cover image Castillo


Jorge Castillo, Rizzoli. Rizzoli International Publications, $85 (341pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1416-9

Spanish figurative painter Jorge Castillo takes as his theme human existence in all its precariousness, absurdity, beauty and solitariness. His haunting paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures unfold an ironic fable of humanity, a world of constantly metamorphosing forms invaded by fantasy images, ghosts of the unconscious, hermaphrodite beings, glimmers of death. Born in 1933, Castillo grew up in Argentina and has lived in Madrid, Paris, Berlin and, since 1979, in New York City. Although tinged with the shadows of Picasso and surrealism, his work stands on its own: a revelation, a challenge, an affront to the viewer's complacency. This hefty catalogue of a 1990 exhibition in Barcelona includes an examination by Spanish art historian Borras of Castillo's large, boldly frontal paintings of New York, city of violent contrasts; six additional essays by other scholars; and 283 plates, 188 in color. (Feb.)