Magali Lara (Mexican, b. 1956) is an artist and writer whose evocative work across painting, drawing, and other media often probes feminist, personal, and biographical subjects. Her early work in painting referenced the organic forms of the natural world, while her collages represented introspective themes and events. Inspired by a life-long commitment to writing, Lara has also incorporated text into her visual art throughout her career. In the 1970s, Lara was a member of the collective Grupo Março, which emerged in Mexico as part of the grupos movement of the ’70s and ’80s. Responding to the underrepresentation of women’s issues within the grupos, she collaborated with other artists to form discussion groups and develop projects that addressed feminist concerns, including the environment Mi casa es mi cuerpo (My House Is My Body, 1983), created with Mónica Mayer and Rowena Morales, and artists’ books, produced with Carmen Boullosa, that visualized subjective female experience. Lara’s solo work from this period included introspective watercolors and collages that attended to questions of sexuality and the body, for example, with Valores sociales, personales, etc… (Social, Personal Values, etc…) and De lo amoroso, personal, confidencial, etcétera (From the Loving, the Personal, the Confidential, Et Cetera). In recent decades, Lara has expanded her practice to encompass other media, turning her attention to animated, musical, and theatrical projects. Recent exhibitions of her work include Toda historia de amor es una historia de fantasmas (2021) at Seminario de Cultura Mexicana, Mexico City; Magali Lara: Intemperie (2015) at the Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City; and Magali Lara: Glaciares (2010) at the Visual Arts Center, Austin, TX.
Since the 1970s, artists Mónica Mayer and Magali Lara have been recognized as two of the most groundbreaking and daring figures in Mexican art. Through their own distinct ideological and stylistic approaches, their work similarly confronts issues of feminism and the female body and critiques the sociopolitical contexts in which they are located.
ABOUT THE LATIN AMERICAN FORUM
The Latin American Forum is a series of public lectures about the arts of the Americas, supported by ISLAA. These talks, interviews, and conversations with artists, curators, and scholars promote the advanced understanding of modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art. As a conversational space for the creation of knowledge, it aims to build bridges that allow the exchange of ideas, resources, and methods within the field. Established by ISLAA and The Institute of Fine Arts in 2011, the Latin American Forum is held regularly at The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, throughout the academic year in different formats, including panel discussions, conversations, and lectures. It is coordinated by Edward J. Sullivan and organized by graduate students.