Your December Guide to Latinx Art in the SF Bay Area

GUIDESBy 2021-12-24T13:14:55-05:00December 16th, 2021|
  • Images from "Martine Gutierrez: Half-Breed," "Pan American Unity: A Mural by Diego Rivera," and "Beyond The Diaspora."

It is impossible to narrow Latinx art to a single aesthetic. Artists today are pushing the boundaries of their medium and subject matter, amplifying the stories of those previously overlooked. Here is your art guide for Latinx art on view in the San Francisco Bay Area, from photography to neon art.

Martine Gutierrez, “Neo-Indeo, Cakchi Lana Caliente p29 from Indigenous Woman,” 2028. Chromogenic print. © Martine Gutierrez, courtesy of the artist, RYAN Less Gallery, New York, and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Martine Gutierrez: Half-Breed
Fraenkel Gallery
Through January 29

Acting as both subject and photographer, Martine Gutierrez explores the complexity of identity as a Latinx artist of indigenous descent in a series of pop-influenced scenes. Her solo exhibition includes selections from three recent photographic series. One piece is the critically acclaimed “Indigenous Woman,” a 124-page art magazine replete with fashion spreads, advertisements, and an editor’s letter dedicated to “the celebration of Mayan Indian heritage, the navigation of contemporary indigeneity and the ever-evolving self-image.”

Installation image courtesy of MACLA.

Beyond The Diaspora
Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
Through March 13, 2022

“Beyond The Diaspora” showcases artwork, we actively consume without realizing its connection to African culture. The group exhibition features 9 local Bay Area artists working in visual and performance art to visualize narratives and aesthetics of the African diaspora in Latinx culture.

Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris.

La Luz Entre Nosotros / The Light Between Us
Gallery Wendi Norris
Through March 20, 2022

Artist Julio César Morales utilizes the front windows of Gallery Wendi Norris as a public art space for an accidental audience who may not typically visit a gallery. “La Luz Entre Nosotros/The Light Between Us” responds to a dream at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bilingual neon art installation alludes to the physical measures that have separated us since March of 2020 and the emotional forces that continue to bind us together.

Enrique Chagoya, “Popol Vuh de la Abuelita del Ahuizote (detail) (People’s Book of the King Ahuizote’s Granny),” Oakland: Magnolia Editions, 2021. L21.63.6. Courtesy of the artist and Magnolia Editions, Oakland

Borderless: Artist’s Books by Enrique Chagoya
Legion of Honor
Through March 6, 2022

Enrique Chagoya has been creating wildly imaginative artist’s books for nearly thirty years, most of them based on Mayan, Mixtec-Zapotec, and Aztec Codice models. Borderless features works that juxtapose the Mesoamerican Codice tradition with politically charged and often humorous collages to address the legacy of colonialism.

Laura Aguilar, “Stillness #24,” 1999. Gelatin silver print, 9 x 12 inches. Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Acquisitions Committee. 2020.10.02. Image courtesy of The Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016.

Our Whole, Unruly Selves
San Jose Museum of Art
Through June 26, 2022

While not exclusively a Latinx art exhibition, “Our Whole, Unruly Selves” includes artists that identify as queer, Black, undocumented, Brown, and immigrant. From the 1960s to the present, the artists on view interrupt traditional portraiture and respond to the nuanced experiences of existing within a specific body. This includes photographs from Laura Aguilar’s “Motion” and “Stillness” series–black-and-white poetic portraits that fuse her body with the American Southwest landscape.

Diego Rivera, “The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent (Pan American Unity),” 1940. ©Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico D.F./ Artist RightsSociety (ARS), New York. Courtesy City College of San Francisco.

Pan American Unity: A Mural by Diego Rivera
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Through Summer 2023

Diego Rivera’s “The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and South on the Continent,” more commonly known as “Pan American Unity,” is on display for an extended period at SFMOMA’s free-to-the-public Roberts Family Gallery. Hailed as one of the greatest works of public art in San Francisco, the 60,000-pound, 74 foot-wide mural depicts working-class solidarity interwoven with an eclectic mix of South and North American historical references and symbolism.