RUFINO TAMAYO Retrato de Olga signed and dated O-48 (1948) 48 × 36 inches
Figurative Masters of the Americas
Heather James is proud to present highlights of 20th century masters of figuration. Figurative Masters of the Americas highlights the importance of figuration across North, Central and South America. The exhibition has four main gallery spaces. The first gallery presents several important Latin American works includes a portrait by Rufino Tamayo and a major work on paper by Wifredo Lam. The second gallery has works from the early 20th century including several significant works by N.C. Wyeth and an important painting by Thomas Hart Benton. The third gallery highlights works from the mid-20th century,where we have Woman in a Rowboat, a seminal work by Willem de Kooning relating to his Woman series and two large-scale works on paper by Alexander Calder. The final galleryis inspired by the Pop Art movement and includes sculptures and paintings by Mel Ramos, George Segal, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann. Hopefully viewing Figurative Masters of the Americas will not only transport one through time and place but, more importantly, allow viewers to reflect on the human condition.
January 4 – February 12, 2023
Wed – Sunday 10 am – 4 pm, Closed Mon & Tuesday
In partnership with
Two tomatoes on a table I, 8′ x5.8′ x 3′
Nov 16 – June – Gardens
Wed – Sunday 10 am – 4 pm, Closed Mon & Tuesday
Abundance of Riches
Luis Montoya & Leslie Ortiz 1972 – 2022
This exhibition is a retrospective of West Palm Beach artists Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz in the Gardens celebrating their partnership creating monumental and small outdoor sculptures. Montoya/Ortiz’s still-life bronze monumental sculptures make you look again with wonder at everyday objects. Since 1994 Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz have been working together in a creative partnership. Together they create large paintings and bronze sculptures, which most often focus on food. They have made a specialty of fabricating such re-scaled still life sculptures out of bronze, polychroming them into surprisingly likely facsimiles.Their work is sensual, full of humor and surreal. They control the entire process, beginning with the design, through the casting process and finishing each piece with unique patinas.
Their works can be found in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Sculpture, Valladolid, Spain, the Circle of Fine Arts in Madrid, the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Washington, Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art in Racine, Wisconsin and other fine venues.
They have created special commissions for both local venues, like the Palm Beach International Airport and international venues, including the Tokyo/Fuji Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan.
Leslie Ortiz was born in West Palm Beach. Her father was in the Air Force, and the family traveled extensively and moved often. Ortiz’ interest in pursuing art as a career began in high school. She received a scholarship to the Boston University School of Fine Art, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture.
Her plan, after graduation, was to visit her father, who was stationed in the Netherlands, and to backpack through Europe. It was a trip that influenced the course of her life and career.
One of Ortiz’ professors had given her a letter of introduction to American sculptor Floyd Dewitt, who was living in Amsterdam. Dewitt encouraged her to apply to the prestigious Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (State Academy of Fine Arts) and arranged an interview. Ortiz was accepted and studied at the Academy for four years. She said that those four years of study shaped her future.
Ortiz returned to the United States and looked for work. She answered an ad, placed by Luis Montoya, who was looking for help in his West Palm Beach studio and foundry. Ortiz began working in the studio in 1985. Nine years later they formed a partnership which continues to this day.
Luis Montoya was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. His grandfather was a well-known sculptor in Madrid, who encouraged Montoya to follow in his footsteps and study sculpture.
His natural talent earned him a place in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where his grandfather and other prestigious artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Oscar de la Renta and Fernando Botero had studied.
After receiving both his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from San Fernando, Montoya continued his education at the Institute of Applied Arts in Madrid, traveled to London, Florence and New York under the auspices of the Castellblach Foundation Independent study program and did his post-graduate studies at Kent State in Ohio.
Montoya’s reputation in Spain, as a fine sculptor, had been established but, instead of returning home, Montoya remained in the United States.
He established a fine art foundry, a sculptor supply store and introduced into the sculpture department of the Norton Museum of Art classes in clay with live nude models. Later on, he took over the stone carving department where he taught for many years.