Isaías Cervantes Rodríguez, Baile de Salvadoreños, ca. 1952.
José L. Ruiz, Cabeza de Mujer, 1956.
Alberto de la Vega, Pancho, ca. 1956.
NEW CULTURAL DIMENSION
Juan Leonardo Cordero, Maternidad, 1937.
The stunning Latino Arts Project opening on Dragon Street.
BY PATRICIA MORA
allas has one of the most expansive Hispanic populations in the country, and the city’s cultural institutions were among the first in the US to recognize the compelling need for diversity to be presented in exhibitions. Thus, the Design District is fortunate, indeed, to be the locus for an exciting new venue that, in its inaugural exhibit, will bring into sharper focus a variety of sculptural work from various regions within Mexico, including Ciudad de México, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nuevo León, and Puebla. The Latino Arts Project was born when entrepreneur Jorge Baldor and arts advocate Carlos Gonzalez-Jaime joined forces to bring to Dallas a one-of-a kind pop-up museum solely devoted to presenting Latino artists. Additionally, the space will also serve as a gathering place to host monthly symposia so that viewers can more deeply explore the diverse range of artwork created across Latin America as well as its historical import. The Latino Arts Project will be ushering in an array of visual luxuriance with its inaugural show, Mexican Modern Sculpture: A Study of the Artists, opening May 5 and running through September 22, 2019. Curated under the aegis of arts scholar María Estela Duarte, known as one of the foremost authorities in Mexican sculpture, this exciting exhibition is the culmination of an astonishing fourteen years spent searching for heretofore unknown and undiscovered pieces that represent the work of nine artists who rose to fame in the decades spanning 1920 to 1950 before falling from view. In fact, were it not for this extraordinary project, their work would likely
have fallen into obscurity and been lost to future generations and art devotees. Among the artists in the initial show are Juan Leonardo Cordero, Guillermo Toussaint, Carmen Carrillo de Antúnez, Isaías Cervantes Rodríguez, Abraham Jiménez López, Fidias Elizondo, Manuel Centurión, José L. Ruiz, and Alberto de la Vega, all 19thand 20th-century artists who are no doubt new to Dallas audiences. This presents both a momentous time in the arts community and a marvelous opportunity to explore outstanding works from the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura and the Secretaría de Cultura of Mexico, promoting new insight and understanding of Latino art, history, and the unique mythos that informs cultures that enjoy such a vivid dialogue with our own. The first show is comprised of a variety of stunning work that conveys a distinct notion of the Mesoamerican identity with regard to familial, political, and educational issues. It is also particularly interesting to note explorations of European movements, including the Art Deco era, evident in some of the work. Astonishingly, the Latino Arts Project will be the only venue in the United States to feature the exhibit, organized by the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. This is nothing less than a new iteration of the global plurality that constitutes our world and the Latino Arts Project is an ideal way to find ingress into it. Dallas is fortunate, indeed. P All images courtesy of Latino Arts Project.