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.
Mimi Crossley begins her review of the Tejano Artists exhibition with a definition of the word Tejano [Texan] and uses this to differentiate Texas Chicano artists from the rest of the country. She argues that Tejano art is less political and more individualistic; less reactionary and more original artistically. She describes the work of several artists in the show, including Carmen Lomas Garza, Joe Rodriguez, and Enrique Campos. Crossley concludes with her assessment that Tejano art has less to do with the artist’s barrio [neighborhood] and instead is being made wherever Tejano artists find themselves.
Mimi Crossley was the art critic for the Houston Post at the time this review was published in Art in America in 1977. The document is important for two reasons: first, it is one of the very few—if not the first—reviews of a Chicano art exhibition for a major mainstream art publication; and second, Crossley’s use of the term “Post-Chicano” to describe Tejano art, especially at this early date in the development of Chicano art, also makes it a seminal record in the historiography of Latino art. Also noteworthy is how she positions all the artists into the standard art historical rubric, describing their art in terms of Surrealism, super realism, and Impressionism. Though she delivers an overall favorable review, in a very telling sentence Crossley lauds an artist for being a “hard worker helping barrio children” as opposed to being “a flamboyant radical organizer,” as if that had any bearing in an art exhibition review.