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.
In this essay for an exhibition of seven contemporary Latino artists entitled HOT!, Grant Samuelsen considers the term "magical realism" and its inadequacy as a label applied to contemporary Latino art. Samuelsen states that such labeling robs these artists of their own vision by placing their art in a narrow construct. Instead, he contends, these Latino artists, whose work is in fact “ . . . magical and transforms the real world into a mystical place,” are drawing from and reinterpreting their Latin American cultural traditions in order to create new styles to express their messages.
Grant Samuelsen, a critic who has worked at various cultural and academic organizations, including the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, wrote this essay for the exhibition HOT!, which he organized in 1996 for the private gallery R.H. Love Contemporary in Chicago. The seven artists featured in the exhibit span the generational and ethnic mix of the Midwest's diverse Latino community. This included Mario Castillo, Oscar Luís Martinez, and Elvia Rodriquez Ochoa.