Lady Liberty Would Like It

Juxtapositions and new contexts are the twin engines of a lot of visual art; think Marcel Duchamp's early-20th-century found art, for example, in which ordinary objects, transported to a gallery space, became art. At "Undocumented: Latino Immigrant Portraits," Rebeca García-González exhibits the results of a different kind of juxtaposition: She made formal oil portraits of undocumented immigrants. This literal reframing throws different light on the models’ "humanity and individuality," according to the artist. Considering the way Americans routinely dehumanize and insult immigrants of all types, this is an intelligent and compassionate project, and one that works spectacularly well. The canvases themselves are beautiful, and take a sort of delicate route to expressionism, with bold brushstrokes and deep colors that don't overwhelm either the simple poses or the complex emotions on her subjects’ faces.
Aug. 22-Oct. 17, 2008

 
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