Wayne Hilton's Hermosos Huesos
September 18, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Dede Rogers Special Events Gallery
Area artist Wayne Hilton has now devoted several years to the conception and realization of his vibrant series of calavera catrina figures, entitled Hermosos Huesos, many of them inspired by the prints of the late nineteenth-century Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, whose imagery was key to the initial popularization of the calavera figure in Mexico. One of the works in the present exhibition, The Bride, debuted at EPMA in fall 2013 for that year’s Día de Los Muertos celebrations. Now she joins her sisters in an exhibition featuring thirteen works of the now completed series. Using primarily found objects and recycled materials, Hilton intends through the variety of elements he incorporates in his Hermosos Huesos to evoke curiosity and familiarity for viewers. Three years and over five thousand hours of intricate detailing have been devoted to these sculptural, mixed-media works, representing a commitment to both artistic expression and execution. The central figure in each work is inspired by La Calavera Catrina, Posada’s most recognized illustration portraying the elegant female skeleton. Embracing themes of political satire, religion, sensationalized news, cultural mores, and sexuality, Hilton’s Hermosos Huesos draw on the narratives Posada himself expressed in his more than twenty thousand illustrations. Individually and collectively, the pieces in this series are intended to surprise, delight, intrigue, and question our concept of the afterlife.
Intimate Figures: French and American Prints from the Goodman Gift
Through October 16, 2016
Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery
Mary Cassatt (American 1844–1926)
Looking into the Hand Mirror, No. 2, about 1905
Drypoint on paper, 8” x 5 1/2”
Gift of Gertrude A. Goodman
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art
Gertrude Amelia “Sugar” Goodman, community and philanthropic leader of El Paso, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2016. Born and living until her death on Cincinnati Street, she returned to El Paso after graduating in social work from Mills College in California. One of her first important services to her native city was the establishment of an El Paso Chapter of the Texas Social Welfare Association. Goodman’s generous community spirit earned her many honors including being named in 1977 the First Lady of El Paso by Beta Sigma Phi and Woman of the Year by the El Paso Women’s Political Caucus. More particularly, Goodman was an avid art collector and philanthropist; she promoted and befriended many local artists, served as Vice-President of the first Board of Directors of the El Paso Museum of Art Association, and also began the Association’s Members Guild to support the purchase of EPMA acquisitions.
One of Goodman’s last acts of generosity to this community was to donate almost 200 artworks from her private collection to the El Paso Museum of Art in late 2014. Reflecting Goodman’s own eclectic taste and including some pieces collected by family members, her gift includes regional, international, historical, and contemporary art, and supports the Museum’s collection strengths in American, European, and Mexican art.
Celebrating “Sugar” Goodman’s art, life, and spirit, the exhibition Intimate Figures: French and American Prints from the Goodman Gift highlights just a portion of her recent donation, and presents some masters not previously represented in our collections, such as the American Mary Cassatt and the Frenchman Henri Matisse. Dating from the nineteenth to the twentieth century and portraying idyllic and everyday figures at labor or rest, the varied prints in the exhibition include works by French Impressionists (Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and Jean-Louis Forain), American social realists (Barbara Latham, Marion Greenwood, John Sloan, and Fritz Eichenberg), and other artists less easily defined, such as the classically-grounded French modernist Aristide Maillol or the American “magic realist” Ivan Albright.
Female Saints and Heroes
Through November 6, 2016
Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery
Anonymous (Mexican, 19th century)
Saint Hedwig, early 19th century
Oil on tin, 13 ¾” x 10”
Gift of Dr. Steven McKnight in honor of Frank and Sara McKnight
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art
The upcoming retablo exhibition focuses on an uncommon retablo subject, the representation of female saints. The El Paso Museum of Art has become the second largest repository of 19th-century Mexican retablos in the United States, with a collection of 900. Out of the entire retablo collection only 5% showcase female saints as the main subject. Though the subject matter is considered hard to find in retablo art, it is an important theme present in the Museum’s collection. Female Saints and Heroes celebrates the piety, wisdom, and physical suffering of female saints and also highlights their influence on the lives of 19th-century Mexican women.
The existing EPMA retablo collection has come from a variety of sources, but most importantly thanks to gifts from the following major patrons: Nancy Hamilton, Dorrance and Olga Roderick, Frank and Sara McKnight, as well as the McKnight couple’s children, Dr. Steven McKnight, Elizabeth McKnight Manning, and Nancy McKnight Howell. This retablo exhibition celebrating an uncommon category of retablo art represents a continuation of this generosity within one of the most important realms of our institution’s collection and collecting mission.
Modern Stone Totems
Through December 2016
Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery
Modern Stone Totems is a new exhibition of abstract yet figuratively suggestive sculptures installed in early December in the recently named Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery. Variously composed of different types of granite, limestone, marble, and onyx, and dating from 1971 to 1990, the four totem-like modernist stone sculptures entered the EPMA collection as gifts or purchases from 1971 to 2011. The unique surfaces and forms of each piece invite individual study, while their installation together in the space of the Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery proposes a dialogue between the works’ muted colors and between their evocative silhouettes.