Mexican artwork infuses Memorial Union with culture
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Saturday, October 6, 2012 00:10
The Memorial Union Concourse Gallery is currently exhibiting the work of three talented printmakers from Mexico. Mizraim Cárdenas, Guadalupe Anaya, and Rosenda Aguilar use a variety of printmaking techniques from chine-collé to color block prints and mezzotint, a form of dry point in which scratching and hatch marks develop shadow and depth. The result is a transformation of the gallery to create a dynamic and alluring space.
OSU Craft Center Manager Susan Bourque attributes the success of the exhibit to the work of OSU student Nicole Hernandez Lopez.
“[Hernandez-Lopez] kept on top of the dates for the exhibit and made an effort to keep costs low, resulting in the exhibit showing on campus,” Bourque said.
With the styles varied and unique between each of the artists, the overall essence of the exhibit is strongly influenced by the artists’ Mexican heritage.
Mizraim Cárdenas is an internationally known printmaker and painter who is originally from Morelia, a city in central Mexico. The fine detail work that can be seen in his dynamic block prints shows his fastidiousness, while his color and composition choices emphasize a finesse only achievable through strong discipline and, in the case of Cárdenas, the treasured guidance of a master printer from Mexico — Alfredo Zalce. Julie Green, painting professor in the art department, took advantage of the teaching opportunities that the pieces had to offer.
During a painting class field trip, she made certain to bring attention to the way Cárdenas uses unexpected earth tones to sharpen yellows as well as enliven stirring compositions. One can’t help feeling disquieted as a narrative reveals itself before them and fishermen are pitched from their capsizing boat, stylized animals infiltrate the frame and figures glow with vibrancy and contrast in his large, color block prints.
Guadalupe Anaya graduated from Escuela Popular de Bellas Artes of the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Mexico. As a printmaker, sculptor and painter, the body of work which she is currently exhibiting exemplifies her pride in Mexican culture. Anaya displays a series of twenty two prints of a version of Loteria, a lottery-type game in which illustrated cards are matched with those called out. Often times the announcer imbeds the title of the card into a riddle.
Of the twenty-two pieces, “La Araña,” meaning “the spider” in Spanish, is particularly captivating. By mezzotint, Anaya develops mysterious shadows and macabre imagery, which is all too appropriate for the approach of Halloween. Her works collectively exemplify her varied skills as a printmaker and artist as well as her pride in Mexican culture.
According to Rosenda Aguilar, from a young age she felt the need to create art, which revealed the simple beauty and emotion in everyday life. The printmaker and sculptor’s passion for utilizing color and motion is evident in her three prints displayed in the Concourse.
With an air of surrealism, Aguilar creates dynamic and interesting prints with layered colors and forms while preserving the all-encompassing theme of pride for the Mexican culture. Her monotype print titled “Por la Paz (for peace)” appears to celebrate and pay tribute to her heritage. Aguilar’s work, and that of Anaya and Cárdenas, has been displayed since Sept. 17 and will be until Oct. 24. Passersby of the MU are encouraged to take a look at the Mexican prints and the imagery that, according to Bourque, is as rich as the culture they come from.
“We are extremely pleased to have this exhibit,” Bourque said. “We’re thrilled with the stunning work and we love bringing in works from other countries.”
Alice Marshall, arts reporter