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The Star-Ledger

MoMa Sends Latin American Works To El Museo del Barrio


March 21, 2004
Copyright ©2004 The Star-Ledger. All rights reserved.

When the Museum of Modern Art completes its three-year expansion and renovation in December, it will house a section devoted to Latin American and Caribbean art. Until July 25, a sampling of that extensive MoMA collection - including works by Diego Rivera - can be seen at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem.

MoMA has aggressively collected art Latin American and Caribbean art since its founding in 1929. It now has more than 2,000 paintings, sculpture, books and manuscripts, according to museum director Glenn Lowry.

The 150-plus works from the MoMA collection are up at El Museo del Barrio in celebration of that institution's 35 th anniversary. El Museo's director, Julian Zugazagoitia has called the museums' collaboration a "groundbreaking effort" that will "advance understanding and awareness of these artists and their rich legacy, while furthering El Museo's mission as a premier cultural institution."

MoMA's works at El Museo present a breathtaking survey of Latino art, many considered masterpieces.

Divided into four chronological sections, one area contains the works of Mexican muralists from the '30s, most notably those of Diego Rivera.

His 1931 "Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita" greets visitors first. Elsewhere on display are other Rivera works, such as "May Day, Moscow" from 1928, and José Clemente Orosco's exciting "Zapatistas," a 1931 tribute to the revolutionary movement in Mexico.

The second section highlights works acquired in the 1940s, among them Frida Kahlo's "Self Portrait with Cropped Hair" (1940) and the Cuban Wilfredo Lam's Surrealist 1941 oil, "The Jungle," a signature piece of the exhibit.

The third section features works collected in the 1960s, when MoMA ventured into Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela. It includes Colombian Fernando Botero's comical 1967 "Presidential Family," which reviles the excesses of the rich in Latin America.

The fourth section contains the most recent - and perhaps the most experimental - works. The exhibit also contains a sampling of sculpture, illustrated books, drawings and prints.

El Museo del Barrio is at 1230 Fifth Ave., at 104 th Street. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays; until 8 p.m. Thursdays. $7 adults; $5 students and seniors; free 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays. Call (212) 831-7272.

1. Works that will soon be a part of the Museum of Modern Art's Latin American and Caribbean collection, and are now on loan to El Museo del Barrio, are "Parentesis," by Jorge De La Vega, above, and "Horno de Carbon," by Los Carpinteros.

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