The struggle to define what it means to be Mexican in an era of rapid change and instability profoundly affected Mexican art in the twentieth century. Drawn from the Bell Gallery collection—and including works by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Salvador Lutteroth, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Leopoldo Méndez, Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, Mariana Yampolsky, and Francisco Zúñiga—the exhibition raises questions about who is allowed, capable, or obligated to create culture. Who has the right to speak for Mexico?
Curated by Rica Maestas
Image: Graciela Iturbide, Mujer Ángel (Angel Woman), 1979. Gelatin silver print.
Festivals, Funerals, and New Life presents new and recent works by renowned sculptor Melvin Edwards alongside rarely exhibited historical works and pieces completed with the artist’s late wife, poet and activist Jayne Cortez. Sculptures and installations composed with industrial steel, chain, and machine parts broadly reflect Edwards’s engagement with European neocolonialism, histories of race, labor, violence and African diaspora. Bringing works from the 1970s into conversation with new and recent works, the exhibition affirms a continuity of themes, concerns, and commitments throughout Edwards’s career, spanning the Civil Rights Movement and continuing through recent and ongoing social justice movements.
Curated by Ian Alden Russell
Image: Melvin Edwards, Steel Life (After Winter), 2017. Welded steel. © 2017 Melvin Edwards/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York.