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Requena's Subway In The City

By Frances Negrón-Muntaner

February 15, 2002
Copyright © 2002
PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.

Aixa Requena is among the most prominent of Puerto Rico's younger generation of artists. Her work is notorious for its experimental technique using photographic impressions on canvas and other surfaces. Her themes revolve around evocative and nostalgic representations of vitality, magic, and sensuality, which characterize the Caribbean and, more recently, New York City, where Requena resides.

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico is proud to present the latest installation by this extraordinary artist, entitled "Between Spaces." According to Artlex Visual Arts dictionary, an installation is art made for a specific space, exploiting certain qualities of that space. "Between Spaces" makes reference to the videos "Subway" and "New York City," which she produced. The work develops the concepts, the city, and solitude.

Requena takes scenes from her "Subway" video and works them onto aluminum plates using pigments and photo emulsion. She also minimally includes paint in metallic tones and newspaper clippings related to Sept. 11. On a large aluminum panel, she projects the "Subway" video. Aluminum is a constant in the "Between Spaces" installation, a direct allusion to the steel covering the subways of the city.

Aixa Requena was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1951. She earned a bachelor's in art from University of Puerto Rico. Requena continued her studies at the Art Students League in San Juan, the studio of maestro Fran Cervoni, and the Fine Arts School of Puerto Rico. In 1988, she attended a workshop by Alfonso Arana in Paris and is currently pursing postgraduate studies at Hunter College, The City University of New York.

One of her many accomplishments occurred in October, when Requena was invited as one of among five Latin American artists to exhibit their work at the International Paint Fair in Geneva. She also was asked to represent Puerto Rico at the V International Paint Bienal in Cuenca, Ecuador in 1996. Requena's work has been displayed in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, including France, Venezuela, Spain, Washington, D.C., and Haiti.

"Between Spaces" will be on exhibit through April 30. Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico is at 299 Ave. De Diego, Parada 22, Santurce, San Juan. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesday until 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12 and students with I.D. Discounts are available for people over 60 and groups of 30 or more people. For more information, call the MAPR at (787) 977-6277.

Frances Negrón-Muntaner is a writer, scholar and filmmaker. Her column, The Writing On The Wall, appears courtesy of The San Juan Star. She can be reached at:

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