by Antonio Mejías-Rentas
ART AROUND THE NATION: The breadth and depth of Latino art is shown in a number of recently opened exhibitions.
American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music opened Oct. 13 at Seattle’s Experience Music Project Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the fi rst leg of a national traveling tour. The show focuses on the development of vibrant Latino music scenes in fi ve U.S. cities San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Miami and New York.
The Seattle show features some 100 artifacts, from Ritchie Valens’ guitar to an outfi t worn by Celia Cruz, as well as oral histories and listening kiosks. It runs there through Sept. 7, 2008.
Another traveling exhibition, Martin Ramírez, arrived at the Milwaukee Art Museum Oct. 6. The show, already seen in San Jose, Calif., and New York, is the fi rst major retrospective of a little known but highly-regarded Mexican artist who created much of his work during long stints in California hospitals.
With some 80 extraordinary works in paper, the show attempts to reconsider Ramirez’s common classifi cation as a “schizophrenic artist” and presents him as a self-taught artistic genius. It will be in Milwaukee through Jan. 13.
Closing Oct. 28 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the landmark exhibition The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820, which contains more than 200 works of art created in the Spanish viceroyalties of New Spain (today’s Mexico and Central America) and Peru (now Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru), as well as the Portuguese colony of Brazil. The show, which spans three centuries of amazing examples of colonial art, is on its fi nal leg of an international tour that included Mexico City and Philadelphia.
Coincidentally, LACMA opened on Oct. 14 the exhibition Dali: Painting & Film, which focuses on the relationship between the paintings and fi lms of the Catalonian surrealist. The show includes dozens of paintings and drawings and several fi lm clips, including a continuous screening of Un Chien andalou, Salvador Dali’s famous collaboration with Spanish director Luis Buñuel.
The show will be in Los Angeles through Jan. 6 and will then travel to St. Petersburg, Fla., and New York.