Tag Archives: Mexico

News on Journals: Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture/Metropolitan Museum Journal

Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing the most current international research on the visual culture of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, as well as that created in diaspora. A defining focus of the journal is its concentration of current scholarship on both Latin American and Latinx visual culture in a single publication. The journal aims to approach ancient, colonial, modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx visual culture from a range of interdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives. The journal was first published in January 2019, and three issues are now available on the journal’s website.

The Metropolitan Museum Journal presents richly illustrated studies of works in the Museum’s collection, including prominent as well as lesser known pieces, and relating them to works in other collections. The journal’s editorial board has recently announced that starting with volume 55, authors who publish in the Metropolitan Museum Journal (MMJ) will no longer be responsible to provide or pay for high-resolution images. The editorial office at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will acquire all high-resolution images and obtain English-language, world publication rights for print and electronic editions of MMJ. Journal authors will no longer need to spend time and effort on securing images. Click here for more information on this innovative policy.

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Iberian and Latin American Art at the 58th Venice Biennale

The 58th Biennale of Venice opened on 11 May. Here is a (non-comprehensive) list of Iberian and Latin American artists represented at the exhibition, which runs until 24 November 2019, and at accompanying events.

Mexican artist Teresa Margolles was awarded a Special Mention at the event’s opening ceremony. By shifting existing structures from the real world into the Exhibition halls, Margolles creates sharp and poignant works that deal with the plight of women grossly affected by the narcotics trade in her native country. Her work Muro Ciudad Juárez. 2010 can be found in the Biennale’s central pavilion at the Giardini, entitled May You Live in Interesting Times and curated by Ralph Rugoff.

Other Latin American artists invited to participate in the Biennale’s international exhibition (split between the Giardini and Arsenale) are Jill Mulleady (born in 1980 in Uruguay), Gabriel Rico (born in 1980 in Mexico) and Tomás Saraceno (born in 1973 in Argentina).

The international exhibition is accompanied by 89 national participations. Spain’s pavilion, located at the entrance of the Giardini, showcases Perforated, a collaboration between Itziar Okariz and Sergio Prego. Through performance, video, and sound, Okariz explores the displacements between the subject, the language, and its physical presence. Prego’s sculptural works relate to architecture, calling materiality into question through the use of lightweight, flexible materials that allow the form to only exist in a specific state or as a result of a continuous action on the constituent material. Both artists reiterate the alternative functions of the body in our technified society.

Brazil’s pavilion, Swinguerra, takes its title from a combination of swingueira, a popular dance movement in the north-east of Brazil, and guerra, war. Wagner & de Burca’s work focuses on the powerful expressions of popular culture in contemporary Brazil, and their complex relationship with international and local traditions.

In Uruguay’s exhibition, La casa empática, paintings, drawings, photographs, and mural works by Yamandú Canosa are arranged as a ‘landscape-territory’ of the world, an inclusive and empathic ‘total landscape’. The total landscape is completed by the intervention on the facade and by the starry sky installed in the ceiling of the pavilion.

Metáfora de las tres ventanas. Venezuela: Identidad en tiempo y espacio is the pavilion of Venezuela. Three metaphorical windows— thresholds for light, air, and the gaze—symbolise the long construction of collective history and an all-encompassing narrative filled with challenges and rebellion. Venezuela aims to promote its libertarian identity, woven over the centuries, and share it in a clear gesture of invitation to the complicity of others.

Other national pavilions are located in the Arsenale. Argentina’s exhibition, El nombre de un país/The Name of a Country is a punk, Frankensteinish bestiary that flaunts a high-fashion collection attitude. Mariana Telleria traces a highway with an infinite number of linguistic lanes, activating confusion—mixing things together, building monsters—and sustaining viewers’ awareness in a continual state of transit.

In Chile’s Pavilion, Altered Views, Voluspa Jarpa offers a proposal for decolonisation through a review of European history. Altered Views comprises three reversed cultural spaces/models: the Hegemony Museum, the Subaltern Portrait Gallery, and the Emancipating Opera. The project collects concepts that defined colony: race and cross-breeding, subordinate male subjects, cannibalism, gender, civilisation and barbarism, monarchy and republic, appealing to a critical view from a transtemporal journey.

Mexico is represented by Actos de dios/Acts of God by Pablo Vargas Lugo. This exhibition which speculates on the life of Christ to generate a non-linear narrative that raises new questions. What would happen if the man who was chosen to redeem humanity had set out to fulfil all the predictions made by the prophets about his life without being certain that he could accomplish them?

“Indios antropófagos”. A butterfly Garden in the (Urban) Jungle, the exhibition of Peru, is a paradox: a post-conceptual exploration of the fiery sensory impact of Amazon culture on certain (neo)Baroque horizons in Peruvian art, namely in Christian Bendayán’s work, where it is energised by a critical reconsideration of the Amazon as a constructed image.

Other national exhibitions are dotted around Venice. In Cannaregio, the Dominican Republic presents Naturaleza y biodiversidad en la República Dominicana. This is the country’s first independent national pavilion at the Biennale. It offers a reflection on ecological threats affecting the luxuriant local nature, the Earth and humankind.

Next to the Dominican Republic is Guatemala’s Interesting State. The term ‘interesting state’ evokes a woman who is pregnant. Acts of violence against women constitute the denial of existence. Guatemala is an ‘interesting State’ because of the persistence of this devastating phenomenon. Art therefore becomes an ethical instrument, in which the seductive aesthetic nature of the works is there to serve an indispensable social denunciation and an essential opportunity for redemption.

Portugal’s pavilion, a seam, a surface, a hinge or a knot, features artist Leonor Antunes reflecting on the functions of everyday objects and contemplating their potential to be materialised as abstract sculptures. The artist is interested in how craftsmanship traditions from various cultures intersected in the work of Venetians such as Carlo Scarpa, Savina Masieri and Egle Trincanato. Elements of the exhibition are fabricated with Falegnameria Augusto Capovilla, one of the still-active Venetian carpentries that worked closely with Scarpa.

The Cuban pavilion, located on the island of San Servolo and entitled A cautionary environment/Entorno aleccionador brings together installations, paintings, and interdisciplinary works on allegorical themes of the times in which we live. The invited artists, Alejandro Campins, Ariamna Contino, Alex Hernández and Eugenio Tibaldi, discuss the relationship between man and the environment.

The Biennale’s programme is accompanied by a series of collateral events. Catalonia in Venice’s To Lose Your Head (Idols) documents the complex life of statues, which some artists today recreate and reflect upon. This multi-authored exhibition explores the theory of art reception and documents the complex life of public statues in our time. In a world of images, iconoclasm and iconodulia, it questions the fetishism of images as living entities and encourages conversations as a way to foster human happiness, awareness and freedom.

The latest works by the contemporary Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos (born 1971) are being displayed under the title What are you hiding? May you find what you are looking for at the Venice Biennale on the island of San Clemente across the Palazzo Kempinsky gardens and in the church of San Clemente itself, supported by the film production company MGM. In the church the exhibition shows her large-scale floor sculpture Madragoa (2015­–2019), inspired by Lisbon’s buildings and façades, which explores the intersections of sculpture, architecture and painting. This piece has new elements specially created for it since it was first shown in Macau in 2015. In the gardens Vasconcelos is displaying I’ll be Your Mirror #1 (2019), a giant Venetian carnival mask made of mirrors, which the sculptor recently showed at the Guggenheim, Bilbao in a solo show. Also on show in the gardens is Betty Boop PA (2019), a high-heeled shoe crafted out of saucepans, which proposes a revision of the “feminine” in today’s world by bringing together two tropes of a woman’s private and public image.

Glass works by Vasconcelos are on view in the exhibition Glasstress 2019, which features artists Carlos Garaicoa, Javier Pérez, José Parlá, Jaume Plensa and Bernardì Roig, among others.

Javier Pérez, Carroña, 2011, glass chandelier, stuffed crows (Glasstress 2019)

Featured Exhibition: Surrealism in Mexico, Di Donna Galleries, New York, 28 June 2019

Di Donna Galleries in New York announced its exhibition Surrealism in Mexico, on view until 28 June, 2019, which explores the creative moment that emerged between 1940 and 1955 as an international community of artists fled World War II in Europe and settled in Mexico. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and collages by artists including Lola Álvarez Bravo, Leonora Carrington, Esteban Francés, Gunther Gerzso, Kati Horna, Frida Kahlo, Agustín Lazo, Matta, Gordon Onslow Ford, Wolfgang Paalen, Alice Rahon, Bridget Bate Tichenor, and Remedios Varo, with loans from distinguished private collections, corporate collections, and non-profit foundations in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.

Featured Exhibition: The Avant-garde Networks of Amauta: Argentina, Mexico, and Peru in the 1920s, Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Madrid, until 27 May 2019

José Sabogal, Cover of the journal Amauta, n. 26 (September – October), 1929, Journal, Museo de Arte de Lima

Founded and directed by José Carlos Mariátegui, the Peruvian magazine Amauta was one of the most influential cultural and political periodicals of the early 20th century. The exhibition of more than 250 works follows Amauta’s development as a platform to explore the diversity of the avant-garde artistic production in Peru, Argentina, and Mexico and the debates that shaped the art of Latin America during the 1920s. This exhibition, organised by Beverly Adams, Curator of Latin American Art, Blanton Museum of Art, and Natalia Majluf, Director and Chief Curator, Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru addresses the avant-garde production of a vast network of artists and writers connected with Amauta. and includes works in a variety of forms ranging from paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs through to popular ceramics, many by lesser known artists as well as pieces by Tina Modotti and Diego Rivera. A large network of correspondents in Latin America and Europe fed the magazine, which had a print run of 3-4,000, and gave Amauta an international impact.

Click here for more information on this exhibition.

The exhibition will travel from Madrid to the Museo de Arte de Lima (20 June – 22 September 2019); the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (17 October 2019 – 12 January 2020); and finally to Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, Texas (February 16, 2020 – 17 May, 2020).

News: ‘Dallas Museum of Art boosts Latin American focus with new curator and acquisitions’

A carpet fragment with double-headed bird, probably made in Peru in the 17th century. Gifted to the DMA from the de Unger family

As reported by The Art Newspaper, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is looking to enlarge its Latin American art collection. The museum has created a new endowed curatorial post, the Jorge Baldor Curator of Latin American Art, currently open for applications. It has also made significant new acquisitions of art from the region, from a 17th-century Peruvian carpet to artworks by Mexican artists Miguel Covarrubias, José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera, and Chilean artist Roberto Matta.

Featured Exhibition: Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular, MFA Boston, until 16 June 2019

Exhibition of more than 70 works that focuses on the relationship between Kahlo’s paintings and the traditional Mexican ‘folk art’ by unknown artists that she collected and championed as part of her celebration of Mexican nationalist culture. On loan to the exhibition are some 40 pieces of folk art from the San Antonio Museum of Art, which are similar to the ceramics, textiles, toys and figurines which Kahlo collected. These are displayed alongside eight paintings by Kahlo on loan to Boston, including her Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), and her early Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia), recently acquired by the  MFA. A section of the exhibition will explore how the small painted ex-voto ‘retablos’, of which Kahlo collected some 400 examples, inspired her own work such as The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, which she painted in 1938. The exhibition is supported by the Darwin Cordoba Fund for Latin American Art.

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Opens Today: Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, until 12 May 2019

frida_kahlo_appearances_can_be_deceiving_2010.80_nickolas_muray_frida_in_new_york_large_jpeg_2004w_600_814

Nickolas Muray (American, born Hungary, 1892–1965). Frida in New York, 1946; printed 2006. Carbon pigment print, image: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, 2010.80. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s unique and immediately recognizable style was an integral part of her identity. Kahlo came to define herself through her ethnicity, disability, and politics, all of which were at the heart of her work. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is the largest U.S. exhibition in ten years devoted to the iconic painter and the first in the United States to display a collection of her clothing and other personal possessions, which were rediscovered and inventoried in 2004 after being locked away since Kahlo’s death, in 1954. They are displayed alongside important paintings, drawings, and photographs from the celebrated Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art, as well as related historical film and ephemera. To highlight the collecting interests of Kahlo and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, works from the museum’s extensive holdings of Mesoamerican art are also included.

 

Kahlo’s personal artifacts—which range from noteworthy examples of Kahlo’s Tehuana clothing, contemporary and pre-Colonial jewelry, and some of the many hand-painted corsets and prosthetics used by the artist during her lifetime—had been stored in the Casa Azul (Blue House), the longtime Mexico City home of Kahlo and Rivera, who had stipulated that their possessions not be disclosed until 15 years after Rivera’s death. The objects shed new light on how Kahlo crafted her appearance and shaped her personal and public identity to reflect her cultural heritage and political beliefs, while also addressing and incorporating her physical disabilities.

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is based on an exhibition at the V&A London curated by Claire Wilcox and Circe Henestrosa, with Gannit Ankori as curatorial advisor. Their continued participation has been essential to presenting the Brooklyn exhibition, which is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and Lisa Small, Senior Curator, European Art, Brooklyn Museum, in collaboration with the Banco de México Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, and The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and The Vergel Foundation.

Click here for more information