For years, art institutions have been criticized for only populating their galleries with artists who were anything but diverse.
Recently, however, a widespread arts initiative has aimed to change that perception by presenting the works of Latino artists across dozens of institutions in Southern California.
The exhibition is called “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.” It was launched in September 2017 with the help of $16.3 million in grants from the Getty Foundation. And soon, this initiative will bring some of these shows to museums and galleries across the country.
Their goal: rewrite art history.
It sounds ambitious, but it was a necessary move.
In a time where immigration has become a crucial issue dominating our political discourse, “PST: LA/LA” helped Southern California institutions reflect the true cultural makeup of the region. In Los Angeles County, Census data shows that 47.7% of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latin American, but the regional art world didn’t quite reflect the population. “PST: LA/LA” is an attempt to rectify that disparity with exhibitions showcasing the diversity of both art in Latin America and the work of Latin American artists in the United States.
It took five years of preparation, but the initiative was a rousing success. From museums to universities to art galleries, more than 140 venues participated in showcasing the work of more than 1,100 artists. While some of “PST: LA/LA” exhibitions are officially coming to an end in Southern California on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, some of the shows are hitting the road, bound for destinations across the U.S. and abroad.
From displays of beautiful pre-Hispanic artifacts to groundbreaking performance art by cutting-edge contemporary artists, “PST: LA/LA” is significant not just for its focus on Latin American artists, but for the breadth and scope of the exhibitions included in the initiative. But, it wasn’t just centuries that “PST: LA/LA” spanned — these exhibits crossed borders too. Shows also explored the ethnic diversity in Latin America, from Afro-Brazilian to Chinese-Caribbean. It delved into artistic practices by marginalized or overlooked communities like the pioneering feminist artists featured in the show “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985” — which will tour Brooklyn and São Paulo this year — and the work of queer artists in “Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.”
“PST: LA/LA” also highlighted Latin American artists with landmark retrospectives. Body positive photographer Laura Aguilar has a career that goes back to the 1980s, but her exhibition “Show and Tell” — which is set to head to the Frost Art Museum in Miami in March 2018 — is the first expansive survey of her work. “Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Luján” is the first survey of the late artist Gilbert “Magu” Lujá, who, as part of the collective Los Four, helped kickstart the Chicano Arts movement in 1970s Los Angeles.
For “PST: LA/LA,” showcasing Latin American artists throughout Southern California was only beginning. Now, they’re bringing them to the world.
Below are forthcoming dates for “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA” exhibits around the world:
Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell
Originally presented at the Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles
The Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida
March 3 to May 27, 2018
The Schoolhouse and the Bus” (formerly known as “Suzanne Lacy & Pablo Helguera”
Originally presented at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara
The 8th Floor, New York City, New York
Feb. 9 to May 12, 2018
The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility
Originally presented at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles
561 Arts, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jan. 27 to April 14, 2018
Mono-Made: New Expressions in Craft by Latino Artists
Originally presented at Craft in America, Los Angeles
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts
Dec.15, 2018, to Sept. 8, 2019
David Lamelas: A Life of Their Own
Originally presented at the California State University, Long Beach/University Art Museum
Fundación Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 23 to June 11, 2018
The Metropolis in Latin America (1830-1930)
Originally presented at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Americas Society, New York City, New York
March 22 to June 30, 2018
Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas
Originally presented at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Feb. 27 to May 28, 2018
Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985
Originally presented at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Brooklyn Museum, New York City, New York
April 13 to July 22, 2018
Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Brazil
Aug. 18 to Nov. 19, 2018
Painted in Mexico, 1700-1790: Pinxit Mexici
Originally presented at Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York
April 24 to July 22, 2018
Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals Under Siege
Originally presented at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles
California Historical Society, San Francisco, California
April 7 to Sept. 2, 2018
Memories of Underdevelopment
Originally presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museo Júmex, Mexico City, Mexico
March 21 to Sept. 9, 2018
Museo Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru
Nov. 20, 2018, to Feb. 23, 2019
Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago
Originally presented at the Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles
Wallach Gallery of Columbia University, New York City, New York
May 2018 to September 2018
The Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida
October 2018 to December 2018
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine
January 2018 to May 2019
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
June 2018 to September 2019
The Words of Others: León Ferrari and Rhetoric in Times of War
Originally presented at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, Los Angeles
Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida
Feb. 15 to Aug. 12, 2018
Valeska Soares: Any Moment Now
Originally presented at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
March 24 to July 15, 2018
Aztlan to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Luján
Originally presented at the University Art Galleries, University of California, Irvine
Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, California
June 2 to Sept. 29, 2018
Share image (Tlacolulokos, Untitled, 2017) by Faust Nahúm, courtesy of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.