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New, timely exhibition at Neuberger Museum of Art offers fresh view on Pre-Columbian past
Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Apocalypto, Campell, CA, 2007. Inkjet on paper, 60 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Galería OMR, Mexico.
PURCHASE, NY.- The Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College reopened Sunday, April 28th with the timely exhibition Pre-Columbian Remix: The Art of Enrique Chagoya, Demián Flores, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, and Nadín Ospina. (The Museum had been closed for ten months during extensive HVAC renovation work.)

Pre-Columbian Remix, features more than 90 works of art, including stone sculptures, lithographs, large-scale paintings, platinum and cyanotype prints, and a monumental outdoor inflatable sculpture, on loan from different venues throughout the Americas (Bogotá, Mexico City, San Diego, New Jersey, New York). The works are by Enrique Chagoya, Demián Flores, Rubén Ortiz Torres, and Nadín Ospina. The memory of pre-Columbian cultures, of its icons and myths, is ever present throughout Latin America. In fact, in most Latin American countries, the very idea of Pre-Columbian heritage (meaning, indigenous culture before European colonization) has been a strategy to reinforce national unity. But this trend is being challenged by four leading Latin American artists, whose work is the focus of the exhibition, on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art, from April 28 through July 14, 2013.

“By fusing ancient Aztec, Mayan or Incan art forms with pop-culture imagery in an ironic and often humorous manner, the artists address present day concerns specific to Latin America today such as national identity, “cultural colonization,” and immigration, as well as universal issues including corruption, war, and consumerism,” says Patrice Giasson, curator of the exhibition. “The result is an engaging, provocative, twenty-first century composite portrait. Re-mixed, and renewed, the past becomes accessible under very different perspectives.”

Giasson points out that by re-mixing elements from different times and places in novel ways, the work of the artists presented here offers a new reading of history. “The past is not conceived as a long narrative of successive events in time but rather as something integrated into the present. This allows the artists to inscribe their own time and concerns into the historical framework.”

The artists:
Enrique Chagoya (b. 1953, Mexico City, Mexico; lives and works in San Francisco, CA)

Chagoya makes paintings and prints about the changing nature of culture. By juxtaposing secular, popular, and religious symbols, he creates deceptively friendly points of entry for the discussion of complex issues. Pop icons such as Mickey Mouse and Superman are placed side by side with ancient sacred images to create a tension and dialogue between different cultures. The artist addresses colonialism and oppression. Explains Chagoya: “Cultures are transformed and often completely destroyed by conquering ones. The world is endlessly re-mapped and re-named, with new rules and rulers in recurrent holocausts... This is the raw material for my art.”

Demián Flores (b. 1971, Oaxaca, Mexico; lives and works in Mexico City and Oaxaca)
This is the first exhibition of Demián Flores’ work in New York and the most complete survey exhibition he has had in the United States to date. With an intense direct style, Flores anchors his work in the reality of contemporary Mexico. He mixes images from Mexico’s past and present – pre-Columbian warriors, fertility figures, and pyramids, with present day comic book characters and appropriated images from pop culture, such as baseball, soccer, and boxing. This hybrid product reflects controlled violence, and his concerns about the survival of pre-Columbian roots in a world increasingly homogenized by globalization and a different sort of colonization achieved by the bombardment and power of mass media imagery. All this, the artist believes, leads to alienation and a cultural identity crisis in Oaxacan communities.

Rubén Ortiz-Torres (b. 1964, Mexico City, Mexico; lives and works in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA)
The work of Ortiz-Torres also addresses hybridization, the blend of Mexican and American cultures and what happens when those cultures come together. A resident of Los Angeles, Ortiz-Torres is concerned with transnational cultural media and objects ... photography, video, film, painting, baseball caps, custom cars, machinery, puppets, and the collisions of art and culture. “My work interacts with the cultural and iconographic post-national chaos,” he once commented. He sees uncertainty, dislocation and the creative compromises that characterize peoples and places--and considers the possibilities. With the world in transition, he addresses the implications of multiculturalism and the politics of identity.

Nadín Ospina (b. 1960 Bogotá, Colombia; lives and works in Bogotá)
Pre-Columbian Remix is the most representative and complete exhibition of Ospina’s work to be exhibited in New York. It includes works from one of the artist's most significant body of work known as El sueńo americano (The American Dream). This exhibition also includes Ospina’s giant inflatable sculpture, The Stroller, which was presented at the 7th Havana Biennial (2000) and at the 49th Venice Biennial (2001), and on view now for the first time in New York.

Pre-Columbian Remix: The Art of Enrique Chagoya, Demián Flores, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, and Nadín Ospina is organized by Patrice Giasson, Alex Gordon Associate Curator of Art of the Americas.



Today's News

April 29, 2013

Mao no-show as Andy Warhol exhibition opens at Shanghai's contemporary art museum

Munch and Warhol: Scandinavia House up-ends conventional wisdom on two art icons

New, timely exhibition at Neuberger Museum of Art offers fresh view on Pre-Columbian past

"Generosity: Gifts and Loans to the ZKM Collection" opens at ZKM / Museum of Contemporary Art

The Davis Museum acquires an extremely rare 18th century Peruvian portrait of a young woman

Wade Guyton, Guyton\Walker, Kelley Walker exhibition opens at Kunsthaus Bregenz

D.I.Y.: New site-specific installation by Richard Woods at Alan Cristea Gallery in London

Michaan's Fine Art features early 20th century Mora, Bisttram's "Reflections," rare Matisse

Eighty Layer Cake: Derrick Velasquez' mixed media works on view at Pentimenti Gallery

Ketterer Kunst to offer the exquisite art collection of passionate art dealer Harry Beyer

Major exhibition of works by acclaimed American artist Joseph Kosuth at Sprüth Magers

Exhibition of recent collages by Tony Fitzpatrick opens at Pierogi in Brooklyn

Norton Museum of Art presents rarely seen artworks in "Masterpiece of the Month" series

"Nicole Havekost: Mend and Measure" opens at Rochester Art Center

Old Sanaa, an endangered UNESCO heritage site

Exhibition of works by Thilo Heinzmann opens at Galerie Guido W. Baudach

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