Los Angeles

Emilio Ortiz

Zora Gallery

This young artist is finding himself, moving from a medium in which he reveals great control to one in which he is still searching for both technique and statement. This does not mean that his paintings lack merit or are without interest. In departing from his drawings, he is unsure of his development of form and mass. He concentrates on composing large organic forms, which, at this point, have not been brought under control due to his abandonment of line. However, his strong imagination and color reveal a sensitive artist. “Farewell” conveys vividly a haunting mystery whose blackened, vibrating magentas and blues strengthen the eeriness expressed in the relationship between the two figures. In “Povo Real,” Ortiz achieves complete control of color. Using the same blackened blues and magentas, his forms are composed to assure maximum color vibration. The painting appears to quiver on the wall.

Ortiz is preoccupied with two living creatures: the peacock and the bull. His non-objective shapes are often developed from the basic forms he has conceived for these two creatures. This is particularly true in his drawings, which are masterly. Ortiz’ line is fluid; he delineates Volumes with an assurance and sweep reminiscent of prehistoric cave paintings. There is the same incisive quality, the same immediate grasp of the animal’s essential character, the same minimum statement in delineating the form and volume, concentrating detail to emphasize a single vital characteristic. The impressive fact is that these drawings are not imitative. They are the direct expression of an artist who has been able to see his subject with a simplicity associated with the totemistic mind. Anyone who stops before “Animals with Masks,” done on parchment, interestingly enough, must feel himself in the presence of an artist who has bridged that gap of millenniums.

Louis McCann