An exhibition of some 60 mainly Central and South American prints from the Smurfit: Carton y Papel de Mexico Collection opens to the public at IMMA on 25 May. The exhibition, entitled ‘Homage to Paper’, marks the generous donation of 150 prints from the collection to the Museum by the Jefferson Smurfit Group.
The collection is particularly rich in works by Latin American artists. International in scope, it encompasses a full range of late 20th-century styles and movements from magic realism, conceptualism, and minimalism to cartoon-like political graphics. The exhibition contains works by a number of well known artists, including Wifredo Lam (Cuban), Roberto Matta (Chile), Consuelo Gotay (Puerto Rico), and others less well known outside their counries.
Certain dominant strands emerge – the quest for national identity, fuelled by a history of conquest; political dictatorship and exile and, above all, a belief in the social purpose and responsibility of the artist. The art of countries that still have substantial Indian populations, such as Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala, is clearly influenced by indigenous elements, which have characterised their cultures since pre-Columbian times.
A colour catalogue, with essay by Dr Rosemarie Mulcahy, accompanies the exhibition (price £7.99).
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