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Javier de la Garza and Alejandro Arango: Reevaluating Signs of Identity

Author(s): Eckmann Teresa

Journal: Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas
ISSN 0185-1276

Volume: XXVII;
Issue: 86;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Examining the artwork, sources of inspiration, and artistic philosophies of artists Alejandro Arango, and Javier de la Garza in this article, the author shows that subversion is a key aspect of the so-called neo-Mexicanist current of the 1980s. The author focuses on a series of paintings comprising Arango’s La conquista (The Conquest) and De la Garza’s Inocencia perdida (Lost Innocence), exhibitions presented in Mexico City at the Galería omr in the mid-1 980s. What motivates each artist’s particular treatment of a common theme—the Conquest—is revealed. Showing how Arango and De la Garza’s artwork challenges essentializing constructions of national identity, the author proposes that neo-Mexicanist art does not blindly praise, but at times blatantly parodies an official nationalism that glorifies the indigenous past while it ignores the largely disenfranchised indigenous presence.
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