Is Latino art an integral part of modern American art?
Presenting over one hundred major artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Our America seeks to "recalibrate" enduring concepts about American national culture by exploring how one group of artists - those of Latin American descent and heritage - express their relationship to American art, history, and culture. Ramos addresses the whole issue of the definition of "Latino art" and how this emerged within the context of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as American artists of Latino descent began to give a tangible face to their culture and history. Highlights include an installation altar by Amalia Mesa-Bains, the "recycled" films of Raphael Montanez Ortiz, and a 1960 geometric painting by Carmen Herrera.
Other notable artists include Olga Albizu, Melesio "Mel" Casas, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Margarita Cabrera, Enrique Chagoya, Teresita Fernandez, Ken Gonzales-Day, Luis Jimenez, Ana Mendieta, Pepon Osorio, Sophie Rivera, Freddy Rodriguez, and John M.
Valadez, among many others. Contents: Foreword by Elizabeth Broun, Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Introduction - Primeros Pasos: First Steps Toward an Operative Construct of Latino Art by Tomas Ybarra-Frausto; What is Latino About American Art? by E. Carmen Ramos; Commentaries on the artworks by E. Carmen Ramos, with Jennifer L. Bauman, Florencia Bazzano-Nelson, and Virginia M. Mecklenburg.