VIRTUAL EXHIBITION SERIES
NOW ON VIEW!
(Click the image below to view the exhibition)
In 1983, the USC Fisher Gallery broke barely tilled ground with Aquí: 27 Latin American Artists Living and Working in the United States. Included were Carlos Almaraz, Roberto Gil de Montes, Liliana Porter, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Alfredo Jaar, Luis Camnitzer and Ana Mendieta among others. Many of the artists we showed built well-established reputations. Some, including Ana Mendieta, Carlos Almaraz, and Luis Frangella, have since died, leaving their marks on a revised art history canon.
It would no longer be correct to name a show Aquí. We recognize that identity slips and slides, multiplies and divides, adds and subtracts. Artists living in Mexico see themselves as aquí, but when one is positioned in Los Angeles, they exist allá. Or an artist might be both aquí y allá and decline to be defined by a single place.
This series of virtual exhibitions entitled Aquí y Allá, reflects Fisher’s long-time, multi-faceted, Mexico-related collecting and the complexity of place.
Francisco Toledo, of Zapotec origins, was born in Juchitán on the Isthmus of Tehuántepec in 1940 and died in Oaxaca in 2019. He left the Isthmus for Oaxaca City as an adolescent, and there he studied art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes (UBAJO) and the printmaking workshop of Arturo García Busto. In 1957 he moved to Mexico City. Toledo then traveled to France in 1960 where he came to know the great Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, also from Oaxaca. It was there that he became familiar with the latest trends in contemporary art and with European art history. Five years later, Toledo returned to Juchitán where he supported the radical political and artistic movements of the time. After other moves, he finally settled with his family in Oaxaca City. Beyond his stunning body of work in all media, Toledo was a social activist and a cultural impresario. He created museums, libraries, gardens, artistic workshops, and even a cinematheque in Oaxaca, thereby totally changing the cultural landscape of the city. With the exception of a sojourn in Los Angeles in 2001, Toledo lived in Oaxaca for the rest of his life. He is internationally recognized and avidly collected and often exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, the United States, and Latin America.
Carlos Almaraz is considered one of the most important if not the most important Chicano artist. His work is an emblem of the Movement, but as with all great art, both represents it and transcends it. Carlos’ art is about passion and paint. The body of work that Dr. Eugene Rogolsky donated to our permanent collection was from the last decade of Carlos’s life. He was fully formed as an artist. Carlos is an artist of the Movement, surely, of L.A. certainly, but also of the universality of human experience.
Elsa Flores was born in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 5, 1955. At a young age, she moved to Los Angeles with her family. Flores’ love of the rural environment in which she was raised influenced her passion for landscape painting, and unsurprisingly nature is an element that frequently appears in her work. She also loves the human figure and represents it throughout her career, often integrating images of people in powerful natural settings. Elsa Flores is considered one of the great artists of the Chicano movement, multi-talented, creating work in photography, printmaking, painting, and film.
Elsa Flores and Carlos Almaraz figure large in our permanent collection at the USC Fisher Museum. Both artists were part of a 700-piece donation by Dr. Eugene Rogolsky, a great fan of both Elsa and Carlos. Elsa and Carlos were married in 1981 after knowing each other for seven years. They built a life together around the Chicano movement to which they were dedicated, to art and to their friends and family. Both of their bodies of work are intensely alive, albeit in different ways that we hope will become apparent in this virtual exhibition.
James & Alexandra Brown
Eduardo Leyva Herrera
Roberto Gil de Montes
Jamex and Einar de la Torre