Latin American and Latinx graphic arts in 20th century reflected newly redefined cultural expressions that were more inclusive and diverse, negotiated and forged by partnerships between artists, writers, journalists, and activists. These ongoing exchanges continue into the 21st century, generating new visual languages as well as innovations in printmaking processes that have broadened the types of objects made in the print shop.
Gráfica América is curated by Gabriela Martínez, Curator of Education at MOLAA with Rogelio Gutiérrez, Associate Professor of Art at Arizona State University and is organized by the Museum of Latin American Art.
Print Exchange of the Americas
The Printshop in its purest form is a place of collaboration. Featuring work created in thirty print shops from throughout the Americas, Gráfica América’s Print Exchange of the Americas exemplifies that fundamental trait while at the same time demonstrating the skill and spontaneous possibility that emerges from both recognized and recently established print shops.
Taller 99 in Santiago, Chile, (Est. 1957) and Self Help Graphics and Art in Los Angeles (Est. 1970) have for decades held true to the traditional cooperative relationship between master-printer and guest artist while newer print shops like Taller La Imágen del Rinoceronte in Mexico City (Est. 2006) are spaces where beginners are invited to learn to print their own work.
Understanding the need to decentralize centers of cultural production, many print shops are also going mobile, taking the press out into the community. Gráfica a Pedal (Est. 2003) pedals a vintage bicycle transformed from a bread delivery vehicle into a mobile printmaking studio to various neighborhoods throughout Montevideo, Uruguay.
The following images are a selection of the images that belong to the Gráfica América’s Print Exchange of the Americas portfolio. This portfolio was also exhibited at the Museo del Grabado, ICPNA in Lima, Peru during Spring 2021. The video interviews included in this story are part of the online interpretive program executed by the Museo del Grabado, ICPNA as part of the exhibition's programming.
Mines (2019) by Antonio AlcarazMuseum of Latin American Art
Universitat Politécnica de Valencia. Antonio Alcaraz Mira is Professor of Fine Arts and at Universitat Politecnia de Valencia in Spain. He documents the abandoned industrial architecture of the ports, train stations, assembly plants and warehouses of northern Spain.
Damned Dream (2019/2019) by Andrés Arízaga CorderoMuseum of Latin American Art
Colegio de Comunicación y Artes Contemporánea (COCOA). Ecuadorian artist Arízaga Cordero explores how humans repeat existential journeys in smaller ways, eluding death daily. His distorted figures critique how mass media is used by dominant powers as a form of global control
Mater Dolorosa / Grieving Mother (2019) by Carlos BarberenaMuseum of Latin American Art
Instituto Gráfico de Chicago and Bandolero Press
Barberena’s prints examine the effects of political events throughout the Americas, with his recent works exposing the violence endured by Nicaraguan citizens. Mater Dolorosa depicts Liseth Dávila whose teenage son was murdered by police.
Rendering (Glitch) (2019) by Sergio Valencia SalazarMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller Experimental de Gráfica Guatemala.
For this work, the artist took photographs of Mayan pyramids and distorted them using a digital program. The result represents the visual pillaging of sacred spaces where viewers casually consume culture without reflecting on history.
Ángel (2019) by Alan AltamiranoMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller la Chicharra.
Altamirano produces large-scale woodcuts portraying women as embodiments of the divine feminine. He explores the finite and ephemeral nature of human existence through organic patterns and symbols related to Zapotec cosmology and the Oaxacan landscape.
Bringing Back Ourselves: A Recovery of the Stolen (2019) by Melanie CervantesMuseum of Latin American Art
Dignidad Rebelde is a collective made up of Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes. Bringing Back Ourselves: A Recovery of the Stolen includes native flora and lists the indigenous names of landmarks in North America as a reminder of the erasure of native histories and traditions.
Love Dazza xxo (2019) by Liz CohenMuseum of Latin American Art
Arizona State University. Colombian-American artist Liz Cohen examines issues of gender and hybridity via low-rider culture. This print features photographs of Peruvian-American model and low-rider icon, Dazza del Rio, who has partnered with Cohen on art projects for many years.
Offside (2019) by Gabriela González LealMuseum of Latin American Art
Piedra Negra (Blackstone) Press. Offside, by the Mexico City-based González Leal references words and symbols related to soccer, a game connected to nationality and upward mobility. Two heavy boulders lay across the word “DREAMS,” making us question her intention.
Territories of Water (2019) by Lorena PradalMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller de Litografía del Museo de la Cárcova and Under Pressure Press. Based in Argentina, Pradal uses natural elements to explore abstract human emotions. In this print, the line is both a map and the source of a narrative depicting the release of our collective essence.
Wisirare from the series Bandadas (2019) by Ana María DevisMuseum of Latin American Art
Arte Dos Gráfico. Devis explores natural narratives in Wisisare, a print that incorporates lithography, serigraphy, embossing, and digital techniques. This image features the wildlife of the wetlands of Eastern Colombia, home to turtles, crocodiles, and over 160 types of birds.
The Visionary (2019) by Jorge CrespoMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller de Estampa Bastidor Solitario. Crespo is a Costa Rican artist whose work addresses the concept of migration in a literal and philosophical sense. This print reflects upon migration as a journey of self-discovery that can result in dislocation and denaturalization.
Separated Minor #2,739 (Detenido) (2019) by Sandra C. FernándezMuseum of Latin American Art
sFernandez Press & Taller. Etching and silkscreen. Born in New York but raised in Ecuador, Fernández explores issues of migration, dislocation, power structures and political freedom. This print directly addresses the cruel practice of separating children from their parents in unlawful detention.
In Mex We Trust (2019) by Ferndando De LeónMuseum of Latin American Art
Espacio 1104. Chihuahua-based Fernando De León makes satiric prints that juxtapose national symbols from Mexico and the US to expose the countries’ economic and historical connections. This portrait synthesizes the features of Lincoln with the Mexican liberator Miguel Hidalgo.
Across (2018) by Isabel CauasMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller 99. Chilean artist Isabel Cauas incorporates windows into her prints that show imaginary ‘micro worlds’. In Across, she uses the negative space to frame a distant landscape, allowing the viewer to project their own vision of nature via the image’s minimal lines.
And It’s Built on the Sacred (2019) by Jacob A. MedersMuseum of Latin American Art
Warbird Press. A member of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe, Meders examines the way places and identities are perceived in relation to the assimilation of indigenous populations. In this print he turns the tables on colonization, tarnishing a European symbol with native markings.
Module from the series Archetypes (2019) by Octavio IrvingMuseum of Latin American Art
Irving Studio: Gráfica Creative. A part of the Archetypes series, this print explores religious syncretism, a topic central to Cuban art and daily spiritual practices. The artist uses religious symbols to strip them of their original significance and imbue them with new meaning.
Survivors (2019) by Poli MarichalMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller Poli Marichal. Marichal returned to Puerto Rico from the US post-hurricane María, which inspired her use of PVC in this print, a material now commonly used to build hurricane resistant housing on the island. Her work reflects her socio-political interests and concerns.
Wild Landscape for Letivating (2019) by Norma MoralesMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller de Artes Gráficas (TAGA). In this print, Venezuelan artist Norma Morales uses aquatint and collograph to depict a figure floating in an ambivalent environment, asking us to contemplate whether it is a fantastic countryside or the subject’s thoughts.
Metrocenter (2019) by Miriam Del Saz BarragánMuseum of Latin American Art
Arizona State University. Del Saz’s abstract works explore geography, the landscape, and space. Here, she takes vignettes of floor tiles and visually bends them in origami-like shapes that appear to float on the surface of the paper.
La carambola está cañón from the series Playing at War (2019/2019) by Humberto SaenzMuseum of Latin American Art
University of Texas at San Antonio. Saenz’s body of work addresses the issues affecting migrant communities along the border. This lithograph and serigraph print symbolizes the challenges faced by migrant children as they navigate the US justice system and a new culture.
Meráya (2019) by Toño NuñezMuseum of Latin American Art
INKSpira. Meráya was the result of a collaboration by Peruvian artists Toño Nuñez and Rocio Rendón. It is a psychedelic depiction of a mythical entity associated with Amazonian Onaya healers. This being can heal, transform itself into any animal, and even traverse the cosmos.
Anecumene of the Septentrion (2019) by Coral Revueltas ValleMuseum of Latin American Art
La Trampa Gráfica. This mixed media intaglio print uses aquatint on copper plate and dry point on PVC to explore concepts related to terrestrial and cosmic mapping. Printed in Mexico City, it reflects the artist’s interest in reinventing cartographical models on earth and beyond.
State Secrets (2019) by Julio César Rodríguez JaimesMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller de Gráfica La Huella. This print explores the power dynamics and social control of the ongoing Colombian civil war. It questions the peace process while paying homage to the artist’s sister, Ángela María Rodríguez Jaimes, a professor murdered by the ELN in 2002.
Broken Country (2019) by Pepe CoronadoMuseum of Latin American Art
Coronado Print Studio. Born the year of the US invasion of the Dominican Republic, his country of origin, Coronado’s work often features fracturing or interventions of the picture plane. The splintered nature of this map refers to the way colonialism divided the island.
No One on Earth is Illegal (2019) by Herson SaponeMuseum of Latin American Art
Gráfica a Pedal. Created in Montevideo, Uruguay on a mobile print studio made from a repurposed cargo bike, this print was developed in collaboration with students and in solidarity with migrants and refugees. It denounces global discrimination, criminalization, and detention.
Connect to the Land (2019) by Dewey TafoyaMuseum of Latin American Art
Self-Help Graphics and Art. Influenced by his local East Los Angeles community, artist and educator Dewey Tafoya uses symbols and imagery connected to the urban landscape, Chicanx culture, and indigenous civilizations to critique, deconstruct, and rebuild historical narratives.
Asemic (2019) by Alejandro VillalbazoMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller de Producción e Investigación Gráfica la Pintadera. Villalbazo is based in Campeche, Mexico and his work engages the urban environment and street art. This print features abstract script, printed in monochromatic whites, inviting viewers to inspect it from up close.
Chanel Parade - Havana: Perfume of the Revolution (2019) by Yamilys BritoMuseum of Latin American Art
Taller Experimental de Gráfica de La Habana. Chanel Parade-Havana: Perfume of the Revolution is part of a series of works that juxtapose disparate symbols and images to explore memory, isolation, nostalgia, homeland, and national identity.