Curated by Esther Gabara
ISLAA is proud to be among the supporters of the exhibition "Pop América, 1965–1975" at the Nasher Museum.
DESCRIPTION FROM THE NASHER MUSEUM
Despite the wide appeal of Pop art’s engaging imagery, the broader public remains unaware of the participation and significant contribution of Latin American and Latino/a artists working at the same time and alongside their U.S. and European counterparts. The Nasher Museum presented Pop América, 1965-1975, the first exhibition with a hemispheric vision of Pop. The exhibition made a timely and critical contribution to a more complete understanding of this artistic period.
“We are incredibly honored to present this exhibition, which has been years in the making and reflects groundbreaking research by guest curator and Duke professor Esther Gabara,” said Sarah Schroth, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. “As the first exhibition to present a vision of Pop on the American continent as a whole, Pop América makes a critical contribution to understanding this artistic period and Latin America’s rich artistic heritage. At the same time, this will also be the first exhibition to consider Pop art throughout the Americas as an intentional strategy for communicating sensitive, politically challenging content.”
Antônio Henrique Amaral (b. 1935, São Paulo, Brazil; d. 2015, São Paulo, Brazil) was a painter and printmaker best known for his images' artistic and political critiques in the form of a series of paintings of bananas that have been mutilated by forks and ropes.
Beginning in the early 1970s, the Los Angeles-based multi-media arts collective Asco (from the Spanish word for nausea) created performances, street theater and conceptual art that satirized the emerging styles of Chicano art and pushed the boundaries of what it might encompass. The four original members Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie Herron and Patssi Valdez moved between media and genres, producing fotonovelas, mail art, photographs, happenings, media hoaxes and poetry.
Luis Cruz Azaceta was born in Havana, Cuba in 1942. He fled the country as a teenager in 1960, and faced subsequent exile. He studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and relocated to New Orleans in 1992. His paintings, installations, sculptures, photo collages, and prints depict grotesque figures of greed, chaotic abstractions of industry, violence, and natural disasters, and create a feeling of entrapment. His recent seriesSwimming to Havanaaddresses exile and the endless state of limbo one faces when barred from their roots. Azaceta has been awarded grants from The National Endowment of the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His work is in permanent collections at the Miami Art Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Whitney Museum in New York, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
Born in 1946, Judith F. (Judy) Baca grew up in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts and in Pacoima and attended California State University, Northridge. In 1976 Baca cofounded the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice, California, with the filmmaker and director Donna Deitch (b. 1945) and the artist and teacher Christina Schlesinger (b. 1946). In that same year she began painting one of her most important collaborative mural projects,The Great Wall of Los Angeles. Baca is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she holds a joint appointment with the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and the Department of World Arts and Cultures. Baca received a 2003 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and was named a 2015 USA Rockefeller Fellow, among other honors. Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Antonio Berni (b. 1905; d. 1981) began his artistic career as a Surrealist, producing paintings and collages. In the 1930s, Berni’s practice shifted towards critical and social realism; around then he banded with other young artists to espouse the New Realism movement, dedicated to highlighting class struggle and social injustice in Argentina. He worked typically in large scale and made a number of murals as well. In 1959, he returned to making collages, using detritus and found objects. Berni was also known for making xylographs (or woodcuts) in high relief, incorporating collage elements—he called these xylo-collage-reliefs. In his late career, Berni’s style became increasingly photorealistic.
Antonio Caro (b. December 10, 1950; d. March 29, 2021) was a Colombian conceptual artist who created works since the late 1960s. He typically used non-traditional forms to create politically and socially charged critiques of Colombian issues. He died in Bogotá on 29 March 2021.
Eduardo Costa (b. 1940) started his career in Buenos Aires as part of the Di Tella generation and went on to work in New York, where he made a strong contribution to the local avant-garde. He collaborated with American artists Vito Acconci, Scott Burton, John Perreault, and Hannah Weiner, among others. In Brazil, he participated in projects organized by Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Antonio Manuel, Lygia Clark, and others. His work has been discussed inArt in America,Artforum, and many books on conceptual art.
Melesio "Mel" Casas (b. November 24, 1929; d. November 30, 2014) was a Chicano artist, activist, writer and teacher. He used visual statements, his sense of humor and love of puns to "address cultural stereotypes." His work has been collected by the San Antonio Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and nationally and internationally. He is best known for his series of 150 large-scale paintings called "Humanscapes" that were painted between 1965 and 1989. Casas was also well known as a writer and theorist. His "Brown Paper Report" is considered an important document of Chicano history. In his writing, he emphasized the importance of "self-determination" and equality for Chicanos/as. He is considered to be one of the important founders of the Chicano Arts movement.
Geraldo de Barros (b. February 27, 1923; d. April 17, 1998) was a Brazilian painter and photographer who also worked in engraving, graphic arts, and industrial design. He was a leader of the concrete art movement in Brazil, co-founding Grupo Ruptura and was known for his trailblazing work in experimental abstract photography and modernism. De Barros is best known for hisFotoformas(1946-1952), a series of photographs that used multiple exposures, rotated images, and abstracted forms to capture a phenomenological experience of Brazil's exponential urbanization in the mid-twentieth century.
Jorge de la Vega (b. 1930; d. 1971, Buenos Aires) was an artist active 1961–62, Paris; 1962–65, Buenos Aires; 1965–67, Ithaca, NY; 1967–71, Buenos Aires; died 1971, Buenos Aires Jorge de la Vega was the only member of the Otra Figuración [New Figuration] group to have had formal training as an artist, having been schooled in architecture and worked as a cartoonist. In 1962 and 1965 he traveled with the rest of the group (Ernesto Deira, Romulo Macció, and Luis Felipe Noé) to Paris and New York. During his travels to New York he discovered Pop art, an experience which made an important impact on his art.
Antonio Dias (1944–2018) was a Brazilian artist and graphic designer. He was a prominent figure of the concrete and Tropicália movements.
Marcos Dimas (b. 1943, Puerto Rico) is a painter, printmaker, filmmaker, and sculptor. In 1970, he earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, United States. Afterwards, he did postgraduate studies in film at the School of Visual Arts in 1973 and at WNET Film and Television School in 1976. He was co-founder in 1970 of Taller Boricua in New York where currently he is its Artistic Director. Dimas has been recipient of multiple scholarships and awards and his work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Europe, United States, Puerto Rico and Caribbean. His work combines pre-Columbian Taino symbols with current abstract and figurative forms to create a fusion between ways of seeing past and present. His poetic symbol laden paintings are based on transcriptions of common sights and sounds, popular music and dreams.
Emory Douglas (b. 1943, Michigan) is an American graphic artist. He was a member of the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the Party disbanded in the 1980s. As a revolutionary artist and the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, Douglas created iconography to represent black-American oppression
Felipe Ehrenberg (1943–2017) was a Mexican conceptual artist whose multidisciplinary work encompassed performance, mail art, mimeography, installation, painting, and collage. His formative early projects were linked to the Fluxus movement, and he was an innovator of independent artists’ publishing, cofounding the influential Beau Geste Press with Martha Hellion and David Mayor in England in 1968. He was subsequently involved in Mexico’sgruposmovement as a founding member of the artist collective Grupo Proceso Pentágono, alongside Carlos Finck, José Antonio Hernández Amezcua, and Victor Muñoz. At turns acutely political, experimental, and personal, Ehrenberg’s practice as an artist was inextricable from his role as a cultural agent, teacher, writer, and publisher. His work is in the collections of the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City; the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; among many others. Recent exhibitions of his work include¡La última y nos vamos!at the Galería Metropolitana of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City (2017);Beau Geste Pressat the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux (2017);Círculo abierto: Dos experiencias editorialesat the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2012); and the retrospectiveManchuria: Visión periféricaat the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City (2008).
Marisol (born Maria Sol) Escobar, was born to Venezuelan parents in Paris. After studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Marisol moved to New York City in 1950 where she studied at the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research. In 1960, she became one of the few women artists involved in the pop art movement. She is best known as a sculptor whose assemblages and boxlike figures satirize American culture, and in particular, the worlds of politics and fashion, as inPapagallo.
Rupert García (b. in 1941 in San Joaquin Valley, California) is an American painter, pastellist, screen printer, a “Chicano” artist and professor. In the 1960s, as a leader, he led a movement against 'Yankee' culture through the production and use of posters, screen prints, etc. In 1970, he co-founded the Galería de la Raza in San Francisco.
Rubens Gerchman (b. January 10, 1942 in Rio de Janeiro; d. January 29, 2008) was a Brazilian painter and sculptor. He was heavily influenced by concrete and neoconcrete art. Many of Gerchman’s works are paintings based on populist themes and his political beliefs, which followed those of neoconcrete artists. His sculptures with letters, stem from concrete poetry.
Edgardo Giménez was born in Santa Fe, Argentina, in 1942. A self-taught artist, he began working in graphic design for advertising. As a painter and sculptor, he presented his work in numerous group, solo and retrospective exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Tigre (2018), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Neuquén (2016), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires (1997), and Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (1987), among other institutions.
Alberto Gironella (1929–1999) was a painter and illustrator born in Mexico City. His work has appeared in individual and group exhibitions in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Japan. His work has appeared in solo exhibitions at Galería Prisse in Mexico City, the offices of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., and Galería Juan Martín in Mexico City, the Sala Nacional of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City. Gironella's painting tempered crude naturalism with formal elements derived from Spanish painters, resulting in sarcastic reinterpretations of seventeenth-century court life. He also incorporated familiar imagery in Mexican folk art.
Beatriz González (b. 1932) is a Colombian painter, sculptor, critic, curator and art historian. González is often associated with the Pop Art movement. She is best known for her bright and colorful paintings depicting life in Colombia during the war-torn period known as La Violencia.
Juan José Gurrola (b. Mexico City, 1935–2007) was mainly known as a theater director, playwright, translator and meteur en scene. He started his career in experimental theater in 1957 and directed and designed sets for more than 200 plays and operas from such diverse luminaries as John Ford, Ionesco, Picasso, Klossowski, E.E. Cummings and Nino Rota amongst others. Gurrola also developed a very prolific career as an artist, mainly as a painter, performer and in non-objectual art (a term used in Mexico in the 60´s to describe alternative practices). He collaborated with figures such as James Metcalf, Victor Fosado and David Hockney. He was a lecturer on various subjects, wrote articles and essays, and acted on different films and plays.
Robert Indiana (b.1928, American), born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, adopted the name of his home state as a pseudonym early in his career. After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, Indiana moved to New York, where he became a prominent member of the Pop Art movement. Indiana defined himself as a “sign painter” because of his preference for iconic images of numbers and letters, often taken from the American signs around him. He is best known for his LOVE paintings and sculptures, which have come to represent peace internationally. Indiana’s interest in politics and social issues, which separates him from other Pop artists, is evident in numerous works, including his YIELD paintings, the Confederacy series from 1965–1966, and the more recent Peace paintings. He is represented by numerous galleries such as Galerie Gmurzynska in Zurich, Switzerland and Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, NY.
Carlos Irizarry (b. 1938, Santa Isabela, Puerto Rico) is a painter, printmaker and designer, and digital media artist. In the late 1940’s Irizarry emigrated to New York and studied at the School of Art and Design. In 1968 he returned to Puerto Rico, where he co-founded the National Center for the Arts in San Juan and created Gallery 63. His work in the graphic arts is recognized for its employment of novel techniques, and he was the first Puerto Rican artist to work in the photo-silkscreen process.
Roberto Jacoby (b. 1944) is an Argentine artist and sociologist. Known for his conceptual art and social activism in Argentine politics, most of his work is collaborative such as his displays in Experiencias and participation in Tucumán Arde.
Nelson Leirner (b. 1932 in São Paulo, Brazil) lived and worked in Rio de Janeiro. He became known for creating artworks that critiqued consumer culture and high art, often by wittily incorporating popular imagery and graphics. Leirner was a co-founder of Grupo Rex, in 1966. The following year he presented the happening Exposição Não-exposição, in São Paulo. He taught for two decades at Faculdade Armando Álvares Penteado. In 1994, the art institution Paço das Artes, São Paulo, organized a retrospective exhibition of his work and released the book Nelson Leirner, which includes a critical presentation by Agnaldo Farias. Leirner was awarded the Johnnie Walker Art Prize, in 1998.
Roy Fox Lichtenstein (b. October 27, 1923; d. September 29, 1997) was an American pop artist. During the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist among others, he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody. Inspired by the comic strip, Lichtenstein produced precise compositions that documented while they parodied, often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style. His artwork was considered to be "disruptive". He described pop art as "not 'American' painting but actually industrial painting". His paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City.
Anna Maria Maiolino (b. 1942) is an Italian-Brazilian artist who makes books, video art, sculptures, and drawings. She explores the human rights and social aspects of immigration politics in Brazil through her performance art and conceptual installations. She is regarded as one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today.
Raúl Martínez (b. 1927; d. 1995, Havana) was a founding member of the Sociedad Nuestro Tiempo. In 1952, he won a fellowship from the Chicago Institute of Design. In 1960 after returning to Cuba, he was appointed artistic director of the magazine Lunes de Revolución, and designed his first book cover for the publisher Ediciones R. In 1964, he presented the exhibition Homenajes in which he began to depart from abstraction, instead creating Pop art inspired work and collage. He participated in the Havana edition of the Paris Salon de Mai in 1967 and in 1970 exhibited his oil painting Isla 70 at Salon’70. Other important shows include his participation in the 41st Venice Biennial in 1984, as well as the first and largest retrospective of his work, Nosotros, at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana in 1988. In 1995, he received the National Visual Art Award granted by the Cuban Ministry Of Culture for his lifetime achievements.
Cildo Meireles (b. 1948) is a Brazilian conceptual artist known for his installations, many of which express resistance to political repression in Brazil. Meireles’s participatory work of the 1970s included subtle modifications of objects ranging from Coca-Cola bottles to paper money, with the aim of circulating critical public opinions in the midst of the strict censorship imposed by Brazil’s military dictatorship at the time. His more recent large-scale pieces encourage a phenomenological experience through the viewer’s interaction. Meireles’s work is in the collections of Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.
A pivotal figure of late twentieth-century art, Argentine artist Marta Minujín (b. 1943) has produced boundary-breaking performances, paintings, sculptures, and installations over the course of her influential career. Since the late 1950s, she has addressed wide-ranging concerns from spectacle culture and the mass media to eroticism and nationalist iconography. An innovator of happenings, soft sculpture, environments, and technology-based art forms, she has at turns embraced Informalist, Pop, and Conceptual strategies in formative works such asLa Menesunda(1965),Simultaneidad en simultaneidad(Simultaneity in Simultaneity, 1966), andEl Partenón de libros(The Parthenon of Books, 1983). Among her numerous honors, she received the Premio Nacional Instituto Torcuato Di Tella Award in 1964 and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1966. Minujín has had solo exhibitions at Howard Wise Gallery, New York (1967); the Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAyC), Buenos Aires (1975); the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (1999); Americas Society, New York (2010); the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville (2010); the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2011); the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (2016); and the New Museum, New York (2019).
Gronk (b. 1954, Los Angeles, California), also known as Glugio Gronk Nicandro, is a Los Angeles-based performance artist and painter. He uses thick layers of intensely colored acrylic paint to create expansive, expressionistic images. His symbols and characters emanate less from waking life than from the unconscious zone where visions and nightmares take shape. Gronk created the muralTormenta Cantata, Echoes from the Past,live at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1996.
Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980) was a Brazilian visual artist, sculptor, painter, performance artist, and theorist, best known for his participation in the Neo-Concrete movement, for his innovative use of color, and for what he later termed "environmental art", which includedParangolésandPenetrables,such as the famousTropicália.Oiticica was also a filmmaker and writer.
Claes Oldenburg (b. January 28, 1929) is a Swedish-born American sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of everyday objects. Many of his works were made in collaboration with his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, who died in 2009; they had been married for 32 years. Oldenburg lives and works in New York.
Dalila Puzzovio ( b. 1943, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a Latin American visual artist and fashion designer active during the 1960s. Puzzovio works in the art forms of pop, happening, and conceptual art.
Margaret Randall is a feminist poet, writer, photographer and social activist. Born in New York City in 1936, she has lived for extended periods in Albuquerque, New York, Seville, Mexico City, Havana, and Managua. Shorter stays in Peru and North Vietnam were also formative. In the turbulent 1960s she co-founded and co-edited EL CORNO EMPLUMADO / THE PLUMED HORN, a bilingual literary journal which for eight years out of Mexico City published some of the most dynamic and meaningful writing of an era. From 1984 through 1994 she taught at a number of U.S. universities.
Rubén Santantonín (b. 1919; d. 1969) was an Argentinian visual artist. Although he was active in the Pop art movement through his participation in Torcuato di Tella Institute, Santantonín's personal artwork was based more on conceptual and abstract idealism. His artworks tended to involve mixed media that would challenge the viewer's relationship with objects and materials.
Elena Serrano is a Cuban graphic designer best known for her 1968 work, "Day of the Heroic Guerilla," an offset lithographic poster.
Nicolás García Uriburu (b. 1937, Buenos Aires; d. 2016) was an artist and a pioneer of ecological and land-art throughout late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1968, he received the Gran Premio de Pintura Nacional in Argentina, and his international prizes include Prix Lefranc (Paris, 1968), First Prize at the Tokyo Biennial (Tokyo, 1975), and the Fondo Nacional de las Artes’ Premio a la Trayectoria (Buenos Aires, 2000). Since his Coloration of the Grand Canal of Venice during the 1968 Venice Biennial, his large scale interventions in nature have attempted to raise consciousness about pollution in rivers and seas. He was a founding member of Grupo Bosque with whom he participated in reforestation campaigns in Maldonado, Uruguay.
Andy Warhol (1928–1987) was an American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure of Pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best-known works include the silkscreen paintingsCampbell's Soup Cans(1962) andMarilyn Diptych(1962), the experimental filmsEmpire(1964) andChelsea Girls(1966), and the multimedia events known as theExploding Plastic Inevitable(1966–67).
Lance Wyman (b.1937) is an American graphic designer known for his work under Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, design concept and direction in developing applications of the logo for the 1968 Summer Olympics in Ramirez Vazquez's personal office in Mexico City.
Esther Gabara is Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University. Gabara works with art, literature, and visual culture from modern and contemporary Latin America. Central issues in her research are the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, theories and practices of non-mainstream modernisms, and representations of race and gender.