Alfredo de Batuc
Hôtel de ville

May 15 – June 19, 2004
Reception for the artist: Saturday, May 15, 6-9pm

post industrial art for the post industrial age
990 N. Hill St. #205, Los Angeles 90012-1753
(323) 225-1288, Fax (323) 225-1282
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Thursday – Saturday, 12-6pm

Alfredo de Batuc, Una, 2004, oil on canvas, 24” x 12”

Los Angeles, CA. - L2Kontemporary (Chinatown) announces Alfredo de Batuc's solo exhibition Hôtel de Ville taking place from May 15 thru June 19, Reception: Saturday, May 15, 6-9 PM and conversation with the artist: Saturday, May 22, 5 PM. In paintings and works on paper the Los Angeles Hôtel de ville or the City Hall building as we know it in English, is presented in a mythical and dreamlike atmosphere.

Leaving no doubt in the viewers mind as to where this artist resides and works, Hôtel de Ville depicts Los Angeles in an almost post-apocalyptic universe while occasionally making reference to the city's film history. In some works faces of once famous film stars are captured within "the Presence", round mask-like images originally developed from the facial features of the Olmec stone heads. These faces appear dancing like apparitions in and out of the city's landscaped skies. The Art Deco City Hall building in Los Angeles is de Batuc's visual reference for Los Angeles and is represented in all of these works. In his own words: "I wanted to steer away from the palm trees and beach scenes and found City Hall the most appropriate signifier since, at least in theory, it is supposed to represent all of Los Angeles--not just the developers."

Hôtel de Ville shows de Batuc's fascination with the ironic, the satirical and most apparent, the spiritual elements of the human race. Merging the subtle utilization of Los Angeles as the backdrop for these ideas, a narrative is born. As a melting pot of culture and fresh ideas a careful watch has been thrust upon Los Angeles and de Batuc's work, very clearly, reminds us of this.

The handsome lithographs included in this exhibit are a mélange of the City Hall building and fish flying (and/or swimming depending on how one views these pieces) through an eerie, almost wasteland environment. With the scale not to size, de Batuc plays with the viewer's perception of man made architecture and a surreal sense of our natural reality, thus provoking the idiom, "fish out of water." Alfredo de Batuc grew up in Mexico and his work shows the rigorous training in drawing of Mexican art schools. His work is characterized by strong composition and his color is attained through layers of various hues producing a rich surface. His work can be found in private and public collections including but not limited to: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California State Supreme Court Building (San Francisco), Museo Estudio Diego Rivera (Mexico City), Laguna Art Museum, Latino Museum (Los Angeles), and UCLA's Fowler Museum of Cultural History (Los Angeles).

L2kontemporary opened to the public in late November 2003, this show is its fifth in its history

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