Montoya & Ortiz

The partnership of Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz explores both the figure and common elements found in nature. Through their sculptural guidance and subtle changes in scale the viewer ponders what makes color and form a visual feast. What makes the shell of a shrimp or an egg so compelling or why is a stuffed olive so rich in color and shape? Why is the incongruous pairing of a colossal pepper held by the figure of a seemingly fragile man straining under the weight of nature's abundance cause for contemplation? The answer lies in the exploration of the innate elegance of familiar forms.

SAN FRANCISCO

UNION SQUARE

 

341 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108

Monday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm

Sunday by appointment 

415.392.2299

ST. HELENA

NAPA VALLEY

 

1328 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574

Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday 11am - 5pm

707.200.5050

MONTECITO

SANTA BARBARA

 

1266 Coast Village Road
Santa Barbara, California 93108

Monday, Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday, 11am - 5pm

Tuesday - Wednesday by Appointment

805.770.7170

Copyright 2020 Caldwell Snyder Gallery

All rights reserved.

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Biography

Luis and Leslie’s recent bronzes, as beautiful as ever, are strictly faithful representations of a marine fauna of mollusks, seashells, snails, clams, shrimps, prawns, and other crustaceans. Are we before another of Borges’ Pierre Menards re-writing Don Quixote word by word exactly as the original creator wrote it? Or are we now, as I believe, in the other end of the spectrum? At a place where we have life reverting back to the mineral world. A world of slimy primordial life secreting saliva of calcium carbonate yearning to go back to our metallic origins; billions of years of clams discarding skeletons to add one more layer of limestone and lift one more mountain range; or a coral adding one more branch to surface an island in the middle of the ocean. In the Universe form is in a constant flow of changes and transmutations: rocks melt and liquids solidify; light becomes matter, matter reverts light; life petrifies time, and time becomes rock to become life again billions of years later. A petrified forest is a calendar, but it was a cascade of light and water before, or as the Mexican poet Octavio Paz saw it, the agave is water and its thorns imitate the sea urchin and both are time petrified. Creation is an eternal close cycle of life, matter, and time. And the artists have seen that the sullen persistent mollusk that stubbornly ponders its geometry lesson of secreted coils or the spiral curves generated on a sea snail came up—billions of years before the Greeks – with the mathematical equation that graphs the tides, the movement of the waves or the orbits of the galaxies. Charting their helicoidal graphs, the mollusks found the formula to petrify time, to give it plastic consistency.

With their new bronzes, these two artists, perhaps unconsciously, are expanding the conceptual core that sustains their work. If in their vegetable universe metal and colors were perceived as luscious soft flesh, in their current work, the hidden defenseless animal has learned how to encapsulate itself with protective shells and metallic plates very much like our old Venetian friend Bartolomeo Colleoni. The inter-textual relationship that the bronze Birth of Venus (2005) establishes with Botticcelli’s masterpiece at the Uffizi is perhaps the best illustration of all this in the questions it opens. In the painting the sensual naked body of the goddess is as if the mollusk where she stands had encapsulated her, layer after layer of mother-of-pearl into a beautiful crystal of organic origin: a pearl. It brought to the world the light of human reason and pagan love. In the bronze sculpture we are discussing, the closed clams recall that the same gestation could be taking place. That the clam is ready to bloom into a lustful goddess. Or has the process somehow gone terribly wrong? The larger clam stands in a precarious balance upon the smaller clam. Has Venus returned to its original form? Are the valves the protective plates of something our times could not nourish? The clams are as lustful, if not more than the soft skin of the goddess of love. Is there irony or an obscene pun in all this? There are many linguistic connotations that come to mind. And perhaps all their bronzes are also metaphors for sculpture itself. Many more questions could be asked. Isn’t that the main function of art? To conclude, it is obvious that Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz have undergone an inner journey of reflection, reassessment and transformation of an art form they know very well. At this stage of their evolution they have discovered that time is not a frontal attack on the human spirit; something that we can abolish or should fight back by adding more plates to our protective armor. Creation is not an open-ended process, but an infinite cycle of transformations and time is the engine that allows the whole process to keep on going.

Leslie Ortiz - Education: Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten; Boston University, School for the Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, BFA Magna Cum Laude in sculpture. Awards: The F.C.Uriot Prize, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Holland. Awarded tuition and workshop fellowships, and The Laura Goldenberg Memorial Scholarship, Boston University.

Luis Montoya - Education: School of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid, Spain, BFA, MFA. Castellblach Foundation Independent Study in Florence, London, New York. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, Post-graduate studies in sculpture. Awards: 1991 - 33rd Annual Hortt Memorial Competition, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 1986 - 28th Annual Hortt Memorial Competition, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 1976 - James J. Akston Foundation Award. 1971 - Francisco Alcantra Award, Spain.

Public Collections: National Museum of Sculpture, Valladolid, Spain; Circle of Fine Arts, Madrid, Spain;
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL; The Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL; Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Green Bay, Wisconsin;
Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art, Racine, WI.

Special Commissions: 1999 - The Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL. 1994 Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach FL; Esperante Building, West Palm Beach FL. 1993 - Tokyo/Fuji Art Museum Tokyo, Japan. 1991 - Sofia University, Tokyo, Japan. 1990 - Forest Ridge, Fort Lauderdale FL. 1989 - Phillips Point, West Palm Beach FL.
Selected Exhibitions:
2007 Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
2005 Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA
2004 Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek, WI (solo)
2004 Hawk Gallery, Columbus, OH (solo)
2004 Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2004 Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA
2004 Gerald Peters Fine Art, Dallas, TX (solo)
2004 Galerie Guillon-Laffaille, Paris, France
2003 SOFA Chicago, Hawk Gallery, Columbus, OH
2003 Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX (solo)
2003 Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
2003 San Francisco Art Fair, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA 2003
ARTPalm Beach, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, Boca Raton, FL 2002
San Francisco Art Fair, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA 2002
ARTChicago, Waddington & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL
2002 ARTMiami, Waddinton & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL
2002 Pillsbury Peters Fine Art, Dallas, TX (solo)
2001 - 2002 ARTPalm Beach, Waddington & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL 2001
Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2001 Gallery Henoch, New York, NY (solo)
2001 Waddington & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
1999 - 2001 Ivo Bouman Kunsthandel b.v., The Hague, The Netherlands (solo)
1999 - 2001 Galerie Guillon-Lafaille, Paris, France (solo)
1999 - 2001 Theo Waddington Gallery, London, England (solo) 2000
Galeria Acquavella, Caracas, Venezuela (solo)
2000 Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2000 Buschlen Mowatt , Vancouver, BC (solo)
1999 Solomon Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (solo)
1999 Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek, WI (solo)
1999 Henoch Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1999 Kristy Stubbs Gallery, Dallas, TX (solo)
1999 Riley Hawk Galleries, Columbus, OH (solo)
1999 Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
1998 - 1999 Corbino Gallery, Sarasota, FL (solo)

Press

PRESS

Selected Artworks

Leslie Ortiz - Education: Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten; Boston University, School for the Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, BFA Magna Cum Laude in sculpture. Awards: The F.C.Uriot Prize, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Holland. Awarded tuition and workshop fellowships, and The Laura Goldenberg Memorial Scholarship, Boston University.

Luis Montoya - Education: School of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid, Spain, BFA, MFA. Castellblach Foundation Independent Study in Florence, London, New York. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, Post-graduate studies in sculpture. Awards: 1991 - 33rd Annual Hortt Memorial Competition, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 1986 - 28th Annual Hortt Memorial Competition, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 1976 - James J. Akston Foundation Award. 1971 - Francisco Alcantra Award, Spain.

Public Collections: National Museum of Sculpture, Valladolid, Spain; Circle of Fine Arts, Madrid, Spain;
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL; The Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL; Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Green Bay, Wisconsin;
Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art, Racine, WI.

Special Commissions: 1999 - The Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL. 1994 Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach FL; Esperante Building, West Palm Beach FL. 1993 - Tokyo/Fuji Art Museum Tokyo, Japan. 1991 - Sofia University, Tokyo, Japan. 1990 - Forest Ridge, Fort Lauderdale FL. 1989 - Phillips Point, West Palm Beach FL.
Selected Exhibitions:
2007 Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
2005 Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA
2004 Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek, WI (solo)
2004 Hawk Gallery, Columbus, OH (solo)
2004 Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2004 Trajan Gallery, Carmel, CA
2004 Gerald Peters Fine Art, Dallas, TX (solo)
2004 Galerie Guillon-Laffaille, Paris, France
2003 SOFA Chicago, Hawk Gallery, Columbus, OH
2003 Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX (solo)
2003 Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
2003 San Francisco Art Fair, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA 2003
ARTPalm Beach, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, Boca Raton, FL 2002
San Francisco Art Fair, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA 2002
ARTChicago, Waddington & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL
2002 ARTMiami, Waddinton & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL
2002 Pillsbury Peters Fine Art, Dallas, TX (solo)
2001 - 2002 ARTPalm Beach, Waddington & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL 2001
Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2001 Gallery Henoch, New York, NY (solo)
2001 Waddington & Tribby, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
1999 - 2001 Ivo Bouman Kunsthandel b.v., The Hague, The Netherlands (solo)
1999 - 2001 Galerie Guillon-Lafaille, Paris, France (solo)
1999 - 2001 Theo Waddington Gallery, London, England (solo) 2000
Galeria Acquavella, Caracas, Venezuela (solo)
2000 Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2000 Buschlen Mowatt , Vancouver, BC (solo)
1999 Solomon Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (solo)
1999 Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek, WI (solo)
1999 Henoch Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1999 Kristy Stubbs Gallery, Dallas, TX (solo)
1999 Riley Hawk Galleries, Columbus, OH (solo)
1999 Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
1998 - 1999 Corbino Gallery, Sarasota, FL (solo)

Biography

Luis and Leslie’s recent bronzes, as beautiful as ever, are strictly faithful representations of a marine fauna of mollusks, seashells, snails, clams, shrimps, prawns, and other crustaceans. Are we before another of Borges’ Pierre Menards re-writing Don Quixote word by word exactly as the original creator wrote it? Or are we now, as I believe, in the other end of the spectrum? At a place where we have life reverting back to the mineral world. A world of slimy primordial life secreting saliva of calcium carbonate yearning to go back to our metallic origins; billions of years of clams discarding skeletons to add one more layer of limestone and lift one more mountain range; or a coral adding one more branch to surface an island in the middle of the ocean. In the Universe form is in a constant flow of changes and transmutations: rocks melt and liquids solidify; light becomes matter, matter reverts light; life petrifies time, and time becomes rock to become life again billions of years later. A petrified forest is a calendar, but it was a cascade of light and water before, or as the Mexican poet Octavio Paz saw it, the agave is water and its thorns imitate the sea urchin and both are time petrified. Creation is an eternal close cycle of life, matter, and time. And the artists have seen that the sullen persistent mollusk that stubbornly ponders its geometry lesson of secreted coils or the spiral curves generated on a sea snail came up—billions of years before the Greeks – with the mathematical equation that graphs the tides, the movement of the waves or the orbits of the galaxies. Charting their helicoidal graphs, the mollusks found the formula to petrify time, to give it plastic consistency.

With their new bronzes, these two artists, perhaps unconsciously, are expanding the conceptual core that sustains their work. If in their vegetable universe metal and colors were perceived as luscious soft flesh, in their current work, the hidden defenseless animal has learned how to encapsulate itself with protective shells and metallic plates very much like our old Venetian friend Bartolomeo Colleoni. The inter-textual relationship that the bronze Birth of Venus (2005) establishes with Botticcelli’s masterpiece at the Uffizi is perhaps the best illustration of all this in the questions it opens. In the painting the sensual naked body of the goddess is as if the mollusk where she stands had encapsulated her, layer after layer of mother-of-pearl into a beautiful crystal of organic origin: a pearl. It brought to the world the light of human reason and pagan love. In the bronze sculpture we are discussing, the closed clams recall that the same gestation could be taking place. That the clam is ready to bloom into a lustful goddess. Or has the process somehow gone terribly wrong? The larger clam stands in a precarious balance upon the smaller clam. Has Venus returned to its original form? Are the valves the protective plates of something our times could not nourish? The clams are as lustful, if not more than the soft skin of the goddess of love. Is there irony or an obscene pun in all this? There are many linguistic connotations that come to mind. And perhaps all their bronzes are also metaphors for sculpture itself. Many more questions could be asked. Isn’t that the main function of art? To conclude, it is obvious that Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz have undergone an inner journey of reflection, reassessment and transformation of an art form they know very well. At this stage of their evolution they have discovered that time is not a frontal attack on the human spirit; something that we can abolish or should fight back by adding more plates to our protective armor. Creation is not an open-ended process, but an infinite cycle of transformations and time is the engine that allows the whole process to keep on going.