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 is a published letter sent to the Sunday arts editor of the Washington Post by Sally J. Andrade in response to a review by Paul Richard, from December 3, 1995, of the Carmen Lomas Garza exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum. After introducing herself as a visitor from El Paso, Texas, Andrade utilizes satire to make the point that Richard’s review ascribes a very limiting artistic scope for Chicano artists. The author argues that Lomas Garza, just like other Texas artists she lists, is “authentic and unique.” In her final paragraph, Andrade charges Richard with chauvinism and disrespect for his comparisons of Lomas Garza’s art to that of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
Written by Washington Post staff writer, Paul Richard, the review referenced in this letter is very interesting in its approach to discussing Chicano art, in this case that of Carmen Lomas Garza. While most Anglo critics faulted Chicano art for being overly political or technically flawed, Richard took the opposite stance. He derided Lomas Garza for not being political, for being “distasteful,” like [Diego] Rivera and [Frida] Kahlo, and for hiding her artistic training to create a “naïve” style of painting. Richard did not try to be objective, but crossed the line with racist references to roaches and machismo, and his application of strong government and corporate support as criteria for an unfavorable art review. In its racist tone and limited knowledge of Chicano art, Richard’s review is a perfect example of the mainstream backlash to multiculturalism that took place in the mid-1990s. The review caused a controversy and generated letters to the editors, including this one by Sally J. Andrade, and another one by Robert Velasco II (see doc. no. 849514). For Paul Richard’s review titled “Tejana Nostalgia; Lomas Garza's Colorful Festive Barrio Lacks Bitter Realities,” see doc. no. 849495.