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La Jolla’s Tasende Gallery prepares for new exhibit as it continues four-decade tradition in The Village

Armando Romero's 1988 "La Ventana Indiscreta" will be part of Tasende Gallery's "Perpetual Provocation" exhibit
Armando Romero’s 1988 “La Ventana Indiscreta” will be part of Tasende Gallery’s “Perpetual Provocation” exhibit May 21-July 3 in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Tasende Gallery)

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Tasende Gallery in La Jolla will present the exhibition “Perpetual Provocation” by artist Armando Romero from May 21 to July 3, continuing a 42-year run of showing art at 820 Prospect St. in The Village.

The show will include seven paintings, eight sculptures and four drawings that Romero completed primarily during 2006 and 2007, and will exhibit an earlier work, 1988’s “La Ventana Indiscreta,” which has never been shown before.

Romero, a Mexican Expressionism artist, is “unquestionably the most brilliant artist today,” said gallery owner Jose Tasende. “The expression, the way he transmits the art is fantastic. I don’t see anybody compare with him today.”

This will be the second time Tasende Gallery shows Romero’s work, and Tasende said the collection is “exclusive,” with pieces that are “intelligent and very cultural.”

The exhibit is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with essays by art historians Derrick Cartwright and Peter Selz, available via the gallery’s website, tasendegallery.com.

The exhibit will open with a reception for Romero at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 20. The patio will be open along with the gallery to allow for a small gathering of guests to circulate, according to gallery director Mary Beth Petersen.

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The gallery is complying with the latest public health guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she said. Masks will not be required, as local vaccination rates are high and the number of gallery attendees will be limited, she said.

Tasende Gallery has worked with a variety of artists in its four decades, including Eduardo Chillida, Giacomo Manzù and Wayne Thiebaud and has published several books showcasing some of the artists. Petersen said the gallery typically hosts three or four shows per year.

Tasende established the gallery in June 1979 after moving here with his wife, Helen, who was from the area. The building, which Tasende owns, was designed by now-late architect Robert Mosher; Tasende lives upstairs.

Tasende’s dedication to the gallery and the art it shows is born of his desire to create a “completely different concept” for exhibiting artists, with “different art and different perspectives,” he said.

“These kinds of galleries don’t exist in La Jolla,” he said.

Jose Tasende, right, and son Aitor Tasende at sculptor Eduardo Chillida's foundation in Spain.
Jose Tasende (right) and son Aitor visit sculptor Eduardo Chillida’s foundation in Spain.
(Hans Wirth)

Tasende, who owned a gallery in Acapulco, Mexico, before moving to La Jolla, said his approach focuses on showing international artists to clients who mainly live outside the area.

Tasende “travels incessantly,” Petersen said. “He’ll go to Europe and he’ll touch base with some older clients.”

The constant motion — put on pause for the pandemic — means Tasende is able to bring well-known artists to the gallery. “I want to maintain the possibility that people can … choose that investment [in] big luminaries of the arts,” he said.

Tasende Gallery also has participated in art fairs in New York, Chicago, Miami and internationally, Petersen said.

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit the website or call (858) 454-3691.

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