San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Galería 11-12 Opens Second Location

AN exciting new art gallery has cometo the western suburb of Escazú that shouldprove to be an upscale venue displayingsome of Costa Rica’s finer contemporaryexpressions.Located in Plaza Itskatzú in front of theJaguar dealership, Galería de Arte 11-12’ssecond location opened March 15 with anexhibit by four highly acclaimed artists ofinternational recognition. In the variationwe see a collection that is exciting,provocative and new. With works rangingin price from $2,500-16,000, Galería deArte 11-12 offers a glimpse at fine Latin art.The gallery’s inauguration was a niceevent complete with wine, hors d’oeuvresand conversation with some of the artists.Owner Mario Matarrita says he plans tohold similar events regularly so the publiccan enjoy new exhibits and meet theartists. He plans to present a new collectionapproximately once every two months.After viewing the exhibit, I had theopportunity to speak with Rodolfo Stanley,who gave me a first-hand account of theinspiration behind his nostalgic and magicalpieces. Like his art, Stanley reflects agenuine appreciation of Costa Rican cultureand women. Many of his works arecelebration-centered accounts of his interpretationof women and fiesta.Showing alongside Stanley’s work areGuillermo Porras’ creations of figurativeexpression. Born in Limón, Porras’ style isdistinct and captivating. His use of shapesand symmetry add a nice element to thework presented.Colombian-born Lola Fernández isalso showcased in the gallery’s first display.In the 1970s, Fernández helped formGrupo Ocho (Group of Eight), a union ofartists who revolutionized the Costa Ricancontemporary art scene. Her classic styleevoking enigmatic subjects lends mysticismand social context to the collection.Felo García, also of Grupo Ocho,offers the exhibit an acutely Latino style,with port towns and barrio architecturerendered both in their complexity and simplicity.García is considered a pioneer incapturing national landscape and structure.First created under the name MondayWorkshop in 1986, Galería 11-12 originatedas a host venue for novelists, poets andpainters to share their artistic experiences,and it continues to promote historical andcontemporary Costa Rican art. Its first locationin Barrio Escalante, in eastern SanJosé, is home to a permanent collection ofmore than 30 renowned artists, among themsuch national treasures as Rafa Fernández,Fausto Pacheco and Francisco Zúñiga.Both galleries are open Mondaythrough Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and byappointment on Sundays. For more information,call 288-1975.

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