Brutal Beauty
Drawings by Hugo Crosthwaite
27 February - 18 July 2010
San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, USA

A Tail for Two Cities: Part I (10:01)    Part II (9:22)
Artist Interview   Time Lapse   Advertisement (Spanish)

Exhibition Images >

Born in Tijuana, Mexico in 1971, Hugo Crosthwaite spent his childhood in nearby Rosarito. At a young age, he taught himself to draw after studying the black and white reproductions in books owned by his father such as The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri and Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. This formative experience led to a fascination with black and white compositions.

Crosthwaite received a B.A. in 1997 from San Diego State University. Though Crosthwaite currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, the influence of the Mexico-California border region lingers in his work. Filled with diverse and hybrid cultures, his work represents a synthesis of the art historical canon and contemporary human experience. He explores the immediacy of drawing, while simultaneously demonstrating a keen eye for detail. While Crosthwaite has depicted cityscapes of Tijuana through numerous drawings, this exhibition focuses on his rendering of the figure. Working primarily with charcoal and graphite, he melds the fragility of humanity with through references to popular culture, daily life, and recent history such as the events of September 11 and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. His figures exude a brutal beauty: they are as awe-inspiring for their physical forms as they are for their dramatic sensibilities that suggest baroque, surreal, and film noir influences.

This exhibition is a testament to the powerful work being created by Crosthwaite, an artist with local origins. During the course of the exhibition Crosthwaite will create a new work that will complete this installation and will become a part of the Museum's permanent collection.

- Curated by Amy Galpin, Project Curator for American Art

Exhibition Press
Brutal Beauty Promotional Television Spot

Exhibition Review
Leah Ollman, Art In America, June 4, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite : Brutal Beauty
Exhibition Review, Mark Murphy : Scribble 08, March 14, 2010

Audio & Text: Inspiration For Brutal Beauty
Interview with Megan Burke and Maureen Cavanaugh, KPBS, These Days, March 4, 2010

Art Everywhere: Brutal Beauty @ San Diego Musuem of Art
Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego City Beat, June 30, 2010

Allegorical to a fault: Crosthwaite's bicultural medium
Hugo Crosthwaite is an unabashed reviver of the form. He spent a good number of days in one of the galleries at the San Diego Museum of Art making a ... (read more) Robert L. Pincus, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 15, 2010

NEA Chairman Visits Brutal Beauty
As part of his Art Works tour, National Endowment for Arts Chariman Rocco Landesman visits Hugo Crosthwaite during his exhibition, Brutal Beauty at San Diego Museum of Art.

A viva la belleza de los grises
Frontera - Diario Independiente de Tijuana, March 12, 2010

Hugo Crosthwaite's Work of Brutal Beauty
Interview with Angela Carone, KPBS, Culture Lust Blog, February 26, 2010

HOMECOMING: Artist Hugo Crosthwaite Returns to San Diego
Alexander Jarman, The Gallery Blog