Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

www.mfah.org Home

IcaadocsArchive

Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    849533
    AUTHOR
    Andrade, Sally Jones
    TITLE
    Painting a different picture / Sally J. Andrade
    IN
    The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). -- Dec. 17, 1995
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Newspaper article – Letters
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Andrade, Sally Jones. "Painting a different picture." The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) December 17, 1995.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Editorial Categories [?]
Synopsis

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.

Annotations

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.

Researcher
Tere Romo
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Credit
Courtesy of the private archives of Sally J. Andrade, El Paso, TX