It was a stifling Sunday in 1950s South Central Los Angeles, when Cheech Marin, stuck at church, let his eyes drift to the ceiling.
What he saw there would spark a lifelong love of art.
“There were painted guys in long sheets walking in the clouds” on a mural above his head, said Marin, 74, who is best known as half of the comedy team Cheech & Chong. “And then I’d look in the corner and be like, ‘Why are these guys barbecuing that other guy?’ Those two things informed my aesthetic from that point on: It had to be glorious and gory at the same time.”
In the mid-1980s, Marin, buoyed by a burgeoning film career, made the leap from merely admiring Rembrandts and Vermeers in museums to acquiring work. A third-generation Mexican-American, he focuses on Chicano artists, and has amassed one of the largest such collections in the world.
Now, his more than 700 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures will have a permanent home in the former Riverside, Calif., public library. Plans and funding were approved last week by the City Council there for the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum, which will feature works by artists including Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Frank Romero and Carlos Almaraz.
The art museum and academic center, which is slated to open this fall, is intended to be the country’s first permanent space exclusively dedicated to showcasing Mexican-American art and culture — a standard-bearing role Marin doesn’t take lightly.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents the first retrospective of the work of renowned sculptor Doris Salcedo (Colombian, b. 1958). In conjunction with the exhibition, the MCA produced a short film documenting Salcedo’s site-specific and ephemeral installations—works that either no longer exist or are otherwise impossible to display in the galleries of the museum—in order to establish their importance and contribution to her larger body of works.
Salcedo grounds her art in rigorous fieldwork, which involves extensive interviews with people who have experienced loss and trauma in their everyday lives due to political violence. Rather than making literal representations of violence or trauma, however, Salcedo’s artworks convey a sense of an absent, missing body and evoke a collective sense of loss. The resulting pieces engage with multiple dualities at once—strength and fragility, the ephemeral and the enduring—and bear elements of healing and reparation in the careful, laborious process of their making.
Doris Salcedo is cocurated by Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn and Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm, with assistance from Curatorial Assistant Steven L. Bridges, and will be on view at the MCA from February 21–May 24, 2015. The exhibition travels to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, June 26–October 14, 2015, and the Perez Art Museum Miami, May 6–October 23, 2016.
This documentary was made possible by generous support from the Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation as part of the exhibition Doris Salcedo, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Lead support for Doris Salcedo is provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris: Caryn and King Harris, Katherine Harris, Toni and Ron Paul, Pam and Joe Szokol, Linda and Bill Friend, and Stephanie and John Harris. Additional lead support is provided by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, The Bluhm Family Foundation, Anne Kaplan, Howard and Donna Stone, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Helen and Sam Zell.
Major support is provided by The Chicago Community Trust; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Ministry of Culture of Colombia, and Embassy of Colombia in Washington DC; Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Don Kaul; Paula and Jim Crown; Nancy and Steve Crown; Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation; Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; Susana and Ricardo Steinbruch; and Kristin and Stanley Stevens.
Additional generous support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Christie’s, Marilyn and Larry Fields, the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, Agnes Gund, the Kovler Family Foundation, Nancy and David Frej, Mary E. Ittelson, Lilly Scarpetta, Jennifer Aubrey, the Dedalus Foundation, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, Ashlee and Martin Modahl, Lois and Steve Eisen and the Eisen Family Foundation, the North Shore Affiliate of the MCA, Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, Jeanne and Michael Klein, Lisa and John Miller, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Maria C. Bechily and Scott Hodes, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Jill Garling and Tom Wilson, Solita Mishaan, and Sara Szold.
The artist’s galleries have also provided support to present the exhibition and catalogue: White Cube and Alexander and Bonin, New York.
"Gracias a diós y nuestro señor salvador, fue el diablo el que me enseñó a tocar violin."
I finally had time to read this. What an amazing work of art on so any levels. I love everything about it from the way it was constructed to how its now being used to support the voices of current and future artists. Salcedo is a true visionary. Thank you for posting.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you really want to test a mans character, give him power.