Gilbert "Magú" Luján
*One Week Exhibition*
November 1 - 5, 2011
Reception: November 5, 2011 5-7PM
In his sixth solo exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery, Richard Ehrlich will present his series of large scale color photographs (44 x 60") of the Lucha Libre wrestlers of Mexico. The photographs were first exhibited at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Los Angeles (June 11 - July 23, 2011).
According to Richard Ehrlich, "My continued interest in the culture of Lucha Libre stems from my close personal association with Jose Sulaiman, Chair of the World Boxing Council, who has known many of the luchadores for more than thirty years. He was instrumental in organizing the photo shoot in Mexico City. The purpose was to attempt to capture photographically the emotion and character of the fighters. The luchadores are Latin American icons and are extremely popular and important cultural figures. They were exceedingly cooperative with this project."
Gilbert Luján was born in French Camp, California in 1940, to parents of Mexican and indigenous ancestry from West Texas. He moved to East Los Angeles when he was 6 months old, where he spent the majority of his childhood and adolescence. After serving in the Air Force, Luján earned his B.A. in ceramic sculpture from California State University, Long Beach, and then his M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine. In the early 70s he worked as the Art Director for the East L.A. art journal Con Safos, through which he met the other members of the artist collective Los Four (Frank Romero, Carlos Almaraz, and Roberto de la Rocha), which he co-founded. Following the success of Los Four, Luján became at teacher at Fresno City College and later Pomona College. In 1990 he was commissioned as a design principal for the Hollywood & Vine station on the Metro Rail Red Line. Luján is best known for his use of colorful imagery, anthropomorphic animals, cars with exaggerated proportions and Dia De Los Muertos installation altars. Luján passed away on July 24, 2011, at the age of 70. This small exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery is both a celebration of Luján's life and career, as well as a traditional Mexican ofrenda, and is open the week of Día de los Muertos.
Carlos Almaraz was born in Mexico City in 1941, moving with his family to Los Angeles when he was nine. After studying at Loyola Marymount University and UCLA, Almaraz received his MFA from the Otis College of Art and Design. Along with Frank Romero, Gilbert Lujan, and Roberto de la Rocha he formed the artist collective known as “Los Four” in 1973 in order to bring Chicano street art to the mainstream. In 1974 their exhibition at the LACMA marked the country's first show of Chicano art at a major institution. Almaraz went on to work for Cesar Chavez painting banners and murals for the United Farm Workers Union. In 1984 he was honored with a major solo exhibition at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery. His work blends elements of Mexican and Native American mythologies along with contemporary Chicano culture. The exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery is comprised of paintings, pastels and drawings from the 70s and 80s. Almaraz will also be featured in corresponding Pacific Standard Time exhibitions, including “MEX/LA: Mexican Modernism(s) in Los Angeles 1930-1985” at the Museum of Latin American Art, “Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement” at the Fowler Museum.