Pioneering Latin American/Latinx Art History at the GC

November 13, 2023 - 4:00 pm

Skylight Room
The Graduate Center, CUNY

To celebrate the publication of A Companion to Modern and Contemporary Latin American and Latina/o Art four groundbreaking scholars of Latin American and Latinx art and GC alumni gather to discuss their contributions to the anthology.

Comprised of 35 new essays, this book takes a uniquely comprehensive view of Latin American art to include representation for Spanish-speaking Caribbean artists, and contemporary Latina/o artists in the United States. Essays also consider influential critics of the 20th century (Traba, Pedrosa, Mosquera, etc.) with an emphasis on their effect on the development of artistic movements within their specific socio-political context. The chapters in this volume cover the development of major movements in Latin American Art, from the emergence of the avant-gardes in the 1920s through the 1940s in the urban centers of Latin America, to the rise of abstraction during the Cold War, the internationalization of Latin American Art, to the rise of conceptualism in response to dictatorships and social violence in the 1970s and 1980s. The relationships of art and revolutions (Mexico, Cuba) are explored, as well as the impact of neoliberalism and globalization during the last 30 odd years. The narratives of Latina/o art (Chicano, Nuyorican, Dominican York and Cuban American) in the US are integrated within the larger issues of the 20th/21st centuries (civil rights, migration, exile).

Alejandro Anreus (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY) is emeritus professor of art history and Latin American/Latinx Studies at William Paterson University. He is the author of Orozco in Gringoland (2001); Luis Cruz Azaceta (A Ver monograph, 2015); co-editor and contributor of Ben Shahn and the Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti (2001); The Social and The Real (2006); Mexican Muralism. A Critical History (2012); and the forthcoming Havana in the 1940s. Artists, Critics and Exhibitions and Raúl Milián: The Dark is Light Enough. His articles and essays have appeared in Art Journal, Third Text, Art Nexus, Encuentro de la cultura cubana, Commonweal and Diario de Cuba. He is President Emeritus of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Anreus was curator of exhibitions and collections at the Jersey City Museum (1993-2001), where he organized traveling exhibitions of Jaune Quick to See Smith (survey), Melvin Edwards: The Prints of a Sculptor, Freddy Rodríguez, and the graphic work of Juan Sánchez. In Sept-Oct 2023 he was the Leonard A. Lauder Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery, Wash, DC.

Rocío Aranda-Alvarado (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY) is an art historian and curator. She is also a senior program officer at the Ford Foundation, working in the Creativity and Free Expression group. She is the former curator at El Museo del Barrio (2009-2017), where she organized various exhibitions, including PRESENTE! The Young Lords in NY; Antonio López: Future Funk Fashion, and the 2011 and 2013 editions of La Bienal. She was curator at the Jersey City Museum (2000-2008), where she organized exhibitions of Elia Alba, Manuel Acevedo, Chakaia Booker and Rafael Montañez Ortiz. Her articles and essays have appeared in Art Nexus, BOMB, American Art and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Yasmin Ramírez (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY) is an independent scholar and curator based in NY. She is currently an adjunct professor of art history at the City College of New York. She was a consulting curator at El Museo del Barrio (1999-2001) and Taller Boricua (1996-1998). Her articles have appeared in Art in America and Art Nexus. She is the author of twelve catalogue essays, including the seminal The Life and Writings of Miguel Piñero in the Art of Martin Wong.

Lowery Stokes Sims (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY) served on the education and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1972-99), as executive director and president The Studio Museum in Harlem (2000-2007) and retired as Curator Emerita from the Museum of Art and Design (2007-2015). Over the last few years, Sims has been an independent curator and consultant for the Caribbean Cultural Center, the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Craft Contemporary, Grounds for Sculpture, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Center for Art, Design & Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (2018-2020) and the 2021-22 Kress-Beinecke Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Anna Indych-López is Professor of Art History at The Graduate Center and CCNY at CUNY where she teaches courses on modern and contemporary art among Latin American, U.S., transatlantic, Afro-diasporic, and Latinx networks. She is the author of Judith F. Baca (2018) and Muralism without Walls: Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros in the United States, 1927–1940 (2009) and co-author of Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art (2011). Her honors include the Stuart Z. Katz Professorship of the Humanities (CCNY), an Alcaly-Bodian CUNY Distinguished Scholar Fellowship at the Advanced Research Collaborative (GC), the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship at The Institute of Fine Arts (NYU), and the Graduate Center’s Excellence in Mentorship Award. She is currently part of a two-year Mellon-funded interdisciplinary Latinx Humanities research collaboration.


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