As part of the Puerto Rico at the Smithsonian program series, the Smithsonian Latino Center presents a lecture with Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell Dec. 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ring Auditorium of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum
. Largely regarded as one of Puerto Rico’s best-known contemporary artists, Martorell will discuss the work and impact of other Puerto Rican artists from the island and the Puerto Rican Diaspora since the 1980s and their presence in museums, galleries on the island and in the global art market. According to Eduardo Díaz, the new director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, “Puerto Rican artists have worked between the island and the United States for more than 50 years. Especially in the graphic arts, their work has historically been very influential among Chicano artists and others. It’s important, though, to see where Puerto Rican artists have taken their work in the past 20 years.”
Martorell was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, in 1939. He currently lives and works in Cayey on the University of Puerto Rico campus where he has been artist-in-residence for more than 20 years. Prolific and varied in his output, Martorell is known for his paintings, drawings, graphics, installations, performances, set and costume designs and writing, in addition to his work in theater, films, TV, and radio. He has published two books, exhibited widely across the world and has been awarded prizes in biennials in Italy, Germany, the United States, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. His work was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial and is found in the collections of the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, El Museo del Barrio in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City and the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puetro Rico, among others.
Puerto Rico at the Smithsonian is a yearlong programming series that includes exhibitions, film screenings, educational activities and public programs. Upcoming activities include film programs at the Hirshhorn and the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, a literary performance at the cafe and art space Busboys and Poets, a family day at the National Museum of Natural History, and the exhibition “Posters from the Division of Community Education (DIVEDCO) of Puerto Rico, 1949-1989,” on view through Jan. 18, 2009, at the S. Dillon Ripley Center’s Concourse.