Jan. 22, 2016 @ 11:00 am – May. 29, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
Obra Gráfica: Selections From the Mexic-Arte Museum Print Collection features the Museum’s growing collection of historical and contemporary prints by Latina/o and Latin American artists with works that encompass a diverse range of techniques and subject matter. Printmaking, defined as the process of creating multiple impressions of an image, is a preferred method for its expediency in circulating information among cultures.
The works in Obra Gráfica show the lineage of printmaking from Pre- Columbian to experimental forms in new media. Pre-Columbian civilizations used printed symbols on papel amate (hand-pressed bark) codices to record historical narratives and adorn their bodies. With the arrival of the first printing press in Mexico (1539 AD), authorities sought to spread religious teachings and iconography in the Americas with printed leaflets and pamphlets. The quality of the images improved with the establishment of the first Engraving School in the Americas, the Academy of San Carlos in 1781 under the direction of the master printer, Jerónimo Antonio Gil. Later in 1937, the Mexican print collective Taller de Gráfica Popular (“Workshop of Popular Graphics”) advanced revolutionary social causes by using printmaking as a means of mass production.
Many of the artworks displayed in Obra Gráfica have been donated by Mexican artists including Taller de Gráfica Popular members, Los Fridos (students of Frida Kahlo), Arturo Garcia Bustos, Rina Lazo, and Arturo Estrada. Co-founder and Director of the Serie Print Project, Sam Coronado, contributed significantly to the print collection when he granted Mexic-Arte Museum designation as the Official Archive of the Serie Project in 2000. Mexic-Arte Museum now houses the Print Collection of Ernesto F. de Soto, the first Mexican American Master Printmaker, as well as experimental works from contemporary artists who choose printmaking as a platform for present-day discourse. The evolution of print media from paper to diverse formats is represented in new acquisitions from artists such as Alejandra Almuelle, Michael Menchaca, Teresa Cervantes, and more. Obra Gráfica celebrates both the history of printmaking as a functional tool of communication and the excitement of the form as it continues to transform and challenge a new era of artists and viewers.