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In the introductory essay to the exhibition ¡Adivina!: Latino Chicago Expressions, the author analyzes the recent boom in Latino exhibitions. This boom, he assesses, seemed to promise a mainstream reevaluation and reappraisal of developments in the visual arts. But Felipe Ehrenberg also observes that this long overdue interest came with agendas that could undermine and destabilize Hispanic cultural organizations by imposing models of what could represent “North American Hispanicism.” The author celebrates the fact that the Mexican Fine Arts Center and Museum in Chicago, the institution that organized ¡Adivina! was one of three Latino museums in the U.S. facilitating the expression of Hispanicism on its own terms.


This text by the Mexican artist Felipe Ehrenberg appeared in the exhibition catalogue of contemporary Latino artists living in Chicago, entitled ¡Adivina!: Latino Chicago Expressions, which was held at the Mexican Fine Arts Center and Museum in Chicago on April 22 to July 10, 1988, and organized by Debora Donato and Antonio V. García. Instead of discussing the artists or works in the exhibition, Ehrenberg’s text for the catalogue identifies the mainstream’s rising interest in Latin American—the “boom”—and assesses the effects of this interest on Latin American and Latino artists, urging artists and organizers in the various Latino groups represented in the exhibition to define themselves on their “own terms.” Artists in the exhibition included: José Andreu, Henry Cisneros, Hector Duarte, Alejandro Galindo, Mirentxu Ganzarain, Nereyda García-Ferraz, Paula Pia Martínez, Rodolfo Molina, José Moreno, Dan Ramirez, Marcos Raya, Arnaldo Roche[-Rabell], Alejandro Romero, Filemón Santiago, Paul Sierra, Bibiana Suárez, Luis Vargas, and Roman Villareal.

Olga Herrera; Harper Montgomery, collaborator
Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, USA
Courtesy of Fundación Ehrenberg-Xicochimalco, Mexico