Saturday, November 13, 2021

Raúl Acero's "Colecciones": Gathering Inspiration, Once Again



This week "Colecciones" by Studio Art Professor Emeritus Raúl Acero opens at the University of Redlands Art Gallery. Acero is a mixed-media artist who explores themes of time, identity and culture through simple techniques that embody centuries of tradition and innovation.

"Colecciones" draws together work from across Acero's career, including a series of sculpted clay heads, paintings evoking the history of indigenous people and works inspired by his own family. The concept for the show developed out of Acero's response to the pandemic, which struck while he was on sabbatical and has persisted beyond his retirement. Unable to access supplies and equipment needed to work in three-dimensional sculpture, he turned to drawing and painting and held his most recent exhibition, "A Maker's Life," as an online retrospective.

With the campus open again, "Colecciones" fully exploits Acero's ability to physically juxtapose his work in a gallery. Grouping his work into categories helped Acero articulate the coherence of his art and its relationship to current issues, such as the movements for social justice that gained momentum during the pandemic summer. In choosing to work with (relatively) inexpensive materials, to create practical objects, and to execute his concepts himself, Acero stands against dominant value systems of Western art, aligning himself instead with traditions of craft and figurative sculpture found around the world.

"Colecciones" runs November 16-December 12 at the University Art Gallery. The opening reception is Wednesday, November 17 from 4:30-6:30 pm. You can also view "Colecciones" online at

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