadium.
In addition to including over fifty paintings, prints and sculptures from 1983 - 2013 Gaspar Enriquez: Metaphors of El Barrio also includes a video interview with the artist and a book of the same title with texts by Constance Cortez, Ruben Cordova, Christian Gerstheimer, Benito Huerta and Lucy Lippard. Enriquez’s art has been included in many exhibitions throughout his career such as: CARA/ Chicano Art/Resistance and Affirmation 1965-1985, Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, Arte Caliente: Works from the Joe Diaz Collection and Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity.
Ricardo Chavarria: 41, 47, 51, 52, 53, 62, 63
February 23, 2014 – June 29, 2014
Ricardo Chavarria (American 1980 - ) 47, 2012
Acrylic on canvas, 48" x 40"
The bold acrylic abstractions of Ricardo Chavarria emanate and pulse with color, light, and a unique internal energy, which seems to both radiate and move back within itself. Several of Chavarria’s paintings—some of them executed in the last year and appearing for the first time—will be featured through spring 2014 in the EPMA’s Gateway Gallery. The artist’s captivating compositions combine the transcendental presence of Western color-field painting or Eastern sand mandalas with contemporary LED-like color and industrial-looking surfaces. Chavarria uses plastic syringes and squeeze bottles to apply his thick paint. The resulting creations are the product of an interesting tension of processes: improvisation of color and design choices evolving within the strict parameters of an initial center point and grid system, and time-intensive labor producing a uniform surface akin to manufactured rubber.
Born in El Paso in 1980, Chavarria has for the past year been working in a studio in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He began focusing exclusively on painting in 2008, following studies at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, Arizona, and a career as a sound and recording engineer in New York. One of Chavarria’s paintings appeared in the EPMA Artists on Art series in summer–fall 2012, and from 15 May to 23 June 2013 five of his works were featured at the contemporary art gallery The Proposition in New York, which represents the artist.