Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this letter, artist Marcos Dimas writes to art critic Lucy R. Lippard and invites her to review his exhibition at El Museo del Barrio. Dimas discusses his participation in an activist artist collective, known as the Art Workers’ Coalition, and his role in cofounding Taller Boricua, a Puerto Rican artist collective in East Harlem, New York City. He mentions Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, pre-Columbian, and Native-American art as his artistic influences. Thus, he states that his work intends to contribute to the socio-cultural revolution that began in the 1960s, bringing to attention artists and cultures that have suffered colonization and/or marginalization.

Annotations

Marcos Dimas is one of the cofounders of Taller Boricua, the oldest Puerto Rican artist collective in East Harlem (El Barrio), New York City. The letter was written to draw critical attention to his retrospective exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, entitled The Voyager, held from November 6, 1981 to February 5, 1982. In addition to the letter, Dimas wrote an artist statement for the retrospective catalogue. Although Lippard declined to write about Dimas’s work, New York Times art critic, Grace Glueck, gave the exhibition a favorable review. This was Dimas’s only major retrospective to date. 

Researcher
Yasmin Ramirez
Credit
Courtesy of the private archives of Mr. Marcos Dimas, New York, NY
Location
Archives of Marcos Dimas, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, New York