Linda Vallejo: Brown Belongings
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Los Angeles, CA
June 1, 2019—January 6, 2020
Erin M. Curtis, Ph.D., Senior Curator
Mariah Shevchuk, Associate Curator
Esperanza Sanchez, M.A., Curatorial Assistant
With critical essays by Karen Mary Davalos, Professor, Chicano and Latino Studies Department, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Bill Moreno, curator and critic and Michelle E. Lopez, Lecturer, Department of Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies, California State University, Los Angeles
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes announces its forthcoming exhibition, Linda Vallejo: Brown Belongings, a collection of new and recent work from the Los Angeles-based, Chicana artist whose career spans more than forty years. For nearly a decade, Vallejo has explored the vast and varied meanings of the color brown in her art. LA Plaza will exhibit new works by Vallejo alongside selections from several recent series and subseries of artworks that examine brownness and Latinx identity, including Make ‘Em All Mexican, The Brown Oscars, The Brown Dot Project, Datos Sagrados, and Cultural Enigma. The exhibition will be on view June 1, 2019 through January 6, 2020. An exhibition catalog featuring scholarly reflections on Vallejo’s work will also be available. LA Plaza’s first solo exhibition dedicated to the work of a Latina and staged simultaneously in all of its temporary exhibition galleries, Linda Vallejo: Brown Belongings consists of more than 125 of Vallejo’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures, and will examine how race and color, as expressed through images and data, affect our perception and experience of culture. At the same time, it asks how embracing brownness can allow us to creatively question, deflect, and resist stereotypes of and assumptions about Latinx people.
Works from different series will be combined in thematic groupings throughout LA Plaza’s galleries, allowing the visitor to see ideas that resonate across Vallejo’s body of work. Interactive elements will invite visitors to reflect on and share aspects of their own identities. A series of public programs, including artist-led exhibition walkthroughs, panel discussions with the authors of the exhibition catalog and Chicana/o artists, and more, will invite visitors to engage directly with the exhibition themes.
“In a career that spans more than 40 years, Linda Vallejo has distinguished herself as one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking Latinx artists of our time,” said John Echeveste, LA Plaza CEO. “This large presentation of her work will delight and amuse many while confusing and challenging others. This dichotomy makes her work so interesting and important, and we are presenting it at LA Plaza to spark dialogue about the past, present, and future of the Latinx community.”
During her more than forty-year career, Vallejo has worked across a variety of media— including screen printing, painting, drawing, and sculpture—and has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the East Los Angeles College Vincent Price Museum, Los Angeles; the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago; the Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the University of California, Santa Barbara California Multicultural and Ethnic Archives; and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.
“The title Brown Belongings touches many significant points for me. I have always stated that these art works are autobiographical. As a young adult studying and living in Spain and throughout the US, I found myself searching for a place to belong. It was when I returned to Los Angeles to become involved in the Chicano and Indigenous communities that I found my place, artistically, intellectually and culturally. Through Make ‘Em All Mexican I continued my travels by collecting “belongings” and painting them brown to represent my American cultural identity. Finally, I “long” to find a visual language that will open a dialogue about how we see ourselves, how others see us, and the joy that we can find in our differences and the knowledge and understandings that we share together.” – Linda Vallejo
A full color catalog will accompany the exhibition with critical essays
A series of educational panels, discussions, and walk-throughs are planned