Latin American Art Visits Plymouth State

January 27th, 2003 by Adam

The works of five Miami-based contemporary Latin American
artists will be exhibited from January 21 to March 3 in Plymouth
State College’s Karl Drerup Art Gallery.

Virginia Garlitz, PSC foreign language
department, will discuss Latin American Art in Context at a brown
bag lunch at noon, Tuesday, February 18.

The exhibition’s title Via Miami: From Latin America to
Little Havana
highlights a fundamental aspect of Latin
American art — it is often an art of exile. The artists include
Dimitrio Gulbalis, Ecuador; Francisco Tosta Monch, Venezuela;
Daniel Ponet, Uruguay; Lauren Rosen, Argentina, and Pilar
Tob—n, Colombia.

According to Catherine S. Amidon, co-curator and director of
exhibitions, “Latin America was culturally reformed by hundreds
of years of negotiation between rich legacies of native cultures,
overlaid with European culture. Globalization is not a 20th
century catch phrase for our southern neighbors; it is an
historic reality. The Latin American artists in this exhibition,
to varying degrees, exemplify the legacy of being rooted in both
their national traditions and internationalism.”

Many of the works are in the Latin American
tradition of Magic Realism, made famous by Mexican artist Frida
Kahlo and by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s literary works.
“Gulbalis’ paintings continue the Magic Realism tradition with
his poignant images of birds in menacing windswept landscapes.


Dimitrio Gulbalis “Kingfish” acrylic
Modern art tactics such as integrating
figurative elements and non-objective geometric forms
also embed this work in European traditions,” Amidon
says.

Rosen’s brightly hued painted, collaged and
lithographed works are universally accessible, Amidon
notes. They are intended to be part of an unreserved (in
her words “blunt”) artistic dialogue about herself with
the world that remains open to multiple interpretations
by the viewer.

This forward-looking globalism is also seen in the works of
Monch. His intensively colored abstracts are animated by his
expressionistic brushwork and their futuristic titles, such as
SunWar II and Supersonic. “His work speaks the language of
Hollywood movies more than the language of Caracus,” Amidon
says.


Pilar Tobon “Turquoise”
Textile Sculpture
She notes that “the two
artists who fully exemplify the dialectic tensions
between cultural traditions are Tobon and Pontet. Tobon
uses the tradition of weaving and the history of
pre-Colombian cultures to express her respect for the
“lost peoples of the region and their Gods.”

Tobon
studied textile and tapestry in France and pre-Colombian
gold work and weaving in Colombia. Pre-Colombian
cosmology and glyphic messages pervade her work.

Pontet also embraces the regional nature of Latin
American art. Often set in a boliche (popular cafe) his
figures eat, drink, smoke and reflect in an “ambience of
bars where everybody breathes the notes of the tango.”
The images are steeped in local symbolism, but also
satirize society’s debauchery and laziness.

The closing event for this exhibition will be Rhythm and Song
of the Afro-Latino World by Michael Wingfield. It will take place
at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 3. Also in the gallery February 5 – 7
will be Art in Bloom, floral arrangements to complement the
exhibition, sponsored by the Ashland Garden Club.