Did you know that each and every object in our exhibition …Of The Americas is accompanied by a few paragraphs written by a curator who specializes in Latin American Art? José Antonio Navarrete is a critic, researcher, and independent curator of culture and visual arts who also practices art in photography and video. He has worked intensely as a curator in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. His range of professional experience includes working in museums and art institutions, curating exhibitions, editing for art publications, writing and lecturing. He has contributed with texts to numerous magazines, catalogs, academic publications, and newspapers.
Below are two works from …Of The Americas with their accompanying labels written by José Antonio Navarrete. To read more of these commentaries come visit the exhibition in LUAG’s Lower Gallery!
Eugenia Vargas-Pereira, Chilean, b. 1949, Untitled, 1990-1992, C-print (triptych), Photography Endowment Purchase, LUF 2015 1004
As a young artist, Eugenia Vargas left Chile and settled in Mexico. She was part of a group of artists who changed the Mexican art scene in the early 1990s. There was a shift away from the paradigms of Neo-Mexicanism—a style of figurative painting that dominated in the 1980s—toward new media and discourses. In this context, Vargas anchored her practice in the use of photography and performance, frequently combining in the same work her concerns about the representation of women and the ecological crisis.
The triptych in this exhibition documents a performance in which Vargas used her body and elements of a bonfire to evoke a ritual celebration and elicit meanings of atonement and regeneration. Vargas’ performance does not directly reference a particular fire ceremony. Instead, she imbues her actions with a poetic and dramatic appeal by creating associations between past and present events, and making equal use of old and current elements. She connects tales of the indigenous Mesoamerican world with the topics of her present reality, mobilizing contemporary artistic strategies that are also fed by cultural history.
Víctor Gómez, Cuban-American, b. 1941, Guanlan Series #43, 2011, Monoprint on paper, 1/1, Fine Arts Endowment Purchase, LUG 2014 1037
A painter and printmaker, Victor Gómez has focused his creative efforts on the technique of monotype—producing one-of-a-kind prints—for many years. He has also received awards in many international competitions dedicated to printmaking practices. For several consecutive terms, he has participated in the Guanlan International Print Biennial Competition, Shenzhen District, China, winning a residency at the Biennial´s printmaking studio in 2012. A monotype from his Guanlan Series, dated 2011, is included in this exhibition. It allows us to examine the type of research conducted by Gómez during his creative endeavors.
Gómez’ artworks are like the recreation of an undefined, primordial world in which the range of forms can scarcely hint at what its future configuration will be. Located at the intersection of traditions like abstract expressionism and new figuration, he utilizes planes,lines, and blotches, balancing automatism and spon-taneity with the level of control necessitated by the artistic process. He takes advantage of the particular characteristics of monotype, exploring the application of color in multiple ways.
…OF THE AMERICAS: Contemporary Latin American Art From The LUAG Teaching Collection, LOWER GALLERY, ZOELLNER ARTS CENTER, August 26, 2015 – June 4, 2017, Lower Gallery Hours: Wed. – Sat. 11am – 5pm; Sun. 1 – 5pm