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Alfredo Arreguin - Chief Paiakan
Alfredo Arreguin, Chief Paiakan (1992)
[Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA, thru Apr 62, 2003]

Alfredo Arreguin:
Patterns of Dreams and Nature

Museum of Northwest Art
La Conner WA thru Apr 6, 2003

Patterns of Dreams and Nature is an extensive exhibit highlighting 30 years of painting by Alfredo Arreguin. Born in Mexico in 1935, Arreguin relocated to Seattle in his early 20s, where he has resided ever since.

Thematically, Arreguin’s paintings focus on jungle and rainforest scenes, and the plants and animals that inhabit them. His scapes reference his native Latin America as well as his adopted Northwest surroundings. The exhibition also includes iconic portraits of individuals such as Frida Kahlo and Cesar Chavez – paintings that resemble an intricate woven tapestry of traditional motifs from Arreguin's heritage such as masks, eyes, totemic figures and animals.

The intense patterning in Arreguin’s large-scale paintings creates an immediate visual vibration of colour and light. The works slowly become mesmerizing, as one realizes the layered and hidden imagery that exists in these complicated pieces. His use of complementary colours and patterned light serve as elements that simultaneously expose and conceal forms and imagery. There is an overall illusion created in his spatial arrangements that is captivating and surreal. Compositions appear to change and subtle narratives begin to reveal themselves, making it hard to step away from these paintings.

It is as if Arreguin’s paintings depict the universe broken down to a matrix of particles and spirited fractal designs. In addition, his subjects have a seriousness and conviction that makes these works highly contemplative. Reality shifts within each piece as images are superimposed creating a dream-like consciousness that borders on fantasy and mystery.

This travelling exhibit was organized by the Bellevue Art Museum and the University of Washington Press has published a bilingual book documenting the artist’s life and work.

© Allyn Cantor


 Tue, Feb 4, 2003