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THE ART GALLERIES

Downtown

November 14, 1986|KRISTINE McKENNA

Ciro Beltran Hidalgo is a native of Chile where he works as a teacher to support his ambitions as an artist. You'd hardly guess his origins from a quick look at his work, which is very much in the International Modernist tradition. Painting on paper mounted on illustration board that also serves as a frame, Hidalgo delineates figures with coarse, dark lines, then fills in the blanks with passages of intensely saturated primary color. Surfaces are thoroughly worked--lots of scraping, scratching and scumbling--and they have a soft, fluid look. An artist's statement describes the work as preoccupied with ecology and militarism in his native country, but Hidalgo disguises his political concerns almost too well; his highly sophisticated abstracted nudes smack of Francis Bacon and Matisse, and hardly evoke the plight of the downtrodden. (James Turcotte Gallery, 3517 West 6th St., to Nov. 30.)

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