DOMESTICANX

October 27, 2022 – March 26, 2023

Curated by Susanna V. Temkin, El Museo Curator 

DOMESTICANX brings together seven intergenerational artists whose practices address the private sphere through works related to healing, spirituality, decoration, and the home. The show is inspired by the concept of “domesticana,” first theorized by artist, scholar, and critic Amalia Mesa-Bains in the 1990s. Proposed as a Chicana feminist response to the male-dominated “rasquachismo,” domesticana shifts the defiant and expressive inventiveness of rasquache culture to the specific experience of working-class women. Drawing from Mesa-Bains’s own acknowledgement that all “terminologies must remain porous, sensibilities never completely named, and categories shattered,” DOMESTICANX expands the artists’s original Chicana and feminist theory through the sense of contemporary Latinx intersectionality.

The show encompasses paintings, textiles, ceramics, and installation – including a reconceived artwork by Mesa-Bains, first presented at El Museo del Barrio in 1995 – and features works by veteran artists Mesa-Bains, Nitza Tufiño and Maria Brito, alongside the first museum presentations by emerging artists Amarise Carreras, Cielo Félix-Hernández, Joel Gaitan, and Misla. Representing different backgrounds, genders, and generations, the seven artists presented in DOMESTICANX reflect sustained and continuing responses to Mesa-Bains’ exhortation to “undo the wounds of patriarchy and colonization.”

DOMESTICANX is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as well as with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

WORKS ON VIEW

CIELO FÉLIX-HERNÁNDEZ

Agua d Jamaica, Bendiciones del Piso q Camino, 2021. Oil on canvas, satin dyed in agua de Jámaica. 74 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist and Sargent’s Daughters

JOEL GAITAN

Cantos de protección, 2022. Terracotta and gold. Courtesy of the artist.

AMALIA MESA-BAINS

Sleeping Nun, 1997. Giclee print from Venus Envy Ch III: Cihuatlampa, the Place of the Giant Women. 36 x 29 in. Courtesy of the artist.

NITZA TUFIÑO

Homenaje Tenderete #5, c. 1979-80 (detail). Collection of El Museo del Barrio, New York

MARIA BRITO

Come Play With Us: Childhood Memories, 1985. Mixed media. 80 x 48 x 53 in. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; gift of Beatriz Karasik

AMARISE CARRERAS

Her winds and tides bring future homes, 2022. Digital photography. 40 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist.

MISLA

El comedor, 2019. Mixed media. 70 x 96 in. Courtesy of the artist