Luchita Hurtado

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Luchita Hurtado (Maiquetía, Venezuela, October 28, 1920)[1][2] is a painter from Santa Monica, California and Arroyo Seco, New Mexico. Her second husband was the artist and collector Wolfgang Paalen. She lived and traveled in Mexico with Paalen, encountering Rufino Tamayo, Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Edward James, Giles Healey and Sheila Healey. Her early career in the 1940s was as a fashion illustrator for Condé Nast and as a muralist for Lord & Taylor.[3] Moving to San Francisco, her contacts with artists and collectors included Isamu Noguchi, Gordon Onslow Ford, Jacqueline Johnson, Lucienne Bloch, James Broughton, Rene d'Harnoncourt and Robert Motherwell. Christopher Knight said of her work: "Her drawings’ loosely Surrealist forms recall dense pictographs from a variety of cultures, ancient and modern. Among them are prehistoric cave paintings, Northwest and Southwest tribal art, pre-Columbian reliefs and the abstract paintings and sculptures."[4]

Hurtado's work was included in the Hammer Museum's Made in L.A. exhibition in 2018. Several visitors asked the curators if her birth date was incorrect because the work seems so contemporary. "There’s no way, said the visitor, that a painter by the name of Luchita Hurtado could have possibly been born in 1920."[5]

Hurtado's third husband was the artist Lee Mullican[6]; their son Matt Mullican is a New York-based artist; their son John Mullican is a Los Angeles-based writer and director.

Hurtado's work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art[7] and the Museum of Modern Art.[8]



  1. ^ "Oral history interview with Luchita Hurtado, 1994 May 1-1995 April 13,". Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
  2. ^ United States Public Records Index, FamilySearch
  3. ^ "Luchita Hurtado". Made in L.A. Hammer Museum. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  4. ^ Knight, Christopher. "Luchita Hurtado abstract artworks mix cultures like colors, to rousing effect". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ Miranda, Carolina A. "Why Luchita Hurtado at 97 is the hot discovery of the Hammer's 'Made in LA' biennial" (Jul 05, 2018). L.A. Times. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  6. ^ Wagley, Catherine G. (2017-01-20). "A Life's Work: As Her Reputation Surges, Luchita Hurtado Discusses Her Long Career". ARTnews. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  7. ^ "Luchita Hurtado". LACMA Collections. LACMA. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Luchita Hurtado". MOMA collections. MOMA. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  9. ^ Casuso, Jorge. "Artist Luchita Hurtado's Enchanted Works on Display in Santa Monica". Santa Monica Lookout. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Luchita Hurtado". Park View Gallery. Retrieved 3 May 2018.

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