June 2010

Horses and bulls in their splendor, lush fruits and vegetables ready to be eaten, and women, full bodied and beautiful, are the forms found in the artwork of Costa Rican printmaker/painter, Marcia Salas. Her studio is conveniently located in her home in San Pedro. Pass through the living room with walls full of her paintings, always changing as she sells her work and creates new. Through the kitchen, rich with the smells of simmering soups and sides. Then step into her world of re-creating form on paper or canvas. read more...

The Roots of Mexican Art

Mexican Art can be traced as far back as the Aztecs who, in addition to being great sculptors, made paintings on walls and pots, as well as drawings in manuscripts. However, the Indian element was just one of the cultural ingredients that influenced Mexican art.

In the early sixteenth to early nineteenth centuries, the Spanish colonial empire occupied the greater part of what we now know as Latin America. Within the Spanish viceroyalties, the Church enjoyed a power it had never possessed in Europe, though it was still subject to the Spanish crown.

The Church's most urgent task in Mexico was to convert the Indians to Catholicism. As one of the most effective instruments for this purpose, the art of the early period was accordingly primarily religious, and possessed so much importance that the Franciscans trained Indian artists to produce paintings and sculptures according to the Church's requirements. Consequently, religious influence has never been entirely lost in Mexico's art.

The stylistic ruptures that soon emerged between New World religious painting and its European models corresponded to differences in training, organization, and social status of artists. Given that the New World was conquered before the transition from the Middle Ages was complete in Europe; Spain, which ruled Mexico, retained many medieval characteristics. Inevitably, Mexican artists banded together to form a craft guild based on the old medieval patterns, regarding themselves as tradesmen and aspiring to European standards of skill.

Invierno (Winter) 1932
by Jose Clemente Orozco
gouache on paper
10" x 13 1/2"

"Las Artes de México"
Examines over three millennia of tradition and change across the broad spectrum of Mexican art and culture. On view through summer 2010
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City Utah http://umfa.utah.edu/exhibitions_current

“Pearl & Stanley Goodman Latin American Collection"
Works from the collection started in 1980s. May 8 through December 5, 2010
Museum of Art, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

"The African Presence in México: From Yanga to the Present"
The exhibition examines the history, culture, and art of Afro-Mexicans, and begins in the colonial era and continues to the present day. On view through July 4, 2010. Anacostia Community Museum, Washington DC

“Freida Kahlo Retrospective”
The over 120 paintings and drawings on display in the Martin-Gropius-Bau will be the most extensive exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s oeuvre to date. Through August 2010.
Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin

“Art 41 Basel - The Premier International Art Show”
features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, with more than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of modern art to the latest generation of emerging artists. Wednesday, June 16, to Sunday, June 20, 2010.
Messe Basel, Messeplatz, Basel, Switzerland
“Fabio Herrera"
With a selection of 100 of his works, the national artist Fabio Herrera, take the Center for Arts and Technology La Aduana. A sign bearing his name, show the techniques and styles which is considered one of the most important painters of the day in Costa Rica. To June 27, 2010
Museo de Arte Costariccense, Center for Arts and Technology Customs, San Jose, Costa Rica

“Los Sitios de la Abstraccion Latinoamericana - Colección Ella Fontanals-Cisneros”
The exhibition includes more than one hundred works of 60 artists from almost all Latin American countries, but especially in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Venezuela. Works from the beginning of the decade of the 30s and late 70s of last century, which is why they are all considered as reference for later generations. Through Sunday June 20, 2010
Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Palma, Spain

“Avenue of the Americas”
a site-specific sculpture exhibition, which literally sits at the gateway of Sixth Avenue, and features artists from North and South America tackling themes related to the social and political issues confronting American societies.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Manhatten, New York

“Mira Que Lindas”
exhibit of more than 500 album covers from Latin alternative bands since the beginning of Latin rock and roll.
Awarehouse, 550 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL

Engraving and Etching

Intaglio printing is one of four categories of printmaking, along with relief printing (woodcuts), planographic printing (lithographs) and stencil methods (serigraphs). Engraving, drypoint, etching, chine colle, mezzotint and aquatint are all intaglio printmaking methods.

To create an intaglio print, the image is incised by the various methods into the matrix, usually smooth, polished copper or zinc metal plates. Then ink is applied directly to the surface of the plate and removed with a cloth leaving a small amount of ink only in the scratches, cuts or openings. Paper that has soaked in water is placed on top of the image and run through a printing press. The image is created from the ink trapped in the incisions being transferred or pressed to the paper. Intaglio prints are easily identifiable as the entire plate makes an indenture in the paper framing the image.

Engraving, when an image is incised directly into the matrix, first became popular in Europe during the fifteenth century, when paper became readily available. Initially it was used for religious illustrations and for playing cards. Engraving requires gouging lines of different depths and widths using a burin, a v-shaped tip. Any ridges caused by cutting into the plate are removed with a scraper. read more...

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