LOS FOUR: 1974- 2024: 50 years after LACMA
900 N Broadway Suite 1090, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Friday, June 21 at 3:00 PM 9:00 PM
Ends Aug 2, 2024
In 1974, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art showcased an exhibition of four Chicano artists: Carlos Almaraz, Beto de la Rocha, Gilbert “Magu” Lujan, and Frank Romero. Together they were known as “Los Four”, and made history that year as the first Chicanos to exhibit in a world-renowned, national art museum. The show was an expanded version of their previous exhibit at the Art Gallery in the University of California Irvine, and it included sculptures, watercolors, drawings, two graffiti murals, and paintings rich in iconography. The works were representative of the Civil Rights movement and turbulent times of “El Movimiento” throughout the Southwest. 50 years later, this show honors the legacy of these four Chicano artists who planted the seeds for generations of artists to come. The exhibition consists of new, and vintage, original works by Frank Romero, multiple works on paper and a sculpture by Magu, new paintings and vintage works on paper by Beto de la Rocha, and six works on paper by Carlos Almaraz. What: Opening Reception: “Los Four” 1974- 2024 50 years after LACMA When: Saturday, June 22, 2024 3-9pm Where: Eastern Projects Gallery, 900 N Broadway Suite 1090, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Who: “Los Four” Carlos Almaraz (1941- 1989):  Born in Mexico City in 1941 and died from AIDS in 1989 at the age of 48. Carlos Almaraz moved to the United States with his family in 1948, eventually settling in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from Otis Art Institute (today Otis College of Art and Design), Los Angeles, in 1974. Recent institutional solo exhibitions include Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2017) and Carlos Almaraz: A Life Recalled, Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2012). He has been included in institutional surveys including the touring Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., organized by Museum of Contemporary Art and ONE Gallery, Los Angeles (2017–2022); Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge (2002-2008) organized by the Cheech Marin Collection; Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. (2013-2014); Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement, Fowler Museum at University of California, Los Angeles (2011-2012); Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland (2002); Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2001); Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1993); Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, organized by the Wight Art Gallery, UCLA (1990-93); Le Démon des Anges, Centre d’arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona (1989); and Hispanic Art in the United States, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C. (1987). Almaraz’s works are in the public collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Museum of Modern Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art, University of California, Irvine, The Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, The Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, The Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington D.C., The National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., USC Fisher Art Museum, Los Angeles, Ca. and The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, among others. Almaraz’s life and work was chronicled in the 2018 documentary Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire directed by Elsa Flores Almaraz and Richard Montoya and is on view on Netflix. Beto de la Rocha: Beto de la Rocha (born November 26, 1937) is a Mexican-American painter, graphic artist, and muralist. De la Rocha was also influential in re-establishing the traditional Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead in Los Angeles, when he, along with Chicano artist Gronk and a few others, led a procession from Evergreen Cemetery up First Street in Eastside Los Angeles. Gilbert “Magu” Luján later said that de la Rocha "should be given credit for initiating this process—almost single-handedly. And what he did, he didn't get funding or he didn't ask permission from anybody, he just went and did it. Beto was also a phenomenal printmaker and worked at Gemini G.E.L. Gilbert “Magu” Luján (1940–2011): Luján is known for his coloration and visual explorations of Chicano culture and community that drew upon and brought to life various historic and contemporary visual sources with startling results: Pyramid-mounted low riders driven by anthropomorphic dogs traversing a newly defined and mythologized L.A. He was part of a small group of dedicated artists and intellectuals who set about defining a Chicano identity and culture as part of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Luján combined two world-making concepts, Aztlán, the mythic northern ancestral home of the indigenous Mexican Aztecs that became a charged symbol of Chicano activism; and Magulandia, the term Luján coined for the space in which he lived and produced his work, and for his work as a whole. Together, Aztlán and Magulandia represented both physical spaces and the complex cultural, geographic, and conceptual relationships that exist between Los Angeles and Mexico and served as dual landscapes for Luján’s artistic philosophy and cultural creativity. Frank Romero: Frank Romero (1941 - )  is an American artist considered to be a pioneer in the Chicano art movement.Romero's paintings and mural works explore Chicano and Los Angeles iconography, often featuring palm trees and bright colors. Romero was born and raised in Los Angeles. He studied art at the Otis Art Institute and California State College (now California State University) at Los Angeles. In 1973, Romero, Roberto de la Rocha, Gilbert Lujan and the late Carlos Almaraz formed an art collective called Los Four. The University of California, Irvine presented an exhibition of the group in 1974, which subsequently was shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Oakland Museum. Romero worked as a designer for Charles Eames and A & M Records, and was the Design Director of the Community Redevelopment Agency when he designed the first section of the Broadway sidewalk project. In 1981, he curated the highly regarded exhibition The Murals of Atzlan at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. Although he is known as one of the city's foremost muralists, Romero is now primarily a studio artist. His work has been exhibited in many solo and group shows including the national exhibitions, "Contemporary Hispanic Art in the U.S.," and "Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation."