An important new exhibit opens at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach on September 18, 2011.
Curated by Rubén Ortiz-Torres in association with Jesse Lerner, the exhibition MEX/L.A.: “Mexican” Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930-1985, focuses on the construction of different notions of “Mexicanidad” within modernist and contemporary art in Los Angeles. The period from 1945 to 1985 is attributed as the time when Los Angeles consolidated itself as an important cultural center. However, this time span excludes the controversial and important presence of the Mexican muralists and the production of other artists such as Philip Guston and Jackson Pollock who responded to their ideas and later influenced other artists in New York and throughout the United States.
It is often perceived that Los Angeles’ Mexican culture is alien and comes from elsewhere when in fact it originated in the city—it was in Los Angeles and Southern California where José Vasconcelos, Ricardo Flores Magón, Octavio Paz and other intellectuals developed the idea of modern Mexico while Anglos and Chicanos were developing their own culture. This is the place where Siqueiros and Orozco made some of their first murals and Los Angeles is the capital of Chicano art.
The purpose of this exhibition is not so much cultural affirmation and/or historical revisionism, but rather to understand how nationalism and internationalism are modernist constructions that are not necessarily exclusive but often complementary and fundamental in the formation of Mexican, American, Chicano art and the art of the City. The exhibition’s historiography and non-linear narratives will explore different media, points of view and notions of art and culture including painting, photography, film, video, animation, lowrider culture and design.
For the full exhibit description just go to the MOLAA link: