Leo Chiachio & Daniel Giannone, Calaverita, 2014. Hand embroidery with cotton thread and jewelry effect on Alexander Henry fabric; 55 × 43 in. Funds from the Ralph L. and Florence R. Burgess Trust, 2022.50. © Chiachio & Giannone. Photography courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Mia’s newest exhibition provides poignant look into history of Latin America

The exhibition, opening July 1, 2023, will feature nearly 200 ancient and contemporary artworks that establish a visual narrative of the formation and evolution of the Americas.

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MINNEAPOLIS— The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), in partnership with the Denver Art Museum, will open its newest exhibition, “ReVisión: Art in the Americas,” highlighting nearly 200 artworks from ancient and contemporary artists from Latin America and the United States dating from 100 BCE to today.

The collection will be on view from July 1 to Sept. 17, 2023, and will feature full exhibition and artwork descriptions in both English and Spanish, a first for the museum.

The exhibition will showcase nearly 130 objects from the Denver Art Museum’s Ancient American and Latin American collections, hailed as one of the best in the country, with additional, rarely displayed artworks from Mia’s permanent collection, including photographs by Sebastião Salgado and gold and silver figures dating from the seventh century, among others. Intended to highlight both the beauty and pain throughout Latin America’s history, the exhibition juxtaposes ancient and contemporary artworks that speak to the global contributions of Latin America, as well as the exploitation of its resources, people, and land after the European invasion.

“The collective history of Latin America’s different regions is vast and varied, but it carries a similar throughline that speaks to the sophistication, vibrancy, and resilience of the land and its inhabitants,” said Valéria Piccoli, Ken and Linda Cutler Chair of the Arts of the Americas and curator of Latin American art at Mia. “This exhibition provides Mia guests a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the stories — both celebratory and agonizing — that have impacted Latin American inhabitants and lands through a look at world-class ancient and contemporary Latin American art.”

Rather than a chronological placement of the artworks that make up this collection, the exhibition provides a thematic exploration of land, people, and place by linking ancient and contemporary artworks that address political and social issues at the heart of the region’s cultural heritage.

Set of Casta paintings, Francisco Clapera, Mexico

“ReVisión: Art in the Americas” includes the only fully intact series of casta paintings in the United States, featuring 16 oil-on-canvas artworks by Francisco Clapera dating to 1775, which provide a rare glimpse into the domestic life of 18th-century Mexico through depictions of families engaging in daily activites. A genre of 18th-century Mexican art, casta (“caste”) paintings underscored the mixing of Spaniards, Africans, and Indians by naming, labeling, and ranking social and racial categories. The series also depicts a variety of occupations in the colonial era, as well as a vast array of clothing, tools, and activities common at the time through the blending of Mexican, Asian and European cultures. 

Gold Mine, Serra Pelada, Brazil

From the lens of artist and social documentarian Sebastião Salgado, this 1986 photograph records the exploitation of a miner at the Serra Pelada gold mine in the Amazon region of northwest Brazil. This image is one of many that Salgado captured at Serra Pelada and chronicles the inhumane conditions Latin American miners often experienced as European countries clamored for the rich natural resources of the region.

Olmec Mask, Unknown artist, Mexico

This olmec mask, created about 3000 years ago from jadeite and cinnabar, was perhaps a portrait of a leader of the Olmec people of Mesoamerica (present-day southern Mexico) and likely reserved for ceremonial use. The lines on the mask may replicate face paint or tattooing. The rare materials and symbolic designs reflect the ruler’s religious and political power.

“We are proud to partner with the Denver Art Museum to bring ‘ReVisión: Art in the Americas’ to life for our guests at Mia,” said Katie Luber, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia. “This collection highlights an ever-important conversation surrounding place and belonging at home, as well as globally, through the lens of ancient and contemporary art and will allow visitors to reckon with both the beautiful and difficult historical moments that have shaped Latin America as we know it today.”

ReVisión: Art in the Americas is organized by the Denver Art Museum. This exhibition is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation. This exhibition is made possible through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Thoma Foundation, as well as major sponsors including United Health Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Thomson Reuters, and media sponsor the Star Tribune.

For more information on the “Révision: Art in the Americas” exhibition, as well as ways to view the collection, visit artsmia.org.

Cat Grant

Catherine (Cat) Grant was a business-savvy media mogul who got her start working as a gossip columnist for the Daily Planet. Cat later became a gossip blogger and eventually the CEO of her own company, CatCo Worldwide Media, a multimedia entertainment and news conglomerate based out of National City. Years after her departure from CatCo, Cat has decided to take a cathartic journey back to her roots. Welcome back to Cat’s Corner.

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