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.
Curator and art critic Leslie Judd Ahlander introduces¡Mira! [Look!], the exhibition that was presented at the Canadian Club of Hispanic Art in 1989, curated by Susana Torruella Leval, Inverna Lockpez, and Ricardo Pau-Llosa. This exhibition offered a broad overview of Latin American art, focused mainly on Cuban art from the 1980s. Judd Ahlander’s review discusses the Latin American perspective on the arts, describing the “Latino” approach as “a personal reaction to the world that surrounds the artist,” as distinct from the “North American” approach that consists of “an emphasis on linear, logical, autonomous thinking and emotional self-control.” The tension between these two approaches allowed Judd Ahlander to critically address concepts, such as indigenous, American, African, and Spaniard within the context of Latin American art.
In September 1989, Arte en Colombia magazine published a collection of essays that discussed a number of exhibitions of Latin American art in North America prior to the celebration of the quincentennial of the discovery of America. Leslie Judd Ahlander’s article, “¡Mira!: Diferencias en el arte norteamericano y latinoamericano” [Look! Differences in North American and Latin American Art] addresses issues that are also covered in the following articles: “América Latina: Arte e Identidad” [Latin America: Art and Identity] by Germán Rubiano [see doc. no. 1091081]; “Mito y Realidad: Arte Latinoamericano en Estados Unidos” [Myth and Reality: Latin American Art in the United States] by Edward Sullivan [doc. no. 1090054]; “Arte en América Latina: la más grande exposición de arte en América Latina realizada de este lado del Atlántico” [Art in Latin America: The Largest Exhibition of Art in Latin America ever presented on this side of the Atlantic] by Miguel Rojas Mix [doc. no. 1091066]; and “El Espíritu Latinoamericano: La perspectiva desde los Estados Unidos” [The Latin American Spirit: The Perspective from the United States] by Shifra M. Goldman [doc. no. 1090039]. All these essays critically reviewed exhibitions of a monolithic and externally defined concept of Latin American art.
In their survey of exhibitions presented in 1989 in the United States, the above-mentioned authors review curatorial plans, financing systems, categories and organizations, exhibition policies, and names and works selected as “Art in Latin America” in the broad spectrum of shows under consideration. The essays included in Arte en Colombia provide essential insights into the history of Latin American art collecting in the United States, and are also reviews of the exhibitions involved: Arte de lo Fantástico: América Latina 1920–1987 [Art of the Fantastic: Latin America 1920–1987] at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Imágenes de México: La Contribución de México al Arte del siglo XX; Arte Chicano: Resistencia y Afirmación [Images of Mexico: Mexico’s Contribution to Twentieth-Century Art; Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation] at the Wight Gallery at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA); El Arte de América Latina desde la Independencia [Latin American Art Since Independence] at the Hayward Gallery in London; Artistas Latinoamericanos en los Estados Unidos antes de 1950 [Latin American Artists in the United States prior to 1950] at the University of Texas at Austin, shown from 1981 to 1987; and Artistas Latinoamericanos en los Estados Unidos 1950–1970 [Latin American Artists in the United States 1950–1970] and Artistas Latinoamericanos en Nueva York en 1970 [Latin American Artists in the United States in 1970] both of which were shown at the same institution and during the same period; Arte Hispano en los Estados Unidos: 30 Pintores y Escultores Contemporáneos [Hispanic Art in the United States: 30 Contemporary Painters and Sculptors] at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Veinte siglos de arte mexicano [Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art] at MoMA in New York; El Espíritu Latinoamericano: Arte y Artistas en los Estados Unidos 1920–1970 [The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States 1920–970] at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Visiones Enraizadas: el Arte Mexicano en el Arte de Hoy; La Pintura Puerto Riqueña: Entre el Pasado y el Presente [Deeply Rooted Visions: Mexican Art in Today’s Art; Puerto Rican Painting: Between the Past and the Present] at the Museum of the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras Campus); and ¡Mira! [Look!] at the Canadian Club of Hispanic Art.