Miles McEnery Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Julio Larraz, on view 12 July through 17 August. A public reception will be held for the artist on Thursday 12 July from 6 to 8pm. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring an essay by Edward J. Sullivan.
Julio Larraz’s oil paintings are set in an imagined world that combines elements of reality and fantasy. By manipulating and altering the familiar, he challenges the viewer to more closely examine and engage with the ideas embedded in his precisely rendered scenes. Each painting requires a careful interrogation in order to decipher its multilayered content.
Larraz consistently and consciously pulls from both his former career as a caricaturist and his extensive knowledge of and appreciation for art history. The resulting works often incorporate elements of satire and social commentary, while frequently destabilizing the senses with playful spatial disparities. Through his composition, distinct imagery, and clever title choices, he also builds layers of art historical references. His affinity for marine imagery is particularly clear in the works of this exhibition, with multiple depictions of boats and various other vessels.
The illusory settings of Larraz’s paintings encourage the viewer to enter into the realm of the imagined, while remaining partially rooted in reality. We are delightfully forced to reconcile these two worlds and wrestle with the tangible ambiguities that he presents. As Sullivan notes, “Two worlds seem to collide, and we are thoroughly confounded.”
Julio Larraz (b. 1944 in Havana, Cuba) is the son of a newspaper editor and began drawing at a very early age. After moving to the United States in 1961, Larraz began to draw political caricatures that were published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Vogue, among others. In 1967, he turned his attention solely towards painting.
His first solo exhibition was in 1971 at Pyramid Gallery in Washington, D.C. He has since had numerous solo exhibitions, which most recently include “New Beginnings,” John H. Surovek Gallery, Palm Beach, FL; “Julio Larraz: Painting and Sculpture,” Museum of Art - DeLand, DeLand, FL; “Made in USA,” Ascaso Gallery, Miami, FL; “Omaggio Julio Larraz,” Contini Galleria D’Arte, Venice, Italy; “Rules of Engagement,” Contini Art UK, London, England; “Two Hundred Years in Power,” Galeria Arteconsult, Panama City, Panama (in collaboration with Ascaso Gallery, Miami, FL); “Coming Home,” Ascaso Gallery, Miami, FL; “Omaggio Julio Larraz,” Contini Galleria D’Arte, Venice, Italy; “Julio Larraz,” Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY; “Julio Larraz,” Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy (in collaboration with Contini Galleria D’Arte, Venice, Italy); and “Julio Larraz,” The Bellevue, Biarritz, France (in collaboration with Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY).
Recent group exhibitions include Art of the World Gallery, Houston, TX at ZONAMACO, Mexico City, Mexico; “Belief in Giants” Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Ascaso Gallery at Art Wynwood, Miami, FL, Art New York, New York, NY, and Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair, Palm Beach, FL; “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World,” Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Contini Galleria D’Arte, Venice, Italy, at Artefiera, Bologna, Italy, and Miart, Milan, Italy; and “Papertrail,” Latin American Masters, Santa Monica, CA.
Larraz has been the recipient of many awards from the Center for the Arts and Education, New York, NY; FACE, Miami, FL; the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY; and Instituto de Educación Internacional, New York, NY.
In addition, his work may be found in many public and private collections, including Archer M. Huntington Gallery, University of Texas, Austin, TX; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL; Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia; Westmoreland Museum of Art, Greensburg, PA; American Express Bank, Paris, France; First Pennsylvania Bank, Philadelphia, PA; and World Bank, Washington, D.C.
Julio Larraz lives and works in Miami, FL.