Synopses & Reviews
Is Latino art an integral part of modern American art? Presenting over one hundred major artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Our America seeks to "recalibrate" enduring concepts about American national culture by exploring how one group of artistsand#151;those of Latin American descent and heritageand#151;express their relationship to American art, history, and culture.
E. Carmen Ramos addresses the whole issue of the definition of "Latino art" and how this emerged within the context of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s as American artists of Latino descent (Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and, more recently, Dominican) began to give a tangible face to their culture and history.
Highlights include an installation altar by Amalia Mesa-Bains, the "recycled" films of Raphael Montaand#241;ez Ortiz, and a 1960 geometric painting by Carmen Herrera. Other notable artists include Olga Albizu, Melesio "Mel" Casas, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Margarita Cabrera, Enrique Chagoya, Teresita Fernand#225;ndez, Ken Gonzales-Day, Luis Jimand#233;nez, Ana Mendieta, Pepand#243;n Osorio, Sophie Rivera, Freddy Rodrand#237;guez, and John M. Valadez, among many others.
Winner of first prize in the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) award for excellence, 2014
Author and curator E. Carmen Ramos is the Smithsonian American Art Museum's curator of Latino art. She has organized numerous shows, including the fifth biennial at El Museo del Barrio in New York City in 2007.
Tomand#225;s Ybarra-Frausto, PhD, the "grandfather" of this subject, and formerly associate director for creativity and culture at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, has written and published extensively on US/Latino cultural issues.
Accompanies an exhibition with the following venues:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, October 25, 2013and#150;March 2, 2014
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, FL,March 28, 2014and#150;June 22, 2014
Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, September 21, 2014and#150;January 11, 2015
Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, UT, February 6, 2015and#150;May 17, 2015
Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, AR, October 16, 2015and#150;January 17, 2016
Delaware Museum of Art in Wilmington, DE, March 5, 2016and#150;May 29, 2016
"In giving a broad and diverse account of the different individuals of Latino origin at work in the US, the book challenges preconceptions"Sophie Davis, The Art Newspaper
"Our America presents valuable insights into a movement and a culture that are of growing interest"and#151;Lindsay Reno, ARLIS/NA
"In giving a broad and diverse account of the different individuals of Latino origin at work in the US, the book challenges preconceptions"and#151;Sophie Davis, The Art Newspaper
"The title serves as a handsomely produced souvenir of the Smithsonian's efforts at this inclusive exhibition"and#151;Toro Castaand#241;o, Library Journal
Explores how one group of Latin American artists express their relationship to American art, history and culture.
About the Author
E. Carmen Ramos joined the Smithsonian American Art Museum staff as curator of Latino art in October 2010. Ramos is responsible for acquiring artworks for the museumand#8217;s permanent collection and producing a major exhibition and catalog based on the museumand#8217;s Latino holdings. Her research interests include modern and contemporary Latino, Latin American, and African American art.
Ramos is organizing Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, which opens at the museum Oct. 25, 2013. Previous projects include BLACKOUT: A Centennial Commission by Paul Henry Ramirez(2010), a site-specific exhibition at The Newark Museum and Cut, Build and Weld: Process in Works by Chakaia Booker(2010) at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit. She co-curated the fifth biennial at El Museo del Barrio in New York City in 2007 and also has organized exhibitions about Mexican popular arts (2007) and works by artists Franco Mondini-Ruiz (2007) and Freddy Rodrand#237;guez (2005). Before joining the museumand#8217;s staff, Ramos was the curator of exhibitions for the Arts Council of Princeton at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts and assistant curator for cultural engagement at The Newark Museum.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Elizabeth Broun
Introduction - PRIMEROS PASOS:FIRST STEPS TOWARD AN OPERATIVE CONSTRUCT OF LATINO ART by Tomand#225;s Ybarra-Frausto
WHAT IS LATINO ABOUT AMERICAN ART? by E. Carmen Ramos
COMMENTARIES ON THE ARTWORKS by E. Carmen Ramos, with Jennifer L. Bauman,
Florencia Bazzano-Nelson, and Virginia M. Mecklenburg
CHECKLIST OF THE EXHIBITION