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Mexican Cultural Institute opens intriguing art exhibit

La Barca – The Boat (2010) by Enrique Ortega.
La Barca – The Boat (2010) by Enrique Ortega.
© 2014 George Leposky

Mexican Cultural Institute opens intriguing art exhibit

Poetics of Painting, an exhibit of recent works by Enrique Ortega Espino, opened on July 2, 2014, in the gallery at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Miami.

Ortega’s art projects an intriguing blend of expressionism and abstraction. That means sometimes you can easily tell what objects he is painting, but at other times you’re left to wonder whether anything objective is present or whether the image is just an aesthetic mélange of colors and textures intended to evoke an aura or mood.

According to the exhibit announcement, “Ortega confesses he follows no pictorial tendency, although his use of different materials approaches the expressionist vanguard.” His recent works also show an increasing tendency toward abstraction and pure chromaticism. They range widely, from somber hues of brown and black to bright bursts of vivid, glowing luminosity.

Unpainterly tools

Born in Mexico City in 1953, Ortega began his formal education at the School of Fine Arts of the Michoacan University of Saint Nicholas of Hidalgo, where he later headed the faculty. He also attended the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Etching “La Esmeralda” of the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City; and the University of Guadalajara.

He employs a wide variety of unusual materials and techniques, experimenting with unpainterly tools such as knives, spatulas, and forks in a constant quest for new textures.

Argelia Castillo, president of the Mexican Section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), says of his work:

“Enrique Ortega is the author of a distinctive aesthetic of invention and intuition. He establishes an intense connection with the viewer of his paintings, as he captures experiences, evocations and frames of mind through a deep emotionality and a very exquisite artistic sensibility, which stamp a poetic character to his work.”

The Mexican Cultural Institute is at 1399 SW 1st Ave., Miami, FL 33130. The Mexican consulate occupies most of the building; the cultural institute is on the third floor. You can visit the exhibition from 9:30 AM to 2 PM on weekdays through July. To confirm these hours before you go, call 786-268-4910.

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