Ruiz-Healy Art opens exhibitions of work by Jesse Amado and Alejandro Diaz

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Ruiz-Healy Art opens exhibitions of work by Jesse Amado and Alejandro Diaz
Jesse Amado, Untitled (E), 2020 Le Corbusier acrylic on panel, 18 x 18 in.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Ruiz-Healy Art presents ​Jesse Amado and Alejandro Diaz: Double Pleasure at their San Antonio and New York City galleries. The exhibitions highlight their work in painting and a shared interest in post-conceptual art practices that are grounded in their Mexican-American heritage and ​South Texas aesthetics. The New York exhibition will be on view through March 14, 2020, and the San Antonio exhibition will be on view through March 28, 2020.

Jesse Amado and Alejandro Diaz have been friends and colleagues for over four decades and now, for the first time in 26 years, the artists have coinciding exhibitions, which bring their work in conversation with one another. While the artists demonstrate different aesthetic concerns, their distinct works become interconnected through the incorporation of found materials used to convey human experience and an underlying Joseph Beuys ​heritage in their social sculpture work. Exhibition catalogue writer Carla Stellweg asserts, “while the category of ‘Latino’ art and artists is a much-debated subject, the case of Amado and Diaz offers a highly sophisticated and eloquent view of Mexican American and Latino visual culture at this time.”

Jesse Amado ​uses paint, ​wood, felt, chicharron (fried pork rinds), brass, and light as materials to expand the dimensional constraints of painting.​Amado explores color as material, a boundless pursuit that concludes with a visual language that embraces sensuality and beauty. The artist states, “​my work endorses the quality of change and how limitless and liberating it can be for an artist. Utilizing forms, images, materials, fashions, and media of human industries, I’m able to produce commentaries on the ambiguities of modern and contemporary culture and the investments that are ultimately made by society.”

Alejandro Diaz uses a bricolage approach to create paintings using found and collected objects. Diaz’s works range from pure abstraction to figuration and address a variety of culturally relevant issues from politics, to decorative and aesthetic movements, to spirituality. ​The tone of his work is at times humorous, political, celebratory, and even somber and reflective​. What is evident in all of Diaz’s work is the presence of the artist's hand and his ongoing workings of disparate materials to create a sense of personal order.

Jesse Amado received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin and an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In 1995, he was selected by Robert Storr as the first recipient of the Artpace San Antonio, international residency program, along with Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Annette Messager. He was awarded the International Artist-in-Residence Program of Gwangju, South Korea, and the National Endowment for the Arts grant to attend Artist-in-Residence, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA. His work can be found in various public collections throughout Texas and the United States, including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; The Blanton Museum, Austin, TX; San Antonio Museum of Art, TX; Ruby City, San Antonio, TX; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX and El Museo Del Barrio, New York, NY.

Alejandro Diaz received a​bachelor’s degree​from the University of Texas at Austin​and an​MFA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.​He was an Artist-in-Residence at Artpace ​in 1996 and co-founded Sala Diaz Gallery that same year in San Antonio, Texas. In 2007, he received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award for excellence in the visual arts. His work can be found in important public and private collections, including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; University of St. Gallen, Switzerland; Fundación ​Colección Jumex​, Mexico City, México; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ; El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY; RISD Museum of Art, Providence, RI;​ Ruby City, San Antonio,TX ​and National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL.

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