Surrealism Revisited

Marilyn Butler Fine Art Gallery

The figures are based on Jimenez's friends and acquaintances. The men are recognizable as distinctive individuals: old, young, scrawny, pot-bellied and muscular. The women, however, have been transmuted into a stereotype: their breasts and hips have been pumped up, their make-up and mascara thickened.

Overall the installation treads an intriguing middle ground between drawing and sculpture. Though the figures are flat, they have the presence of sculpture in the room. Typically Jimenez does such immense drawings as preparatory studies for his sculpture. "Honky Tonk" shows how an artist's process can lead to work in a new medium as a final product. Luis Jimenez's "Honky Tonk" continues at the Lisa Sette Gallery through January 30. Located at 4142 North Marshall Way in Scottsdale, the gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m.

"Art is a quest, a healing and devotional activity that can change the artist, the viewer and life as we know it." According to art critic John Perreault, this is the goal of artists, such as Beth Ames Swartz, who are working in a spiritual mode. With "Dreams for the Earth," Swartz's newest series of paintings at the Elaine Horwitch Galleries, the Scottsdale artist has moved into the third realm of dealing with life, specifically with the ecology of the entire planet. In trying to unite the two disparate worlds of politics and spirituality, Swartz has undertaken an immense task but surely a worthwhile one.

Technically, the brilliant colors, abstracted floral and vaginal forms as well as the collage additions of pottery shards, metallic foils and crystals grow out of her earlier work. What is utterly new, and less successful, are the representational collage elements: magazine photographs, personal snapshots and reproductions of Eastern religious iconography. In the best of these paintings, such as "Costa Rica Guards Its Rain Forests" and "Return of the Chalice IV: Persephone Revisited," the collage clippings are the inspiration and central focus for the images. More often than not, however, these collage clippings are simply not well integrated pictorially into the whole image.

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