Popular Painters and Other Visionaries examines the contributions of 30 schooled and self-taught artists who worked in different parts of the Americas and the Caribbean between the 1930s and 1970s.
The exhibition departs from the term popular painters to identify artists working on the margins of modernism and the mainstream artworld. Popular visual sources provide the narrative thread of the exhibition, which is divided into thematic sections around labor, daily life, festivities, religion, vernacular architecture, and bodily representations. In addition to these themes, four artists are presented in monographic sections: Andrés Curruchich, Martín Ramírez, José Bernardo Cardoso Jr., and Felipe Jesus Consalvos.
The artists featured in this virtual exhibition share the common experience of diaspora — whether as African populations in the New World, Latin American and Caribbean people in the United States, or in reference to the displacement of Amerindian populations within their own territories. This is reflected in the impact of migration, exclusion, marginalization, cultural resistance, indigeneity, self-determination, and autobiography that is present in their works.
Most of these artists and their aesthetic languages have been described as "naïve" or "primitive," labels that the organizers of this project reject as pejorative and reductive in that they implicate racial and social bias and prejudice. This exhibition reflects El Museo's continued commitment to redefine art beyond Eurocentric limitations.
Exhibition Date: Through July 31, 2021
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