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Figure and Form: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection
On View: December 22, 2015 – December 4, 2016

This exhibition features a selection of recent acquisitions to El Museo’s permanent collection. It includes our most recent gift, a large painting by David Antonio Cruz, Puerto Rican Pieta, a portrait of the artist and his mother. This gift was made possible by a purchase grant from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation. It is accompanied by another large-scale self-portrait by Alessandra Expósito, a gift of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, and a set of body cast sculptures by artist Rigoberto Torres (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, 1960) generously donated by artist and East Harlem resident John Ahearn. Works of photography, prints, sculpture, and ceramics accompany paintings in this multi-media exhibition that highlights the iconic presence of the human form in various ways. Quiet moments of (self) reflection are seen as are individual statements about the possibilities of a particular material, such as wood, ceramics, or the photograph. The artist is often present, as in a series of photographs by Ernesto Pujol (Cuba, 1957). Art stars from the last century such as Julio Alpuy (Uruguay, 1919-New York, 2009), the ceramicist Louis Mendez (New York, 1929-2012) and Nemesio Antunez (Chile, 1918-1993) are shown alongside younger artists such as Cruz (Philadelphia, 1974), Expósito (Buffalo, New York, 1967) and William Villalongo (Hollywood, Florida, 1975). The exhibition highlights the importance and generosity of collectors, artists, foundations and other institutions in the growth and development of El Museo’s collection.

Artists included in Figure and Form: Julio Alpuy, David Antonio Cruz, Nemesio Antúnez, caraballo-farman (Abou Farman and Leonor Caraballo), Luis Cruz Azaceta, Alessandra Expósito, Caio Fonseca, Louis Méndez, Ernesto Pujol, Nick Quijano, Chuck Ramírez, Analia Segal, Francisco Toledo, Rigoberto Torres, and William Villalongo.

Detail of David Antonio Cruz, Puerto Rican Pieta, 2006, oil on canvas, 70 x 70 in., Collection of El Museo del Barrio, New York, Museum purchase through a gift from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation [acc.# 2015.7] Image courtesy of the artist Artwork: © David Antonio Cruz Image: © David Antonio Cruz.