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El Paso Museum of Art
Upcoming Exhibitions

 
 
 
Announcing the IV Bienal Ciudad Juárez-El Paso Biennial 2015
 
Calling all artists living and working within 200 miles of the US/Mexico border for the only exhibition of its type in existence. You are eligible to apply for this exhibition which features the vibrant creativity and diversity of this bi-national, multi-cultural region. Each artist selected will have two artworks included in the exhibition: one at the El Paso Museum of Art and one at the Museo de Arte Juarez. All artworks will be included in the exhibition catalog. All themes will be considered and all entries will be carefully considered by jurors Eduardo Díaz, Director, Smithsonian Latino Center, Washington, DC and Santiago Espinosa de los Monteros, renowned curator, museographer, and art critic, Mexico City.
 
The Biennial 2015 will result in two purchase prizes, a solo museum exhibition for one artist at both museums and two SOMA residencies in Mexico City. Please see the exhibition entry documents attached below for the specific instructions about entering this exhibition.
 
 
 

 
Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc:
 Expressionism and Der Blaue Reiter
Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery
February 13, 2015  –  May 31, 2015
 
“Two Masterpieces – One Exhibition”
 
Modern Masters Series: Highlights from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Organized by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
 

Franz Marc (German, 1880 – 1916)
White Bull (Der Stier) 1911
Oil on canvas, 39 3/8” × 53 ¼” (100 × 135.2 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
51.1312
 
As a logical successor to the EPMA’s first Modern Masters Series: Highlights from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum installment that explores the beginnings of Cubism in works by Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso, this second Guggenheim focus installation—Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc: Expressionism and Der Blaue Reiter—examines the bold and colorful energy of two leaders of German Expressionism, which followed closely on the heels of Cubism as the next major modernist style of the early twentieth century.
 
Along with the Dresden-centered The Bridge (Die Brücke), The Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter) represented the core of German Expressionism, a movement which borrowed ideas from painters like Vincent van Gogh, and that influenced subsequent generations  of artists, including Neo-Expressionism in the 1970s. Led by Kandinsky and Marc, Der Blaue Reiter focused on the psychology and emotion of colors, spirituality in art, and the Weimar Bauhaus in the 1920s, will be featured in an upcoming installment.
 
The pair of Guggenheim works by Kandinsky and Marc—respectively Landscape with Factory Chimney (1910) and White Bull (Die Stier, 1911) demonstrate powerful beginnings of Der Blaue Rieter. They express the artists mutual interest in expressive, arbitrary, and brilliant saturated colors; bold simplified forms; and symbolic interpretations of the natural world. The works also illustrate each each man’s unique vision - Marc’s empathetic connection with the animal world, and Kandinsky’s special inclination toward abstraction. Together, the paintings evoke a brief but significant moment in twentieth-century modernism as Kandinsky returned to his native Russia only a few years later, compelled by the outbreak of World War I, and Marc died while serving in the German army while stationed on the Western front.
 
Finally, another key feature of Der Blaue Reiter was its theoretical focus on the connection between visual art and music. Therefore, it is especially fitting that among the many related programs being planned around the exhibition is a free performance of the Kandinsky-Alfred Schnittke work titled The Yellow Sound (Der Gelber Klang) that will be performed by the El Paso Opera.
 
Sponsors
BBVA Compass Bank
City of El Paso
Mrs. Robert M. Graham, Sr.
Travis and Annabelle Johnson
National Endowment for the Arts
Kirk and Judy Robison
Lory and Jonathan W. Rogers, Jr.
Robert and Sara Shiloff
Texas Commission on the Arts
United Bank of El Paso del Norte
WestStar Bank
 
Marketing Sponsors
Mithoff Burton Partners
Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry and Watches
 

 
 Don Coen: The Migrant Series
Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery
February 22, 2015 – June 14, 2015
 
Organized by the Phoenix Art Museum
 

Don Coen (American, b.  1935)
Miguel, 2001-2010
Airbrush on acrylic and pencil on canvas, 78 ¼” x 112 ½”
Courtesy of the artist
 
Around the world the agriculture industry relies on seasonal laborers to harvest crops. In America, it is estimated that 1.3 million citizens travel from state to state working on farms, with many more traveling under work visas or as undocumented laborers from other countries. The work is difficult, the pay is typically low, and the long-term exposure to pesticides used on crops is dangerous to the workers’ health. Yet the service the migrant farmers provide is vital to American agriculture and our nation’s economy. 
 
Colorado-based artist Don Coen grew up working on his family’s farm and has an appreciation for the hardships farm laborers endure. For more than three decades, he has focused on making realistic paintings and finding interest in rural, everyday life. Executed with a non-traditional airbrush technique, The Migrant Series features 15 large-scale images created between 2001 and 2010. In 1992, Coen began taking photographs of migrant farmers during his travels around the country, an interest that developed out of his early experience of working on his family farm. He typically interacted directly with the workers he encountered and, wherever possible, received permission to take their photographs. The artist’s collection of photographs grew into the thousands before he began his painting series in 2001.
 
The Migrant Seriesis Coen’s attempt to bring attention to America’s traveling farm laborers, a rare subject in American art history. “For the average American,” states the artist, “migrant workers are an invisible and transparent component of our world.” Coen’s emphasis is on the humanity of the individuals portrayed, and the large scale makes them too big to ignore. In this way, Coen hopes to bring attention to a segment of society that is too often overlooked. 
 
Born on November 24th, 1935, in Lamar, Colorado, Don Coen attended Lamar Junior College and then received his BA in Advertising Design from the University of Denver and his MFA in Ceramics and Fine Art from the University of Northern Colorado. Represented by the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, he has had one-man shows across the American West, Minnesota, and Illinois, and his work is found in public and corporate collections from Idaho to Texas and from Arizona to New York. Information throughout the exhibition draws on the artist’s own observations about the people he has encountered while traveling to farms in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Oregon, and Texas. This is the second showing of The Migrant Series after its debut in fall of 2014 at the Phoenix Art Museum. Don Coen: The Migrant Series is a traveling exhibition organized by the Phoenix Art Museum.
 
Admission  
EPMA Members                                                      FREE
Non-member adults age 12+                                    $5
Children age 11 and under                                       FREE
Active Military Personnel and their families with ID       FREE
 
Admission price also includes admission to Yoshua Okón’s video installation PULPO.
 
 

 
PULPO/OCTOPUS
By Yoshua Okón
Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery
February 22, 2015  – June 14, 2015
 
 
In conjunction with American painter Don Coen’s Migrant Series (2001–10) touring from the Phoenix Art Museum, the El Paso Museum of Art is pleased to present Octopus (2011), a recent creation by one of Mexico’s leading video/performance artists, Yoshua Okón. Despite their contrasting media and meanings, each artist attempts to bring out of the shadows the situation of a group of undocumented laborers in the United States, whom US President Obama recently referred to as the “workers who pick our fruit and make our beds.” 
 
Pulpo, or Octopus, takes its title from the name journalists gave to the United Fruit Company, a powerful US corporation whose neocolonialist exploitation of Central American countries during the twentieth century included influencing the coup d’état by which the Central Intelligence Agency ousted Guatemala’s progressive socialist President Jacobo Árbenz in 1954. What followed were almost forty years of civil war, in which financial self-interest led the US to support a military dictatorship responsible for the genocide of approximately 200,000 native Mayans from the Guatemalan highlands. Octopus restages the war in the parking lot of a Northeast Los Angeles Home Depot. Dressed in opposing black and white T-shirts, the “actors” who perform actually fought on either side of the war as young men. The artist hired them from among the undocumented immigrants who regularly gather at the Home Depot in search of casual construction work, and he filmed without official authorization until security guards stopped him two days later. Among other qualities, Okón’s Octopus operates as a parody of traditional historical reenactments, which entertain us by reinforcing popular conceptions of “history.” In the case of Okón’s performers, the catastrophic “past” of their civil war fueled by American greed has a causal relationship to their “present” situation, where they now find themselves as illegal day laborers in southern California. The Home Depot customers who amble or drive past the men’s absurd war games with almost complete indifference are also crucial to Okón’s meanings, since their lack of reaction underlines the men’s invisibility as a marginalized underclass.
 
Yoshua Okón specializes in single or multichannel video-and-installation pieces that document ordinary people acting out the artist’s instructions. Born in Mexico City in 1970, the artist received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal in 1994, and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2002. His work is in public collections in the Americas and Europe, and he has had solo exhibitions across these regions as well as in Israel and Japan. The artist completed Octopus during a residency at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where the work premiered in 2011.            
 
Admission  
EPMA Members                                                      FREE
Non-member adults age 12+                                    $5
Children age 11 and under                                       FREE
Active Military Personnel and their families with ID       FREE
 
Admission price also includes admission to Don Coen: The Migrant Series.                                       
 

 
 

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