Long Beach, California, USA
February, 2021 – January 2, 2022
The immeasurable creative force of women is the protagonist of the new exhibition of the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), entitled HERLAND, which is comprised of artworks by 44 women artists who are part of the institutional collection. The exhibition, developed by Gabriela Urtiaga, Chief Curator of MOLAA, opened to the public on Sunday, February 7, 2021, through MOLAA’s website www.molaa.org
For this exhibition the MOLAA will feature the Kunstmatrix platform for the first time, which allows to simulate the experience of an in person visit to the Museum. With this technology, visitors can browse through the exhibition galleries, read text panels and zoom in on each artwork, enriching the experience and allowing for a greater enjoyment.
“This year we will be celebrating MOLAA’S twenty-fifth anniversary and taking on new initiatives to solidify our mission, part of which are to expand and diversify the museum’s programming and collection, in terms of gender. This exhibition is a step in that direction and highlights pending conversations on issues that have remained invisible through the history of art, such as female creation”.
“HERLAND is made up of a selection of 56 artworks, by 44 women artists from the MOLAA collection, who invite us to walk a territory in which they address essential issues, such as equity, gender and race. The exhibition reveals common stories, told from different geographies, with different faces, that converge as an affirmation of a female empowerment that knows no borders”, said Lourdes Ramos-Rivas, Ph.D., CEO and president of MOLAA.
The exhibition’s name is a direct reference to the 1915 novel by American feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, HERLAND, which portraits a utopian paradise inhabited only by women. In this way, MOLAA presents its subjective version of HERLAND, this time inhabited by Latinx and Latin American artists and illustrated through impressive figurative and symbolic paintings, photographs, and drawings, sculptures and video art. Thus the works on display dialogue within four thematic axes: Surrealism, Representation, Borders and Distortion / Fear.
“At HERLAND we approach an infinite imaginary of ideas and concepts, where each of these artist explores in their creations the depths of fantasy, mystery, illusion and dream, from a clear and singular vision, and where the work functions as a matrix to be deciphered. This is our HERLAND, a poetic map full of beauty, also of persistence and self-confidence. A journey that enables us to connect with the origins of female creation with outstanding artists of our time.” said Gabriela Urtiaga, chief curator of MOLAA and this exhibition.
The artists who are part of HERLAND are: Adriana Arenas (Colombia); Cássia Aresta (Brazil); Carmen Argote (Mexico); Jackelyn Barajas (Mexico); Luisa Elena Betancourt (Venezuela); Maria Bonomi (Brazil); Tania Bruguera (Cuba); Leyla Cardenas (Colombia); Amalia Caputo (Venezuela); Leonora Carrington (England); Fabiana Cruz (Venezuela); Gitte Daehlin (Norway); Elba Damast (Venezuela); Marianela de la Hoz (Mexico); Sonia Ebling (Brazil); Daniela Edburg (United States); Susana Espinosa (Argentina); Ivonne Ferrer (Cuba); Raquel Forner(Argentina); Cristina Garza (Mexico); Yolanda Gonzále (United States); Natalia Iguiñiz (Peru); Miriam Medrez (Mexico); Cecilia Miguez (Uruguay); Marta Minujín (Argentina); Sara Modiano (Colombia); Brenda Obregón Velázquez (Mexico); Raquel Paiewonsky (Dominican Republic); Lucia Pizzani (Venezuela); Liliana Porter (Argentina); Sandra Ramos (Cuba); Veronica Riedel (Guatemala); Ana Rosa Rivera (Puerto Rico); Claudia Rodríguez (Mexico); Ophelia Rodríguez (Colombia); Doris Salcedo (Colombia); Carolina Sardi (Argentina); Nina Surel (Argentina); Paloma Todd (Puerto Rico); Yole Travassos (Brazil); Patssi Valdez (United States); Linda Vallejo (United States); Monica Vendramini (Brazil) and María Villares (Brazil).
The first axis, Surrealism, seeks to highlight artworks that venture into the dream-like, the subconscious, feminine imagination, which explores different worlds and possible futures, is linked to the personal ideology of each artist, and to themes consistent across time and geographic location. These surrealist worlds are concerned with physical embodiments of ideological dread, and societal limitations. While the second axis concerns itself with Representation and displays artists that were interested in imagining a cultural environment with more possibilities for individuality beyond the archetypes imposed on women in society.
The third organizing axis is that of Boundaries, wherein the feminine is a framework that helps us understand the totality of life, the struggle of all minorities, and presents questions and social critique to us in sincere, emotionally vulnerable ways. The fourth and final curatorial axis is of Distortion/Fear, where the works in this section explore the manifested existential fears of such things as domestic life, and an exploration of an increasingly distorted sense of self.
The exhibition opening event for MOLAA Members and Sponsors featured artist and DJ, Fabiana Cruz Diez, who was broadcasting directly from Paris, and artists Patssi Valdez, Amalia Caputo and Raquel Paiewonsky, in representation of the 44 women in the exhibition.
This exhibition was made possible thanks to The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the RuMBa Foundation, and the Dwight Steward Youth Fund and the ongoing generosity of the Robert Gumbiner Foundation, the City of Long Beach, the Arts Council for Long Beach, and individual donors.
To enjoy HERLAND visit www.molaa.org, where you can also access the calendar of interpretive activities around the exhibition designed by the Content & Programming Department as part of the MOLAA en Casa program. The educational program includes a panel with HERLAND artists on March 14, a talk with Marta Minujín on March 17, and workshops with Yolanda González in April 2021. The exhibition will have additional programming until December 2021.