by Judithe Hernandez (detail)

by Judithe Hernandez (detail)

Politically Powerful and Often Seductive

Judithe Hernandez' art at Millard Sheets Art Center

On Saturday afternoon, the Millard Sheets Art Center at the Fairplex in Pomona hosted dialogue between UCLA art historian Charlene Villasenor Black and exhibiting artist Judithe Hernandez. The current show “One Path Two Journeys” is a PST LA/LA offering, pairing Hernandez with Patssi Valdez. (Valdez couldn’t come to the talk for family reasons.)

both Politically Powerful and Often Seductive

Charlene Villasenor Black and Judithe Hernandez

Hernandez and Villasenor Black ranged over the artist’s career, from her education at Otis (with Charles White as a mentor), her time as a muralist, and how Carlos Almaraz invited her to be the [only] female member of Los Four. Hernandez moved to Chicago for a several years, allowing her art practice to take second place to being a wife, mother, and professor.

snake Politically Powerful and Often Seductive

Judithe Hernandez’ painting

We are lucky that she decided to return to LA and revitalize her art production, because her work has exploded into politically powerful, often seductive, and always beautiful imagery. Perhaps the most amazing examples are her evocative pastel drawings from the Adam and Eve series and the saint-like portraits of the female maquiladoras who have been “disappeared” from Northern Mexico.

purple Politically Powerful and Often Seductive

Judithe Hernandez’ painting

Both Hernandez and Villasenor Black were incredibly articulate and insightful, and it was a total delight to hear them while surrounded Hernandez’s oeuvre. I am sure my fellow audience members, including Leo Limon and Leonard Greco, felt the same way.

Photos by Betty Ann Brown