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Works By Latino Artists Shown At Smithsonian


Photo: Smithsonian Art Musuem

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is showing works by 72 U.S. Hispanic artists — including some with ties to New Mexico — hoping to showcase talent that has long been considered isolated and alien.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art will include 92 works by modern Latino artists from the second half of the 20th century. Among the artists are New Mexican photographic printmaker Delilah Montoya, whose work has been represented by the Andrew Smith Gallery in Santa Fe; sculptor Luis Jiménez, who died in 2006 at his studio in Hondo, N.M.; and Jesús Moroles, a Texas-based granite sculptor who established a studio and cultural center in Cerrillos in the 1980s. Other artists in the exhibit, such as Alberto Valdés, have ties to the New Mexico art scene; Valdés, who died in 1998, is represented by the Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe.

E. Carmen Ramos, curator of the Our America exhibit, said many U.S. Hispanic artists have not gained the recognition they deserve because of discrimination by mainstream museums, which considered them too foreign.
“We are at a point in history where Latino art as a field is getting a lot more of attention, and we are now able to look at that broad contribution. So we are part of a wave of a revisionist activity that is looking at the Latino within the context of the United States,” Ramos said Thursday.
Ramos said the exhibit would show that U.S. Hispanic artists are part of the American artistic landscape, because the Smithsonian is “viewed as the repository of our cultural patrimony, and to be able to include Latino artists within that concept is a very powerful thing”.
The exhibit, which will be open for six months, will include works such as Radiante (Radiant) by Puerto Rico-born Olga Albizu, and Man on Fire, a fiberglass sculpture by Jiménez, whose steel-and-fiberglass sculpture Vaquero (1980) adorns the museum’s entrance.
The exhibit includes works of ….
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