Anita Brenner: A Bridge to Mexican Art, Culture & Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day at the Skirball Cultural Center


 

Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico offers a new perspective on the art and visual culture of Mexico and its relationship to the United States as seen through the life and work of the Mexican-born, American Jewish writer Anita Brenner (1905–1974). Brenner was an integral part of the circle of Mexican modernists in the 1920s and played an important role in promoting and translating Mexican art, culture, and history for audiences in the United States.

Brenner was close to the leading intellectuals and artists active in Mexico, including José Clemente Orozco, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jean Charlot, and Tina Modotti. An influential and prolific writer on Mexican culture, Brenner is best known for her book Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots (1929). The Skirball’s exhibition will provide an immersive experience of historic discovery and underscore Brenner’s importance as a Jewish woman in Mexico who inspired artists and was instrumental in introducing the North American public to Mexican history and culture.

Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty.


Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico ofrece una nueva perspectiva sobre la cultura artística y visual de México y su relación con los Estados Unidos desde el punto de vista de la vida y obra de la escritora judío-estadounidense nacida en México, Anita Brenner (1905–1974). Brenner fue una parte integral del círculo de modernistas mexicanos en los años veinte y tuvo un rol importante en la promoción y la traslación del arte, la cultura y la historia mexicana a la audiencia de los Estados Unidos. Brenner fue amiga cercana de líderes intelectuales y artistas activos en México, entre los cuales se incluyen a José Clemente Orozco, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jean Charlot y Tina Modotti. Siendo una influyente y prolífica escritora sobre la cultura mexicana, Brenner es más conocida por su libro Idols Behind Altars: Modern Mexican Art and Its Cultural Roots (1929) (Ídolos tras los altares: arte moderno mexicano y sus raíces culturales). La exposición en Skirball ofrecerá una experiencia de inmersión de descubrimiento histórico y enfatizará la importancia de Brenner como mujer judía en México, la cual inspiró a artistas y fue instrumental en la introducción de la historia y cultura mexicanas al público norteamericano.

Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day

See a new body of photographic work by interdisciplinary artist Ken Gonzales-Day examining the mural landscape of LA—from East LA to Venice Beach, from Pacoima to South LA. Featuring over 140 photographs, Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day: Murals, Signs, and Mark‐Making in LA considers what the city’s walls reveal about its diverse communities.

The exhibition demonstrates how Los Angeles understands its history and its values through the murals that decorate the city. Local communities honor their heritage by telling their own stories with their own voices. Residents pay homage to their idols and heroes. Graffiti artists declare their presence. Activists decry injustice and envision better worlds. Shopkeepers lure customers with hand-painted advertisements. Artists from around the globe make their mark on a rapidly changing urbanscape.

Recording Los Angeles’s unique visual identity and the diversity of its population and artistic production in the present moment, Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day asks: What is a mural? Who speaks, and who decides what counts as art?

Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty.

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