Monday, October 10, 2011

L.A. Xicano

A set of five interrelated exhibitions, L.A. Xicano explores the diverse artistic contributions of Mexican-descent artists since 1945. The exhibitions present hundreds of rarely seen paintings, sculptures, drawings, posters, murals, and photographs created by artists born from 1881 to 1983. Together, the five exhibitions provide the basis for a visual dialogue about Los Angeles and contemporary art.

Art Along the Hyphen: The Mexican-American Generation
Autry National Center – October 14, 2011 – January 8, 2012

Icons of the Invisible: Oscar Castillo
Fowler Museum at UCLA – September 25, 2011 – February 26, 2012

Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement
Fowler Museum at UCLA – October 16, 2011 – February 26, 2012

Mural Remix: Sandra de la Loza
Los Angeles County Museum of Art – October 15, 2011 – January 22, 2012

Chican@s Collect: The Durón Family Collection
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library – September 22, 2011 –
December 9, 2011 (Curated by Armando Durón)

More than eighty artists are featured in the five exhibitions. The artists' names are listed here and in the L.A. Xicano press release.

A full-color catalog, L.A. Xicano (pictured above), documents four of the exhibitions. A companion publication, The Pocho Research Society Field Guide to L.A.: Monuments and Murals of Erased and Invisible Histories, presents a wry commentary on the Chicano history of Los Angeles.

L.A. Xicano is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, which are coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Initiated through grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time will take place for six months beginning October 2011. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. L.A. Xicano is unique within this effort as a collaboration between a research center and three museums.

Project Team
Curators: Chon A. Noriega, Terezita Romo, Pilar Tompkins Rivas

Advisory Committe: Karen Mary Davalos, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Margarita Nieto, Reina Alejandra Prado, Sybil Venegas, Tomás Ybarra-Frausto

Research Team: C. Ondine Chavoya, Sandra de la Loza, Kathy Gallegos, Andrés Montoya, Raul Pacheco, Mirasol Riojas, Reyes Rodriguez, Arturo E. Romo-Santillano, and Ana Serrano

Research Assistance: Lizette Guerra, Allyson Unzicker, Christopher Anthony Velasco

Getty Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and California Community Foundation. Related support includes funding from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Entravision Communications Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, and individual donors.

For more information about L.A. Xicano, visit the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center website.

In other news:

Rigoberto González, writing for the Los Angeles Review of Books, reviews Justin Torres’s novel, We the Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

◙ Dr. James Blasingame, writing for the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literary, reviews You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens (Arte Público Press), an anthology edited by Sarah Cortez.

◙ Richard Rayner, writing for the Los Angeles Times, reviews Héctor Tobar’s novel, The Barbarian Nurseries (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). You may read my La Bloga interview with Tobar regarding his novel here.

◙ Hugo Martín, writing for the Business Section of the Los Angeles Times, tells us how La Llorona, the chupacabra and others are a growing part of the traditional lineup at Sothern Californian Halloween celebrations including at well-known theme parks such as Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Rigoberto González (who, as you can guess by now, is the hardest working man in literature) reviews the debut novel by Melinda Palacio, Ocotillo Dreams (Bilingual Press), for the El Paso Times.



By Daniel A. Olivas

It began as a cruel
Jibe (so the etymologists say)
Because the descendants
Of the great, fallen
Moctezuma could not
Purge their mouths of
The indigenous sounds of
Nahuatl, their mother tongue.

They worked the fields,
Almost slaves, but not
Quite, and called themselves
“Mesheecanos” – and the
bosses laughed.

Can’t say Mexicanos?
Your tongues can’t wrap
Around that, eh? Well,
Can you pronounce Chicanos?
Ah! So you can! That’s
What you are!

Yes, that’s what we are.
And guess what? We
Embrace it. And we can
Even dress it up further
By spelling it with an X
To bring us closer to
Those who came
Before us.


How does that sound to
Your ear? Does it hurt?
Does it make you shiver?
It does? So, sorry!
We don’t mean to offend.
Please accept our apologies.
Have a nice day.

["¡Xicano!" is from my (as yet) unpublished collection, Crossing the Border.]

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