OUR AMERICA: THE LATINO PRESENCE IN AMERICAN ART

ON VIew FEBRUARY 17 THROUGH june 4, 2017

 

Our America presents the rich and varied contributions of nearly 70 Latino artists over the last sixty years.  Drawn entirely from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, this exhibition showcases artists of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent, as well as other Latin American groups with deep roots in the United States.  Included are paintings, prints, sculptures, photography, video art and installations.

The exhibition features art created since the 1950s, when long-standing Latino communities increasingly demanded equal rights, the island of Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the United States, and newer arrivals reached the American mainland. As more and more Latino artists entered art schools, they created works stimulated by their shared experiences and the U.S. artistic landscape.

Divided into several categories, Our America explores everything from immigration to the everyday. As Latino artists experimented with different media, they drew on their unique cultural perspectives and expanded the boundaries of such art forms as graphics, photography, and installation art. The artists in this exhibition define themselves in numerous ways—Chicano, Puerto Rican, painter, sculptor, to name a few.

By exploring the varied and deep links between Latino art and U.S. history, culture, and art, Our America encourages viewers to gain insight into our unfolding national past and present. The exhibit explores different generations and varied styles, and poses questions about what is meant by “American,” or “Latino.”

 

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Altria Group, the Honorable Aida M. Alvarez, Judah Best, The James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Tania and Tom Evans, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, The Michael A. and the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Endowment, Henry R. Muñoz III, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank. Additional significant support was provided by The Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Support for “Treasures to Go,” the museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C.F. Foundation, Atlanta.

 

Oscar R. Castillo, ‘47 Chevy in Wilmington, California, 1972, printed 2012, inkjet print, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment. © 2012, Oscar R. Castillo