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Current Speed Artist Talk: Angel Otero & Leslie Martinez

March 7 at 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Current Speed Artist Talk: Angel Otero & Leslie Martinez
March 7, 6:30-7:30 PM
FREE Lecture


The Speed Art Museum is thrilled to present leading contemporary artists Angel Otero and Leslie Martinez in conversation with Tyler Blackwell, Curator of Contemporary Art. This discussion is presented on the occasion of the exhibition Current Speed: Angel Otero / Leslie Martinez, which features two major paintings recently acquired by Speed Art Museum.

Angel Otero (he/him/his) was born in 1981 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, where he resided until moving to Chicago in 2004. He currently splits his time between New York and Puerto Rico. Otero’s practice is known for employing highly innovative techniques that challenge the parameters of his materials, revealing the intrinsic qualities of paint. His works are rooted in abstract image making and engage with ideas of memory through addressing art history, as well as his own lived experience. Otero is best known for the “Oil Skin” works he began in 2010, an ongoing series that demonstrates the inherently transformative nature of the artist’s practice as well as his dedication to expanding the visual field of abstract expressionism. Using oil paint layered onto glass and peeled off at a partially dried state, Otero recomposes his ‘skins’ onto canvas to make entirely new images and patterns. The artist’s early childhood memories are brought to the forefront in his most recent series of paintings which see a return to figuration combined with his hallmark style of abstraction. Otero paints and collages dreamlike scenes upon his vibrant structured canvases, depicting objects and spaces that are loosely based on personal memories associated with the domestic sphere. Probing the boundaries of figuration and abstraction, Otero’s most recent works continue to expand the possibilities of painting and materiality. His work is included in many major museum collections, including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Speed Art Museum, Louisville; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; among others.

Leslie Martinez (they/them/their) was born in 1985 in McAllen, Texas. They currently live and work in Dallas, Texas. Martinez creates alluring paintings and sculptures that directly engage notions of place, climate, landscape, and queer personhood through unconventional methods of applying and interlaying various materials, textures, and hues on canvas. One of the most compelling artists to emerge in the last five years, Martinez’s signature style of abstract painting features viscerally tactile and spatial atmospheres created with physical ingredients like fabric rags, recycled clothing, and crushed stone that reveal discordant visual intersections of destruction and emergence. Their paintings also invite readings of Martinez’s biography, including their own trans, non-binary identity, and their intergenerational homelands adjacent to the Texas-Mexico border. Martinez’s work is in the collections of Dallas Museum of Art; Pérez Art Museum Miami; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and Speed Art Museum, Louisville.

Current Speed is a series of changing contemporary art exhibitions and focus presentations that introduce the Kentuckiana community to new and emerging artists as well as celebrated mid-career artists previously underrecognized in the region. Current Speed exhibitions are open to the public and included with general museum admission. The Current Speed exhibition series is initiated and organized by Tyler Blackwell, Curator of Contemporary Art at Speed Art Museum.


March 7
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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