In an extensive eighty-year career spanning various artistic movements and styles, Venezuelan-born, Los Angeles-based artist Luchita Hurtado has dedicated her practice to investigating the interconnectedness of the natural world, the cosmos and the environment. For her inaugural presentation at Hauser & Wirth Zürich entitled ‘Just Down the Street’, an intimate selection of Hurtado’s early works from the 1960s are on display – a dynamic series of drawings and paintings on paper that reflect a moment of flux between abstraction and figuration. By merging visceral and abstract sensibilities, the works on view express a universality and transcendence that have continued to define the artist’s practice for decades.
Hurtado, still working at 99, has an innate dedication and capacity for creation which has formed her artistic vocabulary, speaking to the multicultural and experiential contexts that have shaped the artist’s extraordinary life and career. Born in Maiquetía, Vargas, Venezuela in 1920, she emigrated to the United States in 1928, settling in New York where she attended classes at the Art Students League. In the mid-forties, Hurtado freelanced as a fashion illustrator for Condé Nast and window designer for Lord & Taylor. She relocated to Mexico City in the late 1940s then moved to San Francisco Bay the following decade, ultimately settling in Los Angeles where she continues to make work today. Although associated with a vast network of internationally renowned artists and intellectuals throughout the decades, including Mexican muralists, Surrealists, and members of Dynaton, Hurtado’s practice always remained an independent – and until recent years, largely private – pursuit.