The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati currently has on display a temporary exhibition of contemporary art entitled Where Do We Go From Here? This exhibit consists of selections from the Jumex Collection, the largest collection of contemporary art in Mexico, and probably the largest in Latin America. Amassed by Jumex juice company heir Ernesto Lopez during the 1990s, this collection has been lauded as possibly the best collection to incorporate Mexican and Latin American contemporary art with examples from the United States, Europe, and other countries around the globe. Out of the approximately 1400 works that comprise the entire collection, nearly a full third were created by artists either born or working in Latin America. Art historians and critics have celebrated this collection as one of the first to include Latin American art not as a peripheral phenomenon, but as a major artistic player in the global market.
According to the curators, the show is divided into four thematic, interwoven areas: “art about art; art and urban anthropology; text in art; and a series of succinct artist profiles.” Where Do We Go From Here? is an exhibit that is meant to question the current state of art, investigate some prevalent concepts from the past few decades, and to highlight specific artists whose works have contributed greatly to our understandings of contemporary art. As the title indicates, the exhibit also hopes to point toward the possible future or futures of contemporary art. For me, as an historian of Mexican art, this exhibit is exciting because it points to a future in which the contemporary art of Mexico and other Latin American countries, or any country or culture whose art has traditionally fallen outside the “Western canon,” are presented without national qualifiers.
Artists represented in the exhibit include:
Francis Alÿs, Carlos Amorales, John Baldessari, Stefan Brüggemann, Maurizio Cattelan, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Minerva Cuevas, Ale de la Puente, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Claire Fontaine, Claire Fontaine, Reena Spauldings and Bernadette Corporation, Mario Garcia Torres, Douglas Gordon, Daniel Guzmán, Jonathan Hernández, Jenny Holzer, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Gabriel Kuri, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Paul McCarthy, Jorge Méndez Blake, Jonathan Monk, 'Moris' Israel Meza Moreno, Sarah Morris, Gabriel Orozco, Damian Ortega, Richard Pettibone, Jack Pierson, Ugo Rondinone, Ed Ruscha, Rudolf Stingel, Rosemarie Trockel, Kelley Walker, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, Cerith Wyn Evans
I’ll be planning a visit on a Saturday in November (probably Nov. 20). If anyone is interested in joining me, please contact me for details. The show will be on view through January 30, 2011.