News – September 2014

For More Information Contact:  Mary Tomás (214) 727-5101

MARY TOMÁS GALLERY presents SCRATCHING THE SURFACE – A Collection of Thought Provoking Latin American Artists and their works.

Opening reception will be held Saturday, September 6, 2014 6 to 9 p.m.

DADA Fall Gallery Walk, Saturday, September 20, 2014, noon to 8 p.m.


Dallas—Gallery owners Mary and Alberto Tomás are dedicated to exhibiting artists presenting truth, passion and skill in their work, as well as adding new voices to the ongoing conversation evolving between patrons, artists and viewers in the Dallas area and beyond. Featuring passionate works representing Latin American expressions in art, SCRATCHING THE SURFACE implores the viewer to look deeper into each artists’ process and the personal history articulated in their work.

“We introduced Latin American art to our exhibitions in last year’s September show for Dutch Caribbean artist Johannes Boekhoudt,” says co-owner Mary Tomás. She adds: “For our September 2014 opening we wanted to expand our fall show to include other important contemporary Latin American artists living in and beyond Dallas.”

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE artists include: Abstract Expressionist Painter Johannes Boekhoudt, Costa Rica/Dallas; Magical Realism Painter Carlos Cancio, Puerto Rico/Spain; Expressionist Painter Sandra Lara, Dallas; Abstract Contemporary Painter Norlan Santana, Costa Rica/Nicaragua; and Abstract Expressionist Painter Fred Villanueva, Dallas.


Johannes Boekhoudt, born in Curaçao, is an abstract expressionist painter who recently moved to Dallas after living in Houston and Costa Rica. Last September Boekhoudt opened his first solo show in Dallas at Mary Tomás Gallery and his work has been a patron favorite since. After launching his career in New York his work has been presented in exhibitions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in selected galleries and museums, including MAMCM-Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno Carlos Merida, Guatemala. Utilizing the canvas as a form of communication for social commentary, Boekhoudt is continuously stirred by the world around him; he evaluates societal circumstances he has experienced—some troubling or disturbing, some joyful or mysterious—and then interprets them through a series of large format paintings in oil, acrylic or mixed media on canvas or found object sculpture.

Carlos Cancio is a noted and seasoned magical realism painter from Puerto Rico. A graduate of Boston University with a BFA in painting, Cancio moved to the Straight of Gibraltar on the coast of Spain where he established his first professional studio. He has traveled around the world with studios in Spain, the Virgin Islands, Portofino, Italy, and San Juan, Puerto Rico where he currently resides. Both public institutions and private individuals extensively collect his work. Museums from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico City and The Florida Museum of Hispanic Latin American Art have added large-scale works by Carlos Cancio to their collections. Cancio’s work is new to Mary Tomás Gallery and appears for the first time in Dallas.

Sandra Lara surfaced in the art community when her abstract expressionist work was selected for The Creative Arts Center Juried Membership Show held at Mary Tomás Gallery in 2011. Struck by her raw, emotionally honest, and at times disturbing imagery, the gallery admired her progress during its mentorship. Lara’s artistic style has developed into works which are colorfully bold, vibrant, and fearless as she continues to dig deeply into her psyche to create compelling images. Her work is likened to Basquiat, while being true to her own voice and vision. Often works are inspired by her Mexican American heritage and Mayan mythological legend, as well as a cathartic release for night terrors. She has studied under Lorraine Tady, Bill Komodore and Robin Koch in independent arts studies at SMU.

Norlan Santana is a noted contemporary abstract painter from Nicaragua. Santana has been devoted to making art critical of the social and cultural context of Central American countries. Exploding with color, shape and form, each work has its own purpose and context. Santana’s process is based in primitivism. Here, concepts are observed, a distinction of color is made, and an insight into his future works is given. His prolific activity and rapid maturation, deservedly, has won numerous accolades. Works may be seen in important collections in: Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, USA, Canada, Central America, France, Japan, and Italy. Santana’s work has appeared in more than 30 individual exhibitions and 15 collectives. His work may be found in these public collections: Galería Nacional, Costa Rica, Museo de los Niños, Costa Rica. Museo de Antropología, Nicaragua, Historia y Arte, Nicaragua, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno Carlos Merida, Guatemala, Museo Arte Contemporáneo de Panamá, Panamá.

Fred Villanueva is an abstract and figurative painter living and working in Dallas. Critical elements of his work are exploratory, experimental, and expressionistic. In the spirit of concept-driven and experimental art he explores several parallel bodies of work, large-scale paintings and monumental tapestries. He has traveled and studied art extensively throughout Europe and the United States influencing his artistic process. In one of his large-scale gallery abstract paintings (The Lion Hunt), Villanueva started the piece in Manhattan prior to 9-11 in his studio close to the Twin Towers. Completing the piece in 2014, Villanueva captured the pulsating emotions surrounding the confusing and volatile events of 9-11. Villanueva has exhibited throughout the United States, Japan, Spain, France, The Netherlands, and more recently at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Michigan. Villanueva is also a gifted muralist and his pieces may be found in the Collection of the National Museum of Catholic Art and History (NMCAL) in Washington, DC, the Collection of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA and the Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving, TX.

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE – A Collection of Thought Provoking Latin American Artists and their works runs through October 4, 2014.

Photo credit: The Lion Hunt, oil, acrylic, wax on canvas, 99” X 128”, artist Fred Villanueva.