Dig into the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) This rich archive of primary source documents related to all aspects of Latin American and Latino Art is an essential research source. You may also access a wide range of publications based on the materials in the collection. The archive is hosted by theMuseum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). Registration for an account is free. Check it out!
Many of the documents are in Spanish (also some in Portuguese, French, etc.). If you are not a Spanish-reader: dig in anyhow and look at the primary source materials associated with artists in whom you are interested — many sources are illustrated. Be an intrepid researcher! You may find images here that are not available elsewhere. And, many of the ICAA’s publications are in English. Search these secondary sources. You’ll see smart scholarship at work.
The 2017 exhibition Leo Matiz: The Muralist of the Lens. Siquerios in Perspective in Mexico City at the Palacio de Bellas Artes highlights the relationship between muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros and photographer Leo Matiz. Siqueiros was especially sensitive to the relationship between murals and photography. He not only used photos as source material and compositional models but was also acutely aware of how it could shape space and viewer/object relationships. You can find out more about Siqueiros’s experimentation with photography in the catalogue for the 2010 exhibition, Siqueiros, Landscape Painter, Mexico: Editorial RM, 2010. You can read the text in English or Spanish. Finally, read the work of art historian, Jennifer Jolly. She analyzes the impact of photography (as well as film) on Siqueiros’s very dense “narrative” and visually overwhelming structure in the mural for the Electrician’s Syndicate Building in Mexico City. Take a look at her University of Ithaca CV with a list of publications on this mural.
Siqueiros (left) and Matiz
(Photo credit: Art Nexos blog; Weekly News, August 7 to August 13, 2017)
“Seeing Data is a group of research projects which aim to understand the place of data visualisations (like those in the examples below) in society. This website includes information about projects which have been completed, are currently underway, or are about to start. It also includes, in the first section, resources to help non-experts develop their ability to make sense of data visualisations.” Have a look at Seeingdata.org
Inaugurated in Mexico City’s Plaza Mayor (Central Plaza) first in 1796 (a temporary gilt-plastered wooden statue) and again in 1803 (in its final bronze form) Tolsá’s monumental statue has been the focus of art historical and political discussion. A “cleaning” severely damaged the work. Here is an update on the restoration/conservation project.
Here’s my snapshot of Tolsá’s monument in Mexico City. (*And be sure to credit me if you use this — I worked hard on it!)