From expressive figurative illustrations to abstract geometrics and surrealist musings, this show boasts 80 works by Spain's renowned masters and artists from other countries whose careers were affected by that nation. The sprawling exhibit is an introduction to some of Spain's lesser-known talent, as well as a primer on the brighter lights who soared to international stature during an era when the tension between figuration and abstraction ruled the course of art. It Could Occur at Any Moment, a mystifying surrealist work by José Caballero, suggests Spain's hidden history of religious corruption. The spooky drawing is one of the most compelling on exhibit and a strong argument for catching amazing works by artists seldom on view. More often than not, it's the obscure names rather than the headliners who steal this show.
Christian Curiel's paintings, drawings, and sculptures in "Collapsing Inwards" bring to mind the creepy old drive-in movie monster from The Blob. The youngsters in his work interact with a Pepto-Bismol-pink bloblike presence, hinting at unspoken adolescent conflicts. The slick, bright surfaces of the painted scenes belie their quixotic imagery, allowing them to worm deeply into the viewer's skull. Rather than implying a narrative, Curiel's moody passages seem disparate, vaguely connected by a fuzzy, self-reflective trawl of memories or cryptic fragments of childhood. The results are riveting in an oddly discomfiting way. The Procession, a large oil-on-canvas piece, depicts a group of boys on a frozen pond carrying a Kraken-like mass of entrails as several girls shimmy in a conga line in the background. The enigmatic nuance of Curiel's figures and his beguiling mix of curiosity, innocence, and aching exude an unmistakable sense of loss.