Favorite

'Our America': hot colors, hot show 

At the Arkansas Arts Center.

'DEATH OF RUBEN SALAZAR': From the show "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art."
  • 'DEATH OF RUBEN SALAZAR': From the show "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art."

Frank Romero's painting "Death of Ruben Salazar," which memorializes in a rich, hot Mexican palette the police killing of a Chicano journalist, exemplifies why you should go to "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art" at the Arkansas Arts Center. Not every piece in the exhibition is political — there is abstract work, portraiture, photography, posters — but much of it is, and the history the work addresses is as rich as the artwork. 

The exhibition, from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection of Latino art, includes works by 72 artists since the mid-20th century, "when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge," according to the museum. Like the "30 Americans" show at the Arts Center, which focused on work by African-American artists, the exhibition does not sacrifice ability for theme.

A grand piece is Maria Magdalena Campos Pons' "Constellation," a grid of photographs of the top of her head featuring her dreadlocks. They invade the 16 individual segments, suggesting roots and rivers and making wonderful abstract compositions. The work by Campos Pons, a Cuban of mixed cultural heritage, can also be read to express the diaspora of Latino/Afro people. The division of one image into many can be trite and gimmicky, but in this artwork, about separation and culture, it makes sense.

In his "West Side Story Upside Down, Backwards, Sideways and Out of Focus (La Maleta de Futriaco Martínez)," ADAL, a Puerto Rican artist in New York, has made a video collage of scenes from the musical — which presented a stereotypical view of Puerto Rican culture —  and documentary film and placed the tiny screen inside a suitcase. 

Attention is paid to graphic art, both political posters — such as "Boycott Grapes," a royal Latino-Indian image squeezing grapes dry — and wonderful calendarios. A painting by Carlos Almarez, "Night Magic, Blue Jester," has the fluidity of a Cezanne in a Fauvist palette. 

In conjunction with this show and its own by Mexico City native Marianela de la Hoz ("Speculum Speculari), the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has joined with the Arts Center for a Sunday film series featuring the six-part documentary "Americans: 500 Years of History." Coming up are Episode 4, "The New Latinos: 1946-1965," on Nov. 8; Episode 5, "Prejudice and Pride, 1965-1980," on Nov. 15; and Episode 6, "Peril and Promise, 1980-2000," on Nov. 22 All are being screened from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arts Center.

Also in conjunction with the show, Einar and Jamex de la Torre of California, brothers who collaborate in glassworks, will give a talk about their work at the Arts Center at 6 p.m. Dec. 10.

Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Latest in Art Notes

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Woeful

    • If the UA could get the SEC to stop all games if at any time…

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Woeful

    • The Mizz loss was worse than getting beat by Louisiana-Moron

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Fear and wonder

    • this is real take it serious,my name is Caroline Smith from usa, who will believe…

    • on November 30, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation