Three distinct but related exhibitions present Chicano/Chicana life, culture, and painting as it has emerged in the wake of the Chicano movement for political and social change during the 1960s and 1970s.
The exhibitions will come to the de Young as part of a national, 15-city tour that includes Washington, D.C.
Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge as Collected by Cheech Marin
Chicano Visions is largely based on comedian and actor Cheech Marin’s private collection, reflecting those aspects of Chicano culture and the artists that most interest him. Marin first gained national fame as a rebellious outsider when he co-starred with Tommy Chong in the 1978 movie Up In Smoke.
That sensibility is reflected in Marin’s collection, which focuses on works by Chicano artists whose urban, street-wise temperament informs a highly expressive and emotionally keyed painterly style. The exhibition, curated by Rene Yañez, brings together paintings by 26 of the finest Chicano/a artists on the contemporary scene, including Carlos Almaraz, Chaz Bojorquez, Diane Gamboa, Margaret Garcia, Rupert Garcia, Gronk, Carmen Lomas Garza, Frank Romero and Patssi Valdez.
Chicano Now: American Expressions
Mexican-Americans are the nation’s fastest growing ethnicity, accounting for 58% of the 35 million Latinos in the last U.S. census. Their presence has been manifest at every level of American culture. In order to capture the vitality and impact of the specific cultural world celebrated in his collection, Marin conceived of a sister exhibition that would immerse viewers in the creative ambiance of Chicano urban experience. Chicano Now is a multi-faceted series of interactive installations by comedians, writers, video documentarians, filmmakers, painters, graphic designers, performance artists, musicians, and scholars of Mexican descent. It provides a broader context for the identity-based paintings in Marin’s collection and widens the viewer’s understanding of their relationship to the larger fabric of American life and art.
Chicano Encounters: Local Places and Global Communities
Chicano Encounters is being organized by the Fine Arts Museums as an exhibition that supplements the visual emphasis in the national tour, giving special attention to the contributions of Chicano/a artists working with San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center. With a more historical focus, this exhibition of prints and posters provides a larger context for the aesthetic focus represented in Marin’s collection.
The exhibition is presented by Target and sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Company. Local media sponsorship provided by Univision Television and Radio. In San Francisco, the exhibition is presented in collaboration with The Mexican Museum.