VIDEO: The Cuatrecasas Discovery
Gil Cuatrecasas was a master colorist painter whose work was nearly lost to art history. Cuatrecasas grew up in Spain in the 1930s before emigrating to America where he studied art at Harvard and then at Yale under Albers. He had several significant exhibitions, including a 1964 traveling exhibition at the Pan-American Union with fellow Washington Color School painters artist Sam Gilliam, Gene Davis, and others. He was also given a solo show at the Corcoran Gallery in 1965. He was slated to have a major solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston in 1976, but a flood destroyed 200 canvases that were stored in the museum’s basement. After that, Gil suffered several more tragedies and quit painting. His brother, Pedro, discovered the remainder of Gil’s work in a storage space in 2004, just months before Gil’s death.
Gil’s Sanctuary (818 N Spring Street, Suite #117) is a Los Angeles project space dedicated to and the home base for master colorist painter. Gil’s Sanctuary is an art gallery and contemplation room. They host exhibitions, events, and lectures on spirituality, physics, psychology, and technology. Gil Cuatrecasas’s paintings, are a surprising discovery: he hid his work from site. After forty years languishing in a security storage space, the artist’s works were discovered and narrowly saved from being auctioned off, piecemeal, by a storage company. Stories like Gil’s inspire us to think about what might have been and what is to come; they invoke new ideas and new outlets for creative growth. Gil’s Sanctuary hopes to inspire the greater Los Angeles art world and beyond.