It Takes A Village: New Work by Alejandro Diaz
April 18 – September 12, 2015
Opening Weekend Events
Opening Reception: Friday, April 17, 2015, 6-8pm
Artist Talk: Saturday April 18, 2015, 2-3pm
The Linda Pace Foundation presents It Takes a Village, a solo exhibition of work by New York-based artist Alejandro Diaz. The exhibition focuses on Diaz’s eclectic and satirical aesthetic, featuring a series of new works comprising sculptures, paintings, and a site-specific installation, as well as a hand-woven tapestry from 2014. It Takes a Village will be on view at SPACE from April 18 to September 12, 2015.
As an artist with a national voice, Diaz grew up in San Antonio, Texas and much of his work is influenced by the contemporary Mexican/Texan cultures of his youth. It Takes a Village uses pop, modern, and folkloric works of art as its starting point, and evokes previous artists or art movements that combined high and low art, often using language and humor as a form of cultural and socio-economic critiqueWorks in the exhibition include This is not a Calder (2014), made of hand-dyed, hand-woven wool and produced in Mexico in collaboration with the renowned Taller de Gobelinos in Guadalajara, Mexico. The work references both Calder and Magritte, presenting a tongue-in-cheek reinterpretation of the paradoxical painting. Facebook Likes (2015) references a series of cardboard signs Diaz made in 2003 and sold on the streets of Manhattan to passersby. Continuing in the tradition of sign making, Diaz later translated many of his pithy slogans into neon and most recently into the medium of painting. Facebook Likes functions as both a conceptual, text-based work of art and an everyday, non-art commercial sign. Other new works include The Color Field (2015) a solid yellow painting that references minimalist color field painting from the 1940s – 1960s. The work also includes Mexican marketplace souvenirs on a pedestal below the painting, drawing a link between the artist's use of high and low materials. A new painting on canvas, I’m Exhausted (2015), mimics 1950s Abstract Expressionist painting, and is both a humorous critique on high art and painting, and a commentary on the exhausting life of an artist struggling to make it in New York. It Takes a Village (2015) is a new, site-specific work that will be installed in a large glass vitrine and includes various found objects, including Mexican clay figurines, artificial aloes, a plastic radio, a marble statue, Spanish moss, and Mexican colonial painting, among others. Referencing a world's fair pavilion, It Takes a Village is part department-store window, part architectural model, part Mexican nativity scene. The work is characteristic of Diaz’s interest in art as a form of public engagement and political and cultural commentary. Also on view will be a series of new sculpture works called Muebles (2015), a series of cast-resin, life-size pieces of furniture that are in the shape of migrant workers, representing stereotypes of the Mexican identity. Diaz explains, “The Spanish word Muebles (furniture) comes from the Latin Mobilis which means something that is movable or easy to move. These sculptures co-opt Allen Jones' high art furniture of the 1960s to draw attention the plight of Mexican immigrants and to Mexican-American culture as a whole — as a commodity that when no longer needed can be easily moved or removed like a piece of furniture.”
Linda Pace Foundation Trustee and Curator Kathryn Kanjo adds, “Diaz reflects the creative, cultural energy of San Antonio--the same energy that so inspired Linda Pace. He filters challenging, social subject matter through visual art tropes that seem to simultaneously critique and celebrate their subjects. With works that are declarative, bold, and playful, he is one of the core artists that helped define the San Antonio contemporary art community in the 1990s.”
About Alejandro Diaz
Based in New York City, Diaz is originally from Texas where he developed a pertinent body of work exemplifying the complex and visually rich cultural milieu particular to South Texas and Mexico. Diaz received his MA at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, in 1999. In 2003, Diaz created a major installation for the Havana Biennial titled I (Heart) Cuba, an installation of free souvenir items emblazoned with the artist’s twist on the familiar New York slogan. He was commissioned by the Public Art Fund, New York’s premier presenter of public art, to create 4 large-scale sculptures for the grand concourse in the Bronx (2006). His work was featured in Phantom Sightings, a Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) exhibition that traveled to Mexico City, San Antonio, New York, and Houston (2008-2010). He received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award for excellence in the visual arts in 2008, and had a solo exhibition at the RISD Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design (2012-2013).
More Information here
About Kathryn Kanjo
Kanjo is a Linda Pace Foundation Trustee and is organizing the exhibition. She has a long-standing relationship with Linda Pace, and served as the Executive Director of Artpace San Antonio - the separate non-profit organization founded by Linda Pace - for seven years (January 2000-September 2006) and worked closely with Linda Pace during this time that coincided with Linda Pace’s most confident, adventurous, and mature collecting. Kanjo was integral in establishing the concept for CHRISpark and as a Trustee continues to advise on new acquisitions. She is the Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Over her 25-year curatorial career, she has been recognized for her commissions of new works.
ADAM by Arturo Herrera from LindaPaceFoundation on Vimeo.
Arturo Herrera: ADAM
December 2013 – 2016
On view at the corner of N. Main and E. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX
A dynamic new artistic addition to the heart of the city, easily visible from Main Plaza, installed in the winter of 2013. Adam, is a 2,500 square-foot red-and-white abstract wall painting by internationally acclaimed Venezuelan-born artist Arturo Herrera, is sure to draw the attention of residents and visitors alike adding color, vibrancy and great artistic value to the city’s cultural and spiritual center. The dramatic wall painting, more than 25-feet high and 98-feet wide, is the first large scale public installation of the Linda Pace Foundation. Adam embraces and fulfills the Linda Pace Foundation’s mission for the community to experience contemporary art in nontraditional settings.
“The inspiration for the wall painting Adam was about movement, the dynamism of abstraction, and a soaring energetic field, like Spring, when everything awakens,” Herrera said. “The title Adam brings several images to mind: An earthbound beginning; the first individual Pace Foundation’s First Public Art Installation 1 | Page human; humankind. It is a powerful and yet open-ended title that can convey multiple readings to the audience. The color red that I chose for Adam was intentional as red is the color associated with heat, power, physical energy and celebration. Coincidently, red was Linda Pace‘s favorite color, both for its physical and spiritual qualities.”