‘None of That’ Exhibition Explores Discontent, Search for Meaning
La Casita Cultural Center is hosting an opening reception for “None of That,” an exhibition by artist Juan Alberto Cruz, on Thursday, March 5. The opening reception will take place from 6-8 p.m. at La Casita, located in the Lincoln Building at 109 Otisco St., Syracuse. The event is free and open to the public.
In his exhibition, Cruz reflects on his discontent, on what he describes as a futile attempt to communicate something, constantly seeking and not finding a more far-reaching meaning in his work. The creative process has caused the artist to re-examine his body of work from decades of painting and cut it to pieces. Cruz has been slicing many of his signature pieces, large canvases full of color in motion, and recomposing them into new pieces that combine bits from various past works into each new piece. The notion of the artist destroying his own work may seem a like a sort of violent act, but for Cruz it is more of a calculated, profoundly meditated process.
“I wanted to go beyond the surface to find what was missing,” comments Cruz. “I began to experiment and cut up the canvases to take the work to another state, to another dimension, to see what I could find. In doing this, I have been able to achieve a little more satisfaction with my work.”
“Juan seems to be expressing what comes from a deeply felt stir shared by so many of us in our own lives at certain times, when we try to make sense, searching for the meaning of it all, and finding ‘None of That,’” says Tere Paniagua, executive director of La Casita and the Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic community at Syracuse University. “We are proud to present this new show by Juan Cruz, a respected artist, a dear friend, close collaborator in many of La Casita’s youth education programs and a longtime resident of the Westside community of Syracuse. This production at La Casita has engaged the active collaboration of local community members and students from various programs at Syracuse University, including museum studies, documentary film, graphic design, public relations, Janklow Arts Leadership and the Spanish program. We are very fortunate and thankful for their contribution to La Casita’s visual arts programming this spring.”
Cruz was born in Cataño, Puerto Rico, in 1941. His work has been recognized and presented in museums and galleries locally and statewide, as well as in his native Puerto Rico.