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High Presents Major Latin American and Latino Art Exhibition

ATLANTA, February 8, 2008 – The High Museum of Art presents “TRANSactions: Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art,” showcasing the work of a large and diverse group of Latin American and Latino artists. The exhibition highlights how these artists, despite their differences, have commonly explored the question of identity through their own cultures and life experiences. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (MCASD), “TRANSactions” will be on view at the High from February 9 through May 4, 2008.

“The artists included in TRANSactions address issues and themes of concern to all of us, offering visitors insight into important new work being created by influential contemporary artists,” said Jeffrey Grove, Wieland Family Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art. “This exhibition is important and timely, as Atlanta hosts one of the country’s fastest-growing Latino populations, offering further resonance for the community.”

“TRANSactions” highlights artists whose work crosses all media and disciplines, including significant examples by Francis Alÿs, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Enrique Chagoya, Iran do Espírito Santo, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Alfredo Jaar, Gabriel Kuri, Ana Mendieta, Vik Muniz, Gabriel Orozco, Victor Payan, Rubèn Ortiz Torres, Marcos Ramirez (ERRE) and Perry Vasquez.

Mexican video artist Gustavo Artigas studies identity and social interaction in a literal way in his 2000 DVD work “The Rules of the Game.” The video depicts two American basketball teams and two Mexican soccer teams playing their games simultaneously on a handball court in the border town of Tijuana. In some cases, identity is explored through nostalgia and traditional images. For María Fernando Cardoso, memory and individual perception play large roles in her installation “Cemetery—Vertical Garden,” based largely on the Cementario Central in her native Bogotá.

In Alfredo Jaar’s multimedia work “Six Seconds,” Jaar explores the creation of a cultural identity amidst the violence and genocide in Rwanda during the late 20th century, of which Jaar has said, “the disjunction was enormous and the tragedy unrepresentable.” Jaar’s work pulls influences from around the world and has been exhibited on six continents.

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle’s “Paternity Test” studies identity as a bridge between humanity and science. “Paternity Test” offers DNA mapping images from board members at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, that were repurposed to form an abstracted, visually stunning piece that represents scientific identity as art.

Many artists reconstruct common objects or cultural icons to question predetermined identities. For example, Vasquez and Payan modify American symbols to satirize border politics in their “Keep on Crossin’,” an installation that borrows from R. Crumb’s iconic “Keep on Truckin’.” In “Untitled (Superama),” Gabriel Kuri elevates the ephemeral to the monumental by re-creating a Wal-Mart receipt as a traditional Mexican tapestry, ultimately commenting on culture and consumerism.

Exhibition Organization and Catalogue
“TRANSactions: Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art” is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (MCASD), where it was on view from September 17, 2006, through May 13, 2007. The exhibition is made possible by the generous contributions of MCASD’s International Collectors, the City of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture, and The James Irvine Foundation. “TRANSactions” will be on view at the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, from October 6 through December 30, 2007, before arriving at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, from February 9 through May 4, 2008. It will travel to the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where it will be on view from June 22 through September 21, 2008.

The exhibition is accompanied by wall texts in English and Spanish and a bilingual exhibition catalogue.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (MCASD), is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance and lectures. For more information about the MCASD, please visit www.mcasd.org.

High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s Media Arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.High.org.

The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is the largest arts center in the Southeast as well as one of the four largest in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines five visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse.

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DIGITAL IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Image Credit: Salomón Huerta, Untitled Figure, 2000. Oil on canvas on panel, 68 x 48 inches, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Photo by Pablo Mason.