Art in Re­view

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - GenNext: Fu­ture So Bright GenNext, La Vir­gen de Guadalupe

GenNext: Fu­ture So Bright Re­boot at the Mu­seum of Span­ish Colo­nial Art

It is to the Mu­seum of Span­ish Colo­nial Art’s credit that its cur­rent show of lo­cal and re­gional His­panic artists is fo­cused on con­tem­po­rary work. It is the mu­seum’s first group ex­hi­bi­tion to do so.

Last year, had a planned clos­ing date of Nov. 25, 2018, but the show was given an ex­ten­sion to March 29, 2019, so that more works and artists could be added to the mix. This sur­vey fea­tures works by emerg­ing and es­tab­lished artists that stem from — and ref­er­ence — long­stand­ing tra­di­tions in the His­panic arts of New Mex­ico, reach­ing as far back as the Span­ish Colo­nial era. The artists in how­ever, push the bound­aries of these art forms, which in­clude bulto carv­ings, retablo paint­ings, fur­ni­ture-mak­ing, tin­work, and more. On the whole, the works are bold, graphic, and of­ten el­e­gantly re­al­ized and pre­sented. Many of the themes ex­plored are rel­e­vant to is­sues cur­rently fac­ing many New Mex­i­cans, as well as the na­tion, such as im­mi­gra­tion is­sues and con­tro­ver­sies in the Catholic church.

Span­ish Colo­nial art forms are not the only con­texts for the styles in which the works are ren­dered. For ex­am­ple, the re­duc­tive im­agery in Wil­liam Ly­day’s paint­ing re­calls the spare, il­lus­tra­tive style of New York Pop artist Keith Har­ing. De­spite its lack of fine de­tail, the paint­ing’s cen­tral fig­ure of the Vir­gin is still rec­og­niz­able as an icon of reli­gious faith. The flo­ral and saintly mo­tifs that of­ten sur­round the haloed fig­ure of the Vir­gin in tra­di­tional de­pic­tions are here ren­dered as Haringesque sym­bols, nom­i­nal forms that con­vey the same essence. Ly­day, along with Frank A. Blazquez, Autrey Ma­cias, Michael Mar­tinez, and Al­berto Zalma, is among the artists who were added to the ex­hi­bi­tion in its Novem­ber re­boot.

Bran­don Mal­don­ado looks to modernism for in­spi­ra­tion, paint­ing vivid com­po­si­tions in a for­mat he calls “Neo-Pi­cas­so­ism.” The Cu­bist ap­pear­ance of the fig­ures in Mal­don­ado’s paint­ings is in ho­mage to the Span­ish mod­ernist, but the works are not im­i­ta­tive, set­tling for car­toon­like satirism rather than strict pas­tiche. Many of Mal­don­ado’s fig­u­ra­tive forms are calav­eras, the skele­tal icons of the Mex­i­can Day of

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