Press Release

OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY, JULY 12, 2003, FROM 5 - 7PM

We are proud to present "Gunther Gerzso - Discoveries and Revelations of a Mexican Modern Master," a collection of works by the famed Mexican abstract painter. "Discovery and Revelation" coincides with a major retrospective exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art entitled, "Risking the Abstract: Mexican Modernism and the Art of Gunther Gerzso." In contrast to the Museum's exhibit, "Discoveries and Revelations" will present thirty works of Gerzso's formative period - as represented in the noted Thomas Ireland Colleciton.

Born in Mexico City in 1915, Gerzso studied in Switzerland and France before moving to the U.S. The exhibit's drawings and paintings were produced during the time Gerzso was designing sets and costumes for the Cleveland Playhouse (1935-1940). It was the Cleveland playhouse that Gerzso first met Thomas Ireland, whom he later referred to as "my first collector." Gerzso's work from this period demonstrates the artist's exploration of style and direction his early and profound exposures to European Modernism, Expressionism, and Surrealist movements while also absorbing influences of Mexico's contemporary art world -- gained first hand with a regular schedule of visits. 

At the same time, Gerzso strayed from the styles of Rivera and Siqueiros and the popular Mexican Muralist movement and looked to the influences of the European Surrealist exiles and indigenous cultures of Mexico. Ultimately, he chose to explore a different avenue of art -- ingrained with a Surrealist ideology and expressing elements of his personal reflection.

This exhibition suggests a range of intellectual and artistic influences on Gerzso's work -- during an important transitional period for the artist. Although most well known for his contribution to the early Abstraction movement, this exhibition focuses on a distinctive and formative period of Gerzso's work.

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