Luis Gutierrez occupies a unique position amongst other Mexican-American artist working in the U.S. today. Born in Pittsburg, California in 1933, Gutierrez has lived and worked in both the U.S. and Mexico during his career.
What differentiates Gutierrez from his contemporaries is his choice of subject matter, as well as his broad spectrum of themes and media. While Gutierrez embraces his cultural heritage, his work does not reflect Chicano themes. Instead, Gutierrez describes his work as being informed by three life forces; "Passion, Evolution, Liberation." Building on international avant-garde styles, Gutierrez creates pieces that reflect the cultural sentimentalities of the time. In his PTSD series, Gutierrez painted portraits of veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a response to the war in Iraq. He works in a variety of media including drawing, painting, collage and assemblage. His energetic and intense assemblages incorporate objects from a lifetime of collecting reflecting his American life.
During the 60's and 70's, Gutierrez garnered national recognition through the inclusion of his work in two prominent national survey shows. His work was shown in the 12th Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, held in 1965 at the University of Illinois Krasnnert Art Museum along with artists such as Hoffman, Lichtenstein, Thiebaud, and Guston. As well as in 17 Artists, a Hispano Mexican-American Chicano touring Exhibition. In 1962, Gutierrez received the prestigious Phelan Award. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, de Young Museum, Palace of the Legion of Honor, Triton Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, Mexican Museum, Instituto Allende, and various university galleries in the U.S.
Gutierrez earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts from San Jose State University in 1957 and his Masters of Fine Arts from the Instituto Allende at San Miguel de Allende in Mexico in 1958. He taught at San Jose City College from 1969 until his retirement in 1995. Gutierrez lives and works in the South Bay.
Read Review by art critic Dewitt Cheng