Albert Contreras began his painting career in Los Angeles. He earned public acclaim for his minimalist paintings, and his work as an artist moved him to Mexico City and then onto Madrid, Stockholm, and New York. During his travels and work, he explored the edges of minimalist and reductivist styles, experimenting with the dematerialization of the object.
In the late 1960s, Contreras decided to stop painting entirely, returning to California to work for the City of Los Angeles. Upon retirement, he went to therapy for five years and started to paint again. Unlike his early art work, which often featured monochromes painted onto flat, stretched canvases, Contreras’s later paintings dazzle with Technicolor palettes and viscous textures.
Marquand Books recently published Albert Contreras, the first substantial monograph of the artist’s work. The 112-page book features essays by Dave Hickey, David Pagel, Ed Schad, and John Yau that chronicle Contreras’s career and reflect on the nature and significance of his work. The monograph, designed by Jeff Wincapaw, also includes seventy-seven full-color illustrations of Contreras’s recent and older paintings.
Albert Contreras can be purchased through the D.A.P. bookstore.
photography by Jeremy Linden