The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The Cuban-American artist Paul Sierra begins this lecture, delivered at the Terra Museum of Art in Chicago, by declaring that even though he has been asked to speak about the “sources of Hispanic Art,” he has decided to speak instead about Hispanic artists in the United States because he is a painter and not an art historian. Sierra notes that “Hispanic” was a term created by the United States Census Bureau that is inaccurate at all. Hispanics are not one group of people, but are comprised of many distinctive national groups. He notes that they immigrated to the United States for economic and political reasons; that the art of immigrants who migrated for economic reasons tends to seek social justice, while the art of immigrants who moved for political ones does not. Primarily, due to the fact that its creators tend to be middle-class and know how to work within the system. An additional difference among Hispanics artists implies their cultural backgrounds. Argentina, for example, has no Native American culture to speak of, and most of its cultural influences come from Europe, Sierra argues. As for the perception that Hispanic art is naïve or leftist, Sierra overtly states that any true culture has and needs room for all kinds of creative approaches.
The Chicago-based, Cuban-born artist Paul Sierra delivered this lecture at the Terra Museum of Art in Chicago for the exhibition Mira! The Canadian Club Hispanic Art Tour III (on view December 3, 1988–January 29, 1989), which included the work of artists Pérez Celis and Amalia Mesa-Bains. In this lecture, Sierra takes advantage of this opportunity to call attention to the diversity—especially of class and ethnicity—of Hispanic artists working in the United States, and to compel Hispanic artists to direct their efforts at transforming mainstream art and culture in the United States.