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.
This essay by the Comité Chicanarte [Chicanarte Committee] serves as an introduction to the group exhibition Chicanarte, organized in conjunction with the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery from September to October 1975. The Comité underlines the importance of art in understanding and documenting the social reality of the Chicano people. The thematic nature of the works exhibited—which include rural and urban portraits, social statements, popular culture, indigenous iconography, and death imagery—is described. According to the Comité, the event personifies the interrelation between the social and the individual within Chicano art.
The curatorial essay was written collectively by the members of Chicanarte, namely: Roberto Chmiel, Richard Duardo, Gloriamalia Flores, Carlos Fournier, Juan Geyer, Lionel Heredia, Miguel Hernández, Rómulo López, Vicente Madrid, Luz Patricia Navarrette, Ricardo Navarrette, Raúl Romero, and Abelardo Talamantez. The University of California, Los Angeles’s Chicano Studies Research Center, the Los Angeles Municipal Arts Department, and Al Frente Communications sponsored the exhibition. Held at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park in 1975, Chicanarte was the most important exhibition of the early phase of Chicano art, according to art historian Jacinto Quirarte. It provided the earliest model of an exhibition curated by committee and collaboration between Chicanos and mainstream institutions. Along with the exhibition, four weeks of educational programming was designed to reach the Chicano community, including theatre, dance, music, literary and film presentations.