Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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  • ICAA Record ID
    1125446
    TITLE
    Art on the border / Mel Casas
    IMPRINT
    El Paso, United States : University of Texas at El Paso, 1976
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 1, 8 - 12
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Other – Conferences
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Casas, Mel. “Art on the Border.” Lecture delivered at University of Texas, El Paso, May 6-7, 1976. El Paso, United States.
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

This 1976 flowchart depicts Chicano artist Melesio Casas’s formula for the integration of Chicano art into a national aesthetic of American art. The diagram is divided into five sections: a general overview of Chicano art; “Value of Chicano Art”; “Chicano Art Objectives”; “Implications: Artistic”; and “Implications: Social.” In this diagram, Casas outlines the importance of making Chicano art accessible to the greater public. He also acknowledges that often times, institutions fail to educate the population and he calls upon the Chicano artist to bridge “artistic reality” to “cultural need” through the iconography of the Chicano art form.

Annotations

Melesio Casas (born 1929) is an important artist in the Chicano art movement. Best known for his Humanscape: Visual Humanscape series, an ongoing project that began in 1965, which is framed as the cinematic movie screens of drive-in theaters, Casas creates visual contradictions and textual puns as a way of exploring varying human histories as landscapes. The artist primarily focuses on Chicano politics and cultural values of the 1970s and 1980s that were concerned with representing minority expressions in the American national canon of art. Mel Casas was born in El Paso, Texas, and received a bachelor of arts degree from Texas Western College in 1956 and a master of arts degree from the University of the Americas, Mexico City in 1958.

Researcher
Misty Tashina Bradley
Team
International Center for the Arts of the Americas, MFAH, Houston, USA
Credit
Courtesy of Mel Casas, San Antonio, TX