Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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  • ICAA Record ID
    841269
    TITLE
    The special case of Puerto Rico / Marimar Benítez
    IN
    The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States, 1920-1970. -- New York, NY : Bronx Museum of the Artists in association with Harry N. Abrahams, 1988.


     
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 72 - 105, 328- 329 : ill.
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Benítez, Marimar “The Special Case of Puerto Rico,” In The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States, 1920-1970, 72–105, 328-329. Exh. cat., New York, NY: Bronx Museum of the Artists, 1988.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

In this article, Puerto Rican art historian Marimar Benítez addresses Puerto Rico’s twentieth-century art production made on the Island and in the United States as torn between the quest for a national artistic expression and that which embraces international avant-garde forms. This tension—a product of the Island’s colonial status vis-à-vis the United States—climaxed in the 1950s when artists were polarized in two camps: a regional school that exalted national identity and another attracted to the New York School and other metropolitan styles. In the 1960s and ‘70s, artists like Rafael Ferrer and Rafael Montañez-Ortiz devised forms of reconciling these opposing tendencies, employing a contemporary art language that challenged American stereotypes about Latinos. Their work epitomizes Puerto Rican artists’ attempts to find an authentic voice that is simultaneously specific and universal.

Annotations

This essay was one of the first documents to consider the art produced by Puerto Ricans from the Island and the Diaspora alongside each other. The essay provides an excellent overview of Puerto Rican art history, as well as that of the Island’s political and cultural history at large.

Researcher
Taina Caragol
Credit
© 1988 The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY