New and Upcoming Works in the Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art
Stirrup spout vessels on view in the Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art. Photo by Julius Schlosburg.
This week, TMA marks one year since the realization of a milestone achievement in the history of the museum with the anniversary of the Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art. This space, which was dedicated on July 24, 2020, celebrates the artistic traditions of the Americas from antiquity until today—more than 3,000 years of Latin American Art.
In the years that led up to that opening, TMA staff learned and grew, challenging ourselves to imagine exhibitions, education and community engagement in a building that didn’t yet exist. The learning is ongoing, as we continue to rethink the history of Latin American Art and what it means in Tucson today.
We hope you were able to visit the Kasser Family Wing in its first year. This week we launch the second year with changes in the Ancient American and Colonial galleries, and plans for two solo exhibitions in the Contemporary gallery. Read on to learn more about what’s in store.
From the Curator: Dr. Kristopher Driggers
One of the great pleasures of working as a curator is thinking about ways to help our audience dig deeper into works of art in the collection that may sometimes be overlooked. This week, as we mark the anniversary of the Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art, we are also making some changes to the works that we have on exhibit in the Wing, rotating works on view to be replaced by objects that were previously in storage. This allows art made from fragile materials (like wood or cloth) to “rest” while also letting us highlight works that were previously off of exhibit.
Chancay Culture, Central Coast Peru, Female Shaman Effigy, 1100 -1300, Clay, slip. Collection of the Tucson Museum of Art. Gift of Frederick R. Pleasants. 1971.22
Beginning this week, visitors can see two new additions to TMA’s Andean art space: A work of Chancay sculpture from ancient Perú and a Quimbaya sculpture from ancient Colombia. Both of these works were made by artists who took exciting approaches to representing the human body. The Chancay work shows a figure rendered in a bulbous, swelling form, with elaborate geometric designs that circle the waist and the forehead.
Quimbaya Culture, Colombia, Cauca River Valley, Seated Figure with Ritual Ornamentation, 900-1200, Clay. Collection of the Tucson Museum of Art. Anonymous Gift. 1987.10.1
The Quimbaya work is made from adjoined slabs of clay and shows a highly abstract face. Sacred designs wrap around the figure’s knees and near the bends of the arms. Both of these sculptures have been part of the TMA collection for many decades, but when they go on view in the Kasser Family Wing, each will be highlighted as a singular work for the first time, with new lighting and space to appreciate the visual thinking and the intentions of the artists who produced them.
Along with these new works, enjoy a newly configured gallery for Colonial Latin American Art and new additions to the Mesoamerican Art gallery beginning this week.
Dr. Kristopher Driggers is Assistant Curator and Schmidt Curator of Latin American Art at TMA.
Upcoming Exhibitions in the Kasser Family Wing
For the past year the Contemporary Latin American Art bay of the Kasser Family Wing featured works from TMA’s permanent collection, including several recent acquisitions. In the 2021/22 season it will be the site of two solo exhibitions.
Patrick Martinez, No Justice, No Love, 2020, stucco, neon, osb wood, spray paint, latex house paint, adidas t-shirt, plexiglass and enamel on panel. Courtesy of the Artist and Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
NOVEMBER 4, 2021–APRIL 24, 2022
Patrick Martinez: Look What You Created.
In his first solo museum exhibition in the American Southwest, Los Angeles-based artist Patrick Martinez (b. 1980) examines subjects including communities of color, discrimination, displacement and accountability. His mixed media works invoke conversations about equity, empathy, humanity and connection. Learn more >
Francisco Toledo, El Desayuno, 1968, watercolor. Collection of the Tucson Museum of Art. Gift from the Mary and Hal Douthit Collection. 2021.7.20
MAY 5–AUGUST 24, 2022
Francisco Toledo: Paper Fables
Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo (1940–2019) created a prolific body of graphics and paintings depicting stories from Mexico’s ancient past as well as its present. This exhibition of works on paper from the late 1960s and early 1970s—at once humorous, dark, ironic and erotic—visualize fables: moralistic and explicatory narratives about humans and animals. These works were recently donated to the museum from the collection of Mary and Hal Douthit. Learn more >