The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey presents the exhibition ¿Neomexicanismos? Ficciones identitarias del México de los ochenta, a survey of the artistic production towards the end of the twentieth century characterized by adapting elements from Mexican iconography. The figurative aesthetic of neo-Mexicanism emphasized “Mexican-nationalism” and evidenced an official outdated and anachronistic culture.

Organized by the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM), its curator Josefa Ortega prefers to speak of neo-Mexicanisms in plural, since “this artistic movement imposed itself as a disperse emergence—within the framework of postmodern neo-expressionism—although it was never structured as a movement. Rather, it presented investigative coincidences, even from dissimilar, and at times, contrary aesthetic postures.”".

¿Neomexicanismos? Ficciones identitarias en el México de los ochenta brings together approximately 150 works by sixty-six artists, fifty-five of them still producing artistic work and eleven who have passed away. The works are presented in five thematic categories that let the spectator ponder the diverse sources of inspiration and the discourse generated by them.

The exhibition opens with a piece by Julio Galán, Sin título, 2001 —a self-portrait dressed as a cowboy—and with Amistad [Friendship], 1974, by Enrique Guzmán —that presents two entwined hands, then moving on to the section section “Antecendents, Local Traditions” where one can see diverse objects of popular Mexican consumption from the past century, some Chicano artworks from the 1970s, as well as some examples of Oaxacan art, among them the Tortugas [Turtles], of Francisco Toledo from 1994.

The deeply rooted cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe and other iconographic elements from the Catholic religion are appropriated, and at times, desacralized by the neo-Mexicanists; in the section “Reliquaries and Guadalupism” we find Imagen milagrosa [Miraculous Image], 1974, by Enrique Guzmán, and Piedad [Pity], 1990, by Dulce María Núñez.

As a fundamental part to the construction of the Mexican identity, the notion of “fatherland” and the concept of “nation” are revised in the section “The Re-appropriated Fatherland,” where one can see the reconstruction of both the indigenous and pre-Hispanic traditions and the patriotic symbols. An example of the anterior includes the pieces Inflación [Inflation], 1983, by Lourdes Almeida, and El nopal [Prickly-Pear Cactus], 1991, by Rodrigo Pimentel.

The image of the artist Frida Kahlo and her works as reference to the neo-Mexicanists can be seen in “Frida and Me,” as in the works Con todo respeto [With All Due Respect], 1983, by Nahum B. Zenil, and Me quiero morir [I Want to Die], 1985, by Julio Galán.

And finally, “The Body: Its Sexes and Its Genders” shows how the artists—both individually and as a group—of the 1980s converted the body into the principle symbolic bearer of what we understand as “identity.” In this section we find works like Preparándose para el ataque [Prepare Yourself for the Attack], 1986, by Javier de la Garza; Pensando en ti [Thinking of You], 1992, by Julio Galán; and Javier Marín’s Hombre reclinado [Reclining Man] from 1992.

The exhibition will be on view at MARCO from Friday 3 February to Sunday 27 May 2012.

© MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO DE MONTERREY, 2016 | Zuazua y Jardón S/N, Centro. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, 64000 | Ph. +52 (81) 8262.4500

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