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Latin American Collection


David Alfaro Siqueiros, The Sleep, 1939, duco on masonite, 22 x 40". Collection of the ASU Art Museum, gift of Oliver B. James 1951.064.000.

Images from our Latin Collection

The Arizona State University Art Museum collection of Latin American art currently has strength in Mexican works from the twentieth century; Mexican ceramics and folk art; and contemporary work from Cuba. The museum is now expanding the collection to focus on work by artists of the Southern Cone.

Latin American works entered the collection at the inception of the museum. The nucleus of the Latin American collection, gifted in 1950, included noteworthy works by Mexican modernists such as David Alfaro Siquieros, Diego Rivera, and Rufino Tamayo. The collection grew through donations by local collectors, adding works by Carlos Merida, Leonel Gongora, and Rafael and Pedro Coronel. These are complemented by excellent holdings of prints by Mexican artists including José Guadalupe Posada, widely known for his satirical calaveras, and Leopoldo Mendez and other members of the Taller Grafica. Contemporary Mexican artists represented in the collection include Alejandro Colunga, Lucio Muniain, and Nestor Quiñones.

Linking the Latin American with the ceramics collection, the museum has significant holdings of Mexican ceramics and folk art. The museum is currently expanding the Mexican ceramics sector of the Latin American.

The museum owns the largest and most important group of works by Cuban artists of the generation of the 1990s, and continues to build and update that collection with additional works. The museum is known internationally for this collection which began in conjunction with the 1998 exhibition Contemporary Art from Cuba: Irony and Survival on the Utopian Island. Among the artists represented in the collection are Pedro Alvarez, José Toirac, Abel Barroso, Sandra Ramos, Carlos Estévez, René Francisco, Aimée García, Juan Carlos Alom, Ivan Capote, Eduardo Ponjuán, Alfredo Manzo, – Cirenaica Moreira, Fernando Rodríguez, Kcho, and Los Carpinteros.

The museum is widening its focus with recent acquisitions by Brazilian artists Tiago Carneiro da Cunha, Efrain Almeida, and Oscar Oiwa. In March 2005 the museum showcased works from the Latin American collection, complemented by works on loan from collectors from the Phoenix-area and beyond. In the spring of 2006, the museum inaugurated a solo exhibition of the work of Oscar Oiwa to introduce the American audience to the work of this young artist. This will be the first in a series of solo and group exhibitions that will explore themes and present new artists in solo and group exhibitions.