Art Museum Exhibits Focus on Social Class and the Environment | Way of life

Two exhibits at the El Paso Museum of Art feature print media by influential Mexican artists and abstract landscape photography.

The first, “El Taller De Gráfica Popular”, provided an in-depth look at the print media – posters, leaflets, portfolios and booklets – created by the “taller”, or atelier, collective of artists during the post-revolutionary years of the Mexico. It was founded by artists Leopoldo Méndez, Luis Arena and Pablo O’Higgins in Mexico City in 1937 and tackled Mexico’s growing wealth and educational disparities between social classes.

According to the museum, “the objective of the collective was to produce highly didactic political and socio-economic works of art, intended to educate the population to effect change and achieve the desired reforms”.

Famous Mexican artists such as Alberto Beltán, Rufino Tamayo and Diego Rivera contributed to the collaboration.

“El Taller De Gráfica Popular” runs until October 10 at the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery.

Another exhibition, “Michael Namingha: Altered Landscapes,” features the artist’s abstract photography-based works that juxtapose geometric shapes in bright neon colors with aerial black-and-white landscapes of the Four Corners region.

His work deals with the environmental impact of the oil industry around New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, a National Historic Park sacred to Puebloan ancestors; and Black Place, the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness of the Navajo Nation, according to the museum.

“Namingha’s work by contrast is non-confrontational, even silent, inviting viewers to contemplate the devastating effects of the oil and gas industries on ancestral lands,” the museum states.

The exhibition is presented until January 2, 2022 at the Peter and Margaret de Wetter gallery.

Information: 915-212-0300; epma.org; @elpasomuseumofart on Facebook and Instagram.

William E. Bennett