Hudson County Community College and Mana Contemporary Present, “Each State of Mind is Irreducible: Spanish & Latin American Artists” Exhibit

Posted: 10/12/2017
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061, jchristopher@hccc.edu or Roger Jones, 201-200-1080, rj@jonesandassociatescommunications.com

October 11, 2017, Jersey City, NJ – The Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Department of Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with Mana Contemporary, will present the exhibit, Each state of mind is irreducible: Spanish & Latin American Artists. Curated by Mana Contemporary’s Curatorial Director Ysabel Pinyol and Assistant Curator Alexandra Fowle, the exhibit opens Friday, October 13 and runs through Friday, November 17. 

Each state of mind is irreducible: Spanish & Latin American Artists offers a lens into how artists of Spanish and Latin American heritage who are living in the U.S. grapple with their roots. When focusing on artists of Spanish and Latin American heritage, it is not enough to use blanket terms like “Spanish,” Hispanic,” or “Latinx” to classify these artists and their work. With geographical and cultural breadth encompassed within what we call Spanish and Latin American “heritage,” it is nearly impossible, and quite irresponsible, to attempt to define all elements often identified with these cultures. For this exhibition at Hudson County Community College, artists based at Mana Contemporary New Jersey and Chicago illuminate ways in which U.S.-based artists allude to their Spanish or Latin American heritage —through sculpture, textiles, painting, and carpentry among other mediums.

Participating artists include:

Candida Alvarez (Puerto Rico)

Candida Alvarez’s paintings are spaces that emerge between fact and fiction, drawing from the narrative of place, evolving like chapters in a book. Alvarez was born in NYC and has an MFA from the Yale School of Art. Her work is included in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and El Museo del Barrio, NYC. Reviews of her work have appeared in various publications, including Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, and The New York Times. Alvarez is a Professor in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. www.candidaalvarez.com

Daniel Bejar (Puerto Rico)

Daniel Bejar’s work considers and critiques the representation of history, place, and the self within the structures of power encompassing our physical and digital worlds. Through forms of performance and intervention he inserts himself and his work into public sites and systems such as Googles search engines, Google Maps, protest rallies at Republican National conventions, and at a no-fly zone over the Super Bowl in New Jersey to construct new narratives in the public realm. In doing so, his work unearths a space where the public is challenged to question the familiar, and envision alternative realities and histories. Bejar is a 2015 fellow in Interdisciplinary Work from the New York Foundation for the Arts, is currently an Artist in Residence at Mana Contemporary, and is participating in The Drawing Center's 2016-17 Open Sessions Program. He is also a 2014 recipient of a Franklin Furnace Grant, and 2013 recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Visual Arts Grant. Bejar's work has been featured in publications such as the New Yorker,Harpers Bazaar HK, Magazine B, and Hyperallergic, among others. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and was recently exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum's Crossing Brooklyn exhibition. Additional exhibition venues include Espai d'art Contemporani de Castello, Spain; El Museo Del Barrio, NY; SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM; Georgia State University, GA; Artnews Projects, Berlin, Germany; and The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY. Bejar is a MFA sculpture recipient from the State University of New York at New Paltz, NY and, received his BFA from Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota, FL. www.danielbejar.com

Matías Cuevas (Argentina)

Matías Cuevas was born in Mendoza, Argentina. Following his early classical training at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Cuevas received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was awarded an International Student Graduate Scholarship, a MFA Fellowship Award, and the SAIC Excellence in Leadership Award. Embracing the tradition of painting in a playful manner, Cuevas uses an innovative technique of staining and setting fire to nylon carpet with paint thinners and acrylics. Recent exhibitions of his work have been held at Sperone Westwater (New York), El Museo del Barrio (New York), Lehmann Maupin Gallery (New York), Leyendecker Gallery (Spain), Alderman Exhibitions (Chicago), and The Green Gallery (Milwaukee). His work is part of numerous private and public collections, including the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Rosario and Museo de Arte Moderno de Mendoza. Matias Cuevas currently lives and works in New York City. www.matiascuevas.com

Maria de Los Angeles (Mexico)

Maria de Los Angeles was born in in Michoacán, Mexico and immigrated to Santa Rosa California in 2000 with her family. De Los Angeles’s subject is both from personal experience and from the larger political conversations surrounding migration. Creating compositions of spontaneous drawings with images and actions, which reference the human experience of moving from one space to another, but convey a fragmentary idea of the larger issues. De Los Angeles graduated with an Associates degree in Fine Arts from Santa Rosa Junior College in 2010, a BFA in Painting from Pratt in 2013 and with a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 2015. She teaches as a visiting instructor at Pratt Institute and is a current artist in Residency at Mana Contemporary. De Los Angeles recently had a solo exhibition at Front Art Space and Pratt Institute, and was included in a group exhibition at Garis and Hahn in New York. www.mdlafineart.com

Alejandro Dron (Argentina)

Known for his “liminal,” foldable, non-figurative sculptures and architectural projects, Argentinian artist Alejandro Dron creates work that has no fixed position. He is currently working on his EDRON project, based on what he calls Unidentified Flying Sculptures, where he integrates aerial space into each piece. Drone’s work has been included in exhibitions in Spain, Argentina, and the United States. He earned an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, supported by a Fulbright Grant. Dron also publishes an online political cartoon series called “Zohar.” www.alejandrodron.com

Luciana Lamothe (Argentina)

Luciana Lamothe is an Argentine artist born in Mercedes. She studied at the Prilidiano Pueyrredon National School in Buenos Aires. Her last project FUGA, an architectural installation made by steel tubes and lintels will be placed installed in the middle of a crossroad in Buenos Aires. People will be able to climb the structure to have a complete view on this part of the city from a high level. This installation is included in BA sitio especificio, a group of artistic projects that support the requalification of five urban Argentinian districts through art. www.galeriealbertapane.com

Alberto Montaño Mason (Mexico)

Alberto Montaño Mason was born in Mexico City. After extensive travel throughout Europe, he studied under muralist and master draughtsman Pedro Medina before moving to London to earn his BA from the Chelsea School of Art in 1977. He then moved to Paris and studied at Atelier 17 under William S. Hayter for one year. In 1981, Montaño Mason started what he calls his “first career” as an artist in New York City. During this stage of his career, his work was defined by the use of traditional mediums such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. In 2003, he set up a studio in Mexico City to begin his “second career,” working in conceptual photography, video, and, more recently, digitally generated wall pieces. He has had solo shows in galleries and museums in New York and Mexico, and has participated in group exhibitions in museums in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. His latest museum solo show was presented in 2010 at the Querétaro Art Museum in Querétaro, Mexico. Though primarily based in New York, he works concurrently in his studios at Mana Contemporary and in Mexico City. www.albertomontano.com

Leonardo Ramos Moreno (Colombia)

Leonardo Ramos is a Colombian visual artist born in Bogota. He has a deep interest in classical mythology, fairy tales, psychoanalysis and history of art. His art installations are a mixed media of performance, sculpture, video, photography, painting and drawing. The techniques he uses are a simple reflection of the dichotomy between life and death, while the mixture of natural elements with man-made artefacts signifies the deep connection between the end of something and a new beginning. Leonardo is an award-winning artist, who won both the Prodigy and Flora Aars awards in 2015. His art work has been reviewed by Artnexus and VernissageTV; been shown in exhibitions such the Ex Teresa en Ciudad de México in 2014 and it is part of the permanent collection of the Art Museum of Colombia’s Central Bank (Museo del Banco de la República de Colombia) and the Shöpflin Foundation.

Antonio Murado (Spain)

Born in Lugo, Spain, artist Antonio Murado studied at the University of Salamanca. His paintings, which often depict abstracted landscapes and flowers, are characterized by their layered, impastoed surface and continued experimentation with the properties of paint and varnishes. Murado’s work is part of the permanent collections of Spain’s leading museums, including the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea in Santiago.

G.T. Pellizzi (Mexico)

Born in Tlayacapan, Mexico, G.T. Pellizzi studied literature and philosophy at St. John’s College and graduated from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union. His practice spans installations, sculpture, painting, and an alternative educational institute (The Bruce High Quality Foundation, which he co-founded); each project attempts to engage audiences with political, financial, and market systems. Since 2011 he has focused work where he creates pieces from traditional building materials. Pellizzi has exhibited at the Jeu de Paume (Paris), Museo del Barrio (New York) and Mary Boone Gallery (New York). www.gtpellizzi.com

Javier Placido (Spain)

Javier Placido was born in Las Palmas, Spain. He lives and works between Las Palmas and Barcelona. His work is included in a number of public collections including Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) in Las Palmas, Carolina Rediviva, Historical library in Sweden, the A. P. Collection and Parque José Hernández in Las Palmas. Placido received a degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad de Salamanca Becario de Honor del Cabildo Insular de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and attended Beeldende Kunsten Academie (Maastricht) and Pintores Pensionados Palacio de Quintanar (Segovia).  www.javierplacido.com

Bruno Smith (Mexico)

Bruno Smith was born in New York City. He has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently he lives and works in New York City. Smith works with clothing, blankets and upholsteries either donated, found or from his own past purchases. With the raw material already charged with history and personal attachment, Smith cuts up and collages the textiles, at once both preserving and destroying their sentimental value. The works are composed like an abstract painting, with large shapes of fabric forming a background and thinner strips traversing on top, mimicking broad brushstrokes. In this post-modern take on painting, Smith inverts the expressionistic gestures of Abstract Expressionism into the calmed and slowed process of sewing. www.bruno-smith.squarespace.com

Ray Smith (Mexico)

Ray Smith is a painter and a sculptor. Born in Brownsville, TX, he grew up in Central Mexico. After studying fresco painting with traditional craftsmen in Mexico, Smith attended art academies in Mexico and the United States. Later, he settled in Mexico City. Often related to Surrealism in his unreal juxtapositions, Smith’s work is also characterized by a unique kind of magical realism. He creates illogical scenarios, that are full of surprises and special effects, by using dogs and animals as anthropomorphic beings. Smith considers animals to be an “entity of the human figure.” The artist has held more than 50 exhibitions around the world during the last two decades, mainly in the United States and Mexico, but also in Japan, Europe, and South America. In 1989, he participated in the Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Smith exhibited at the First Triennial of Drawings at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, Spain, and took part in the group exhibition called Latin American Artists of the 20th Century, which traveled from Seville, Spain, to the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Kunsthalle in Cologne, Germany, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. www.raysmithstudio.com

Rodrigo Lara Zendejas (Mexico)

Rodrigo Lara Zendejas was born in Mexico. In 2003, he received his BFA from Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico, Summa Cum Laude where he majored in Sculpture. He received his MFA in 2013 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a James Nelson Raymond Fellowship. Lara's work has been represented in galleries from Mexico, Argentina and the United States, as well as shown extensively in Mexico, the U.S., Canada, Europe and China. Lara had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, in the State of Mexico and has won several grants, awards and distinctions including “John W. Kurtich Travel Scholarship” in Berlin and Kassel Germany, as well as the “National Prize of Visual Arts” 1st Place in Sculpture, 2010 in Mexico. His work has been published in magazines in Mexico, Spain, the U.S., Australia and Brazil. www.rodrigo-lara.com

The exhibit at the Benjamin J. Dineen, III and Dennis C. Hull Gallery will be featured during the HCCC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Collectors Club Tour on Saturday, October 14 from noon to 2 p.m. and will available for viewing during the Jersey City Art & Studio (JCAST) Tour on Saturday, October 14 from noon to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, October 15 from noon to 8 p.m. for the final day of the JCAST Tour and its Closing Reception. The Gallery is located on the top floor of the HCCC Library at 71 Sip Avenue, just a block away from the Journal Square PATH Transportation Center in Jersey City.

The Hudson County Community College Benjamin J. Dineen, III and Dennis C. Hull Gallery is open Monday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

Additional information about the exhibit may be obtained by contacting Michelle Vitale, Director of Cultural Affairs at mvitale@hccc.edu or 201-360-4176.