What Would You Say?

Start date: August 27, 2022
End date: December 4, 2022

What Would You Say?: Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Reception: September 23, from 3-6pm

Since the mid-20th century, California has been a beacon of both inventive design and political activism. Exploring the intersection of these realms, this exhibition uses case studies from LACMA’s collection to demonstrate how designers and artists championed civil rights, opposed wars and injustice, and pressed for change. Skilled communicators by profession, they distilled complex issues into eye-catching images, often appropriating commercial art techniques—from newspaper broadsheets to screen prints to digital downloads—to distribute powerful imagery despite limited resources. Others led workshops and formed printing collectives, providing movements with new methods for disseminating their messages. Their works express both outrage and optimism, going beyond protest to envision alternative ways of living. Key figures and organizations including Emory Douglas of the Black Panther Party, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville of the Woman’s Building, Self Help Graphics & Art, and street artist Shepard Fairey achieved widespread acclaim and notoriety, galvanizing political movements and empowering marginalized communities.

Image credit: Michael Mabry, War = Death, 2003, digital file, dimensions variable, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of the designer through Another Poster for Peace, image source:

GUADALUPE: Queen of the Water, Mother of the Land of the Dead

Start date: November 5, 2022
End date: December 31, 2022
Location: Museum of Latin American Art

Co-curated by artist, scholar, and curator Amalia Mesa-Bains and MOLAA Chief Curator Gabriela Urtiaga

Guadalupe – Queen of the Water, Mother of the Land of the Dead (Chapter # 1) is a group exhibition that explores and interrogates the influence, iconography, and the practices of devotion surrounding the spiritual and cultural symbol of the Virgen de Guadalupe in the Chicana/o/x and Latinx contemporary cultural scene.

As a research project, this exhibition presents one of many compelling arguments to examine and expand the image and power of one of the most important figures of our time, the Virgen de Guadalupe. Through the works of art exhibited, we delve into the various themes, contexts, and pictorial language that have been adapted and incorporated into the image and meaning of the Virgen. These include many contemporary and historical movements – the Virgen being used as a banner of freedom, as an immigrant’s protector, and as a symbol for feminism, environmentalism, indigeneity, and anti-colonization.

This selection of artists and artworks responds to 3 curatorial axes. In the Aura of the Virgen, we review the relationship between the spirit and mythic memory of ancestors that connect Guadalupe as a maternal figure with the Madre of Mexico, Tonantzin, and other goddesses. We also examine the Power of the Virgen, reinterpreted as manifesting in the supreme protection of poor people, in the protection against injustice, and as a shelter against all struggles. This culminates in popular manifestations of the Virgen in the Southern Californian landscape as Mother Nature – a powerful force that revalorizes women’s freedom and asserts the interconnectedness of all women as creators of life, as fighters for social, political justice, and revolution – uniting the scars of the land with the possibility of infinite rebirth and renewal, a counter to the imposition of Western vision.

Together with these artists, we invite you to participate in the conversation about this iconic figure that has transformed our existence from the 16th century to the present.

Giro gráfico

Start date: November 26, 2022
End date: May 28, 2023
Location: Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo)

Como en el muro la hiedra

Esta exposición presenta acciones gráficas en el espacio público llevadas a cabo por activistas y artistas en el cruce de arte/política en América Latina. La investigación, de carácter colectivo, señala cómo estas prácticas se vinculan con movimientos sociales más amplios, a la vez que transforman su comprensión del hacer y su capacidad de establecer lazos para constituir comunidades.

Giro gráfico no se limita a un espacio geográfico ni a una temporalidad; en cambio, revela un entramado de afinidades enmarcadas por las protestas sociales. Si bien se consideran algunas prácticas históricas ocurridas desde 1960, se enfatizan los eventos actuales, con lo que se busca vincular prácticas y modos de hacer dispersos para configurar un archivo del presente. La exposición reúne cerca de 400 obras que abarcan acciones, bordados, pinturas-pancartas, proyecciones en edificios, señaléticas intervenidas, ejercicios contracartográficos, camisetas y carteles.

El subtítulo de la exposición retoma un fragmento de la conocida canción “Volver a los diecisiete”, de la cantautora chilena Violeta Parra:

Se va enredando, enredando
como en el muro la hiedra
y va brotando, brotando
como el musguito en la piedra.

Curaduría: Red Conceptualismos del Sur (RedCSur)

Exposición organizada por el MNCARS, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, con la colaboración del MUAC, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, UNAM, Ciudad de México.