LATINOPIA ART TIMELINE
100 YEARS OF LATINO ART IN AMERICA
1900 Mexican born painter Xavier Timotéo Martínez wins honorable mention for his painting of fellow artist Marion Holden Pope at the Paris International Exposition. The next year he opens a studio in San Francisco, California, becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen, and will spend the rest of his life painting landscapes and portraits in the Bay area.
1906 Despite the devastating earthquake, Manuel Valencia keeps his art studio open in San Francisco while working as a staff artist for the San Francisco Call newspaper. Manuel is a descendant of the Valencia family who first settled in California in 1776 when they arrived with the De Anza expedition. Valencia will become renowned for his oil paintings of landscapes of Northern California.
1907 After spending a year studying art in England and Germany, Hernando Gonzallo Villa returns to his native Los Angeles, California, and opens a studio. For the next forty years he will work as a commercial artist, doing much of his art work for the Sante Fe Railroad, including the railroad company’s logo, “The Chief.”
1910 Having attended the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, Miguel Pou y Becerra returns to his home in Ponce, Puerto Rico and founds the Academia Pou where he will teach art for the next 40 years.
1914 Xavier Martínez exhibits widely in art galleries in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
1917 Jesús Murillo begins work as a photographic retoucher at the Fox Studios in San Antonio and Waco, Texas. Eventually he will open his own photography studio in Houston, and later, Galveston, Texas. He will spend much of his long and prolific career photographing people, landscapes and particularly the construction of new buildings in Houston and Galveston.
1920 During the 1920s, the first Almanaques (calendars) appear in Southwest restaurants, bars, panaderias and other shops. These calendars, depicting events and personalties from Mexican history and Aztec mythology, are given yearly to patrons who frequent the restaurants, bars and panaderias–a tradition that continues to the present.
1921 Los Angeles hosts “Mexican Painters and Photographers of California,” one of the very first exhibits of locally grown Mexican art in the United States.
1921 New York’s Whitney Studio Club opens an exhibit of the works of Joaquín Torres-García who presages pop art with rednerings of cigarette packages and New York street scene.
1923 Artist Luis Hidalgo opens a studio at 48th Street and 5th Avenue in New York City where he creates wax figure caricatures of famous personalities.
1925 In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Spanish Colonial Arts Society is created to foster the preservation of traditional Spanish colonial arts and crafts, all part of the Sante Fe “revivalist” movement.
1926 La Opiñion, owned by Ignacio Lozano who also publishes the San Antonio paper, La Prensa, begins publishing in Los Angeles. Aimed at Spanish speaking Mexican immigrants, over time, it will become the longest publishing Spanish language newspaper in the United States. By 1930 it has a circulation of 25,000 copies. From the onset, artistic caricatures, drawings and jokes appear in the newspaper–art for the people.
1928 Christine Sterling opens up Olvera Street with art shops that emphasize a notion of Mexico and things Mexican described by author Carey McWilliams in North from Mexico as the “fantasy heritage.” The shops highlight Spanish influences and traditions. Images of Spanish caballeros, senoritas and “old Spanish days” are promulgated while ignoring or downplaying the real Mexican, Mestizo, and Mulatto heritage of Los Angeles.
1929 Corpus Christi, Texas artist Antonio García paints “Aztec Advance,” which prefigures Aztec imagery that will later become a staple in the hey-day of the Chicano Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. During the 1930s he will work on murals in San Diego, Texas and Aylesford, Illinois as part of the Public Works Administration.
1930 Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco visits the United States and paints the mural “Prometheus” in Frary Hall at Pomona College, Pomona, California.
1930 Diego Rivera is invited by San Franciscan architect Timothy L. Pflueger to paint a mural in San Francisco’s American Stock Exchange Luncheon Club. Later he also paints a mural at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute).
1930 Mute, itinerant Martín Ramírez, still suffering from the trauma of his experiences during the Mexican Revolution, is picked up in Pershing Square, Los Angeles, and diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He is deemed to be incurable and committed to an asylum where he will spend the next thirty years of his life, until death in 1963, making drawings with pencil, crayon and tempura that will later be recognized as the work of a great artist. In 2015 he will be honored with a U.S. postage stamp.
1931 Orozco travels to New York City and visits the New School for Social Research (now known as the New School University). There he paints a multi-panel fresco mural titled A Call for Revolution and Universal Brotherhood.
1931 Diego Rivera has a retrospective of his work at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
1932 Diego Rivera moves on to Detroit where Henry Ford commissions him to paint a mural honoring the American worker on the walls of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rivera completes 27 fresco panels under the title Detroit Industry.
1932 Mexican muralist Davíd Alfaro Siqueiros arrives in Los Angeles invited by the Chouinard Institute of Art to conduct a series of seminars on mural painting. His first mural, Street Meeting, painted on one of the walls of the Chouinard School, causes immediate controversy because of its depiction of black and white laborers at a political meeting. The Chouinard School builds a wall to block the view of the mural from the street. Also in Los Angeles he is commissioned to paint a mural on a beer garden wall in Olvera Street on the theme of tropical America. Siqueiros paints the fresco mural América Tropical for F.K. Fernentz who promptly whitewashes the mural for its political content showing a crucified Indian on a double cross with the eagle of the U.S. dollar on top of the cross. Siqueiros is deported, but not before he finishes a third mural, in Santa Barbara, California, titled Portrait of Mexico Today (SEE VIDEO LATINOPIA EVENTS: 1932 América Tropical Whitewashing)
1932 Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco begins a two-year visit to Dartmouth University in Hanover, New Hampshire. Invited as an artist-in-residence, Orozco soon envisions a monumental mural to be painted on the walls of the Baker Library. In the 150 foot mural titled The Epic of American Civilization, Orozco depicts the civilizations of the Meso-American Indians and the development of the New World with the advent of European colonists. The mural is divided into two halves which represent pre-Columbiand post- Conquest America.
1933 Nelson Rockefeller commissions Diego Rivera to paint a mural in the Radio Corporation Arts building of the Rockefeller Center. The mural, Man at the Crossroads, depicts a May Day celebration in which the Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin, is featured. This causes controversy and work on the mural is halted. Rivera leaves the United States in 1933 and in 1934, the unfinished mural is destroyed.
1937 New Mexican artist Edward Chávez has a one-man show in Denver, Colorado. An easel painter, Chávez is influenced by Cubism and will have a prolific career, with one-man shows during the 1950s in New York, Rome, San Francisco and Detroit.
1939 To coincide with the New York Worlds Fair, an exhibition titled “Latin American Exhibition of Fine and Applied Arts” is convened at the Riverside Museum. The work of artists from nine Latin American countries is represented.
1940 Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo visit San Francisco to participate in the Golden Gate International Exposition. Rivera is commissioned to paint a mural by Timothy L. Pflueger. While visitors to the Exhibition watch, Rivera paints the mural which he titles Pan American Unity.
1940 Spurred by the Good Neighbor Policy and the desire to offset the possible influence of Germany in Latin American affairs, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in collaboration with the Mexican Government hosts “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art.” Similar MOMA exhibits reaching out to Latin America during the forties will include “Brazil Constructs,” and “Cuban Painting Today.”
1942 Michael Ponce De León begins a career as a fine art printmaker by working as a freelance cartoonist for such magazines as Colliers, the New Yorker, and the Saturday Evening Post.
1943 Rufino Tamayo paints a mural, “Nature and the Artist,” in the Hillyer Art Library at Smith College, in Northhampton, Massachusetts.
1944 The Museum of Modern Art in New York City exhibits “Modern Cuban Painters.”
1946 Following the Second World War, Joel Tito Ramírez returns to his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He will soon become popular for his paintings of New Mexico landscapes and portraits of its people.
1947 San Antonio artist Antonio García paints a fresco mural, “Virgen De Guadalupe,” at the Sacred Heart Church in Corpus Christi, Texas.
1949 Puerto Rican artists from the continental United States return to the island of Puerto Rico as part of a campaign of film and art workshops encouraged by recently elected Governor Luis MuZoz Marín. The artists which include Julio Rosado del Valle, Rafael TufiZo, Carlos Osorio, Lorenzo Homar and Carlos Raquel Rivera, soon spur a new movement of Puerto Rican art originating from the island.
1950 Chicanos begin to customize cars and form car clubs. The “bombs” will morph into the lowrider art tradition of the 1960s and beyond.
1952 The Dallas Museum of Fine Arts mounts the exhibit South American Art Today.1953 Rufino Tamayo paints a mural at the Museum of Fine Art in Dallas, Texas.
1957 California born sculptor Manuel Neri begins to sculpt signature life-size human figures using plaster and paint.
1956 Rufino Tamayo returns to Texas to paint a mural at the Bank of the Southwest in Houston, Texas.
1960 The “New Departures” art exhibit at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art features modern Latin American artists.
1962 “New Art of Brazil” is exhibited at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.1964 The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota exhibits “New Art of Argentina.”
1964 “El Malcriado,” (The Brat) the newspaper of the Farm Worker Association begins publication. In the years to come, as the Association morphs into the United Farm Workers (UFW), the newspaper will feature cartoons and other art work by a variety of Chicano artists.
1965 “Venezuelan Paintings” are the featured exhibit at the Peabody Museum at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
1965 “The Emergent Decade: Latin American Painters and Painting in the 1960s” is exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum.1966 In London, England, performance artist Ralph Ortíz performs “Piano Destruction Concert,” broadcast over the BBC, during the course of which he destroys a piano. The concert will later be performed for local broadcast in the United States over NBC and ABC.
1966 Art of Latin American Since Independence is exhibited at Yale University.
1966 Ernesto Palomino produces a 16 mm film, “My Trip in a ‘52 Ford,” one of the first films made by a Chicano.
1966 In New Mexico, Santo carving undergoes a revival inspired by the works of Patrocinio Barela and others.
1967 In New York, Luis Jiménez, originally from El Paso, Texas, begins to work in fiberglass sculptures with such pieces as “Cyclist” and “The American Dream.” Jiménez will soon become one of the most prolific and respected of Mexican American sculptors.
1966 San Antonio artist Melesio Casas begins his Humanscape series of paintings, juxtaposing everyday people with out-sized images from movie screens. 1967 In
San Antonio, local artists form the art collective Tlacuilo. The group, spearheaded by Melesio Casas, will eventually morph into Los Pintores de Aztlán in 1970, and Los Pintores de la Nueva Raza in 1971, before becoming Con Safo in 1972.
1968 The Crusade for Justice in Denver, Colorado creates the El Gallo de Aztlán art gallery. Arguably the earliest Chicano art gallery, it specializes in art by movimiento Chicanos.
1968 A group of Northern California artists which includes the Montoya brothers, José
and Malaquís, Esteban Villa, René Yánez, Manuel Martinez, and others form The Mexican American Liberation Art Front (MALAF). The group questions what the role of Chicano artists should be in the face of existing social and political discrimination. They go by the acronym “Mala Efe.”
1968 In New York City, Puerto Rican surrealist artist Rafael Ferrer places two and a half tons of ice at the entrance to the Whitney Museum in a transitory installation piece he titles “Ice.”
1968 In San Diego, California the group Artistas del Barrio is formed.
1968 Metafisica, a mural by Mario Castillo, is the first Chicano mural painted in Chicago. The mural employs indigenous iconography.
1969 Bay area artists Malaquías Montoya, René Yanez, Manuel Martínez and others plan for what may be the first bonifide major exhibit of Chicano Art. Obsessed with wanting to create new imagery, the group select a protypical Chicano face belonging to a Brown Beret named Manuel Gómez; all the artists agree to render his likeness in their respective artistic styles. The Oakland exhibit, New Symbols for La Nueva Raza, opens with a gallery full of images of Manuel Gómez.
1969 The Mechicano Art Center on Whittier Boulevard and the Goez Art Gallery on First Street are created–the first Chicano art galleries in East Los Angeles.
1969 Toltecas en Aztlán, a collective of artists, musicians and danzantes is formed in San Diego. Initial group includes Viviana Zermino, Delia Moreno, Salvador Torres, Guillermo Arnada, Victor Ochoa, Mario Torero, Tomás Castaneda, José Gómez, Salvador Barajas, Abran Quevedo and others.
1969 In East Harlem, the Museo del Barrio is founded by Puerto Rican artist Raphael MontaZez Ortíz. In addition to exhibiting Puerto Rican and other Latin American artists, the museum sponsors an artist workshop “El Taller Boricua.”
1969 José Montoya, Esteban Villa, Juan Orozco and Armando Cid form the Rebel Chicano Art Front in Sacramento, California. The group’s logo “RCAF,” is soon mis-interpreted as the “Royal Chicano Air Force,” a name which sticks. The RCAF will continue to produce art works as a group and as individuals for the next forty years.
1969 Luis Jiménez sculptures exhibited in New York.
1969 Gilbert “Magu” Lujan curates an art show at the California State University at Long Beach titled, “El Arte Del Pocho.” The show is featured on the program “Ahora!’ produced at the Los Angeles public broadcast station KCET.
1969 In Los Angeles, a group of artists, musicians and poets including Gilbert Lujan, Sergio Hernandez, Arturo Flores, Ralph Lopez, John Figueroa, Adalberta Flores ,Tony Gomez and Oscar Castillo form the artist collective Con Safos. They publish a magazine by the same name.
1970 In San Francisco’s Mission District, Ralph Maradiaga and others create the Galería De La Raza, the first art gallery in San Francisco to feature Chicano art.
1970 Artists and activists from the Logan Heights barrio of San Diego occupy land under the recently completed Coronado Bridge and demand a public park for their community. The city of San Diego concedes and the land is named Chicano Park. Within a short time artists like Salvador Torres, Victor Ochoa, Guillermo Aranda, Mario Torero and others begin to paint murals on the concrete pillars that sustain the bridge. Eventually Chicano Park will become known for its vast array of colorful and socially oriented murals.
1970 Los Artes de Guadalupanos de Aztlán is formed in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
1971 After years of making found objects works, Ernesto Palomino turns his eye to making Chicano murals in Fresno, California, such as his untitled mural on Tulare Street which features an Eagle surrounded by calaveras (skeletons).
1971 El Centro Cultural de La Raza opens in San Diego, California.
1971 After spending four years as a marine in Vietnam, Glynn Gómez exhibits at the Zimmerman Library gallery of the University of New Mexico. The title of his black and white oil wash paintings is “People In Vietnam.”
1972 In San Antonio, Texas, artist and teacher Melesio Casas forms the artistic group Con Safos. The group of visual artists will include César Martínez, Amado PeZa, Carmen Lomas Garza Jesse A. Almazán, Santos Martínez, Santa Barraza Felipe Reyes, Jesús C. TreviZo, Roberto Ríos and Vincente Velásquez.
1971 Harry Gamboa enlists fellow artists Willie Herron, Gronk and Pattsi Valdez, to join with him in producing original art for the alternative magazine Regeneración. The group
of artistic collaborators adopt the name ASCO, Spanish for nausea, which reflects their anti-establishment, performance-oriented art. The group will go on to excite the art world with performance art, “No Movies,” and “Instant Murals.”
1972 In Sacramento, California, the Centro de Artistas Chicanos is formed.
1972 The Congreso de Artistas Chicanos de Aztlán is formed in San Diego, California.
1972 Sister Karen Boccalero creates the Self-Help Graphics and Art Center to afford local East Los Angeles artists access to silk-screening equipment and “help Chicanos discover their cultural heritage.” Over the next four decades, Self-Help graphics will become a vital force in empowering local artists and promoting Chicano art.
1972 In San Francisco, the “Women of Aztlán exhibit opens.
1973 Patricia Rodríguez, Graciela Carrillo, Consuelo Méndez, and Irene Pérez form Mujeres Muralistas, a collective of Latina muralists. Their first major work is Panamérica, in the Mission District of San Francisco.
1973 Jacinto Quirarte publishes “Mexican American Artists,” the first major text chronicling the work of Mexican American artists in the United States from 1901 to 1973.
1974 Los Four (Gilbert “Magu” Lujan, Frank Romero, Carlos Almaraz and Roberto De la Rocha) exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Los Four is the first exhibit of Chicano art at a major art institution in the United States. Greeting visitors on entrance to the exhibit, the front of a
1974 In Fresno, California, the group “La Brocha del Valle” is formed.1974 The art exhibit “Las Tres Mujeres,” opens in San Diego, California.
1975 Wayne Alaníz Healy and David Botello form the mural art collective, Eastlos Streetscapers. They undertake their first collective mural on the corner of Broadway and Daly street in Lincoln Heights, a suburb of Los Angels, California.
1975 In Chicago, Illinois, the Movimiento Artistico de la Raza Chicana (MARCH) is formed.
1975 In Seattle, Washington, local artists form La Colectiva de Artistas.
1976 Frustrated by the limitations of the Los Angeles citywide mural program, Judy Baca breaks away and creates SPARC ( The Social and Public Art Resource Center). For the next thirty and more years it will become the premiere mural art institution in the United States.
1976 The Concilio de Art Popular, a statewide California art organization is formed.
1977 In Austin, Texas, the group Mujeres Artistas del Suroeste is formed.
1977 In Phoenix, Arizona, local artists create the Movimiento Artístico del Río Salado (MARS).
1977 Dr. Shifra Goldman publishes “Contemporary Mexican Painting in a Time of Change.”
1977 Ariztlán, Inc .is founded in Phoenix, Arizona.
1978 San Francisco based Yolanda López completes her Guadalupe Triptych which reinterprets the ubiquitous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, showing her as a jogger, seamstress and grandmother.
1978 Rupert García is featured in a one-man show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
1978 With the help of student workers, Judy Baca embarks
on the The Great Wall, a massive mural painted on the walls of a water channel in Los Angeles, which visually narrates the history of diverse ethnic peoples in Los Angeles.
1978 When the San Francisco Museum of Art refuses to host a traveling exhibit of the art work by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, the Galeria De La Raza, based in the heavily Latino Mission District of San Francisco, mounts hosts the exhibit instead.
1979 In San Antonio, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is created. In the next three decades it will become of the leading centers for Chicano/a art, music, literature and film in Texas.
1979 “Visiones Chicanos,” an art exhibit, opens in Austin, Texas.
1979 The Council of Latino Photographers/USA is created in Los Angeles, California.1981 Mí Raza Arts Consortium (MIRA) is formed in Chicago, Illinois.
1981 Murals of Aztlán, an exhibit of murals painted at the Los Angeles Craft and Art Museum is heavily criticized for taking mural art out of the barrio on into a mainstream commercial venue. KCET produces a documentary on the muralists creating murals within the Craft and Art Museum.
1981 The University of California at Santa Cruz hosts, “CALIFAS, A Conference on Chicano Art.”
1983 After many months of preparatory work, a major exhibition of Chicano Art is exhibited in Mexico City under the title “A Traves de la Frontera.” The exhibit features a whos-who of contemporary Chicano and Chicana artists working in many disciplines.
1984 The city of Los Angeles, in honor of hosting the 1984 Olympics, commissions murals to be painted on the freeways of Los Angeles. Frank Romero, Judy Baca and Willie Herrón are among the muralists who participate.
1985 The University of California at Berkeley publishes “Arte Chicano.” Compiled by Dr. Shifra Goldman and Dr. Tomás Ybarra Frausto, it is the first major work that documents the history, artists, exhibits and galleries of the Chicano art movement.
1985 “Imagenes Guadalupanas de Artistas Chicanas,” exhibit opens in San Antonio, Texas.
1986 Gilberto Cárdenas opens the Galería Sin Fronteras in Austin, Texas. The gallery exhibits a wide range of Chicano/a artists. In the next three decades, Cardenas will become one of te leading collector of Chicano art.
1987 Art of the Fantastic: Latin American, 1920-1987 features Puerto Rican and Chicano artists as well as Latin American artists.
1987 Mari Carmen Ramírez curates “Puerto Rican Painting: Between Past and Present” at the Museo Del Barrio which features Puerto Rican artists from the island.
1987 “Outside Cuba- Fuera De Cuba,” a retrospective of the work of Cuban American artists in the United States is exhibited, sponsored by Rutgers University and the University of Miami Art Museum.
1987 The Houston Museum of Fine Arts organizes the controversial Hispanic Art in the United States: Thirty Contemporary Painters and Sculptors. The exhibit, curated by non-Latinos, is criticized for its exclusion of Chicano artists whose work reflects a social or political bent and its emphasis on expressionistic, non representational, and folkloric artists. The curators are criticized for “censoring” Chicano art.
1988 “Transition: 80s Art from Cuba” is exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. Works by 18 Cuban artist are exhibited, many for the first time in the United States.1988 “Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States, 1920-1970” is exhibited at the Bronx Museum.
1990 The Wight Gallery at the University of California at Los Angeles launches CARA: Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-85, the first Latino or Chicano art exhibit curated by the artists themselves through a complex process of regional representation and judging to determine inclusion of artworks in the show. The exhibit is in direct contrast to the “outsider” approach to curating of the Houston exhibit in 1987.
1990 Mexico: Splendors of 30 Centuries is exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
1992 Diego Rivera, an exhibit of the works of the Mexican master is exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Art.
1994 Dr. Shifra Goldman publishes “Dimensions of the Americas,” a collection of essays on Mexican, Latin American and Chicano art.
1998 Chicano Art by Alicia Gaspar De Alba is publishedby by the University of Texas Press.
1999 “Cesar A. Martinez” a catalog of a major retrospective of the works of San Antonio
based artist, Cesar A. Martinez is published by the MaNay Art Museum.
2000 The Museo Del barrio exhibits “Pressing the Point: Parallel Expressions in the Graphic Arts of the Chicano and Puerto Rican Movements.”
2002 Bilingual Review Press publishes the extensive two-volume set “Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art,” featuring the whos-who of Chicana/o artists. The first edition to feature full color high quality prints of Chicano/a art includes the contributions of Gary Keller, Mary Erickson, Kaytie Jophnson and Joaquin Alvarado.
2002 Actor and comedian Cheech Marin publishes “Chicano Visions- American Painters on the Verge,” which documents his extensive collection of Chicano art.
2002 “Kathy Vargas” a catalog of a major retrospective of the photographic work of San Antonio artist Kathy Vargas is published by the McNay Musuem.
2003 Bilingual Review Press convenes a national art exhibit and auction at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, at which leading Chicano and Chicana artists attend.
2005 Bilingual Review Press publishes the art book “Triumph of Our Communities,” a follow-up to its previous two-volume set which also features the work of contemporary Chicano and Chicana artists.
2006 “Cuba! Art And History from 1868 to Today” is on exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada.
2008 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibits, “Los Angelenos/Chicanos Painters of L.A.: Selections from the Cheech Marín Collection.”
2008 “Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement,” is on exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Among the new generation Chicano/a artists featured are Christina Fernandez, Mario Ybarra, Jr., Nicola López and Juan Capistrán.
2009 Lowe Art Museum in Miami, Florida, exhibits, “Las Artes de Mexico.”