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Review: Peregrinaje: Paintings by Carlos Estevez at Evan Lurie

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4.5 stars

Evan Lurie Gallery. Think of the ornate apartment buildings that compose the densely packed cityscapes in Rome and Paris — or even in Carmel's emerging Arts & Design District where the Lurie Gallery is located. Then imagine the figure of a man composed of numerous such apartment buildings and assorted edifices. You could describe Carlos Estévez' painting "La Solitude Habitable" like so; it's a painting that draws attention to the solitude to be found in the middle of any modern apartment block. But the man depicted is no mere construct. While his component parts are drawn in the style of architectural blueprints, you see compasses on his heart, brain and groin as if the interactions between his ideals, ambitions and lusts will determine where he will go next. Other paintings show subjects on the move towards off-canvas destinations; one depicts a submerged submarine-shaped city with a man's head and a fish's tail. Estévez, one of the leading contemporary Cuban artists, depicts here a world where steel and carbon-base molecules have merged. This kind of amalgamation, whether it's a literal commentary on the state of the world or a more metaphorical one, seems central to his deeply humanistic work. The human figures in his paintings cannot but seem symbolic in that they seem representative of the uncertainty we all must face alone on our pilgrimages towards unknown destinations. Through Dec. 8; 844-8400, www.evanluriegallery.com.

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