Meet the Radical Women of the Latin American Contemporary Art Movement Marie Orensanz
Photo: Courtesy of the Hammer Museum, “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985”

Meet the Radical Women of the Latin American Contemporary Art Movement

The Hammer Museum sits nestled in Westwood, California not far from the UCLA campus. It’s a beautiful museum that feels like an oasis once you’re inside. You hardly remember that you’re literally on the corner of Wilshire and Westwood, a very busy intersection.

I was initially excited to view the exhibit “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985” – even the name itself is provocative. This is a large exhibit, and when I say large I mean there are 260 contemporary works from over 100 artists representing 15 different countries. It takes up two gallery spaces and every inch of those spaces is occupied. Much of the art itself is experimental, it includes photography, sculpture, silkscreen, video, painting, constructions and mixed media of varying types and degrees. There are lots of listening and viewing stations including videos that play on a loop. In both galleries there are things that constantly buzz, hum, and make mechanical noises. The noise is what first caught my attention. There are voices of various women chanting “Hail Mary” while eating popsicles with small toy men inside of them. There is a video of Victoria Santa Cruz chanting “me gritaron negra! negra y que!” as it’s repeated by the chorus of women behind her.

Meet the Radical Women of the Latin American Contemporary Art Movement
Photo: Courtesy of the Hammer Museum, “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985”

If I had to describe it in one word it would be: overwhelming. It is something the viewer needs to be ready for and should definitely come with a trigger warning as some of the images are graphic. But that is to be expected of an exhibit that encompasses the history between 1960-1985. Those were crucial years, rife with violence, social, political, sexual repression and turmoil, it also happens to be the key period in the development of contemporary art in Latin America. Radical women during this time period challenged concepts of femininity, gender, beauty, art, power structures, existence and the way they co-exist within the confines of the modern world.

Meet the Radical Women of the Latin American Contemporary Art Movement
Photo: Courtesy of the Hammer Museum, “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985”

I would have to say a majority of the artists were conveying some kind of trauma or fear and all show some preoccupation with the body – bodies being hung, naked bodies, bodies being covered with mud, faces, lips, eyes, vulvas, and bodily functions are all on display. These radical women demanded visibility yet even to this day very little of their work has received scholarly attention – until now.

You’ll find the full list of artists below by Country.

The exhibition is guest curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Andrea Giunta with Marcela Guerrero former curatorial fellow, in collaboration with Connie Butler, chief curator, Hammer Museum.

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is the latest collaborative effort from arts institutions across Southern California.

María Luisa Bemberg (1922–1995)
Delia Cancela (1940)
Graciela Carnevale (1942)
Alicia D’Amico & Sara Facio (1933–2001 & 1932)
Diana Dowek (1942)
Graciela Gutiérrez Marx (1945)
Narcisa Hirsch (1928)
Ana Kamien & Marilú Marini (1935 & 1940)
Lea Lublin (1929–1999)
Liliana Maresca (1951–1994)
Marta Minujín (1941)
Marie Orensanz (1936)
Margarita Paksa (1933)
Liliana Porter (1941)
Dalila Puzzovio (1943)
Marcia Schvartz (1955)
Mara Álvares (1948)
Claudia Andujar (1931)
Martha Araújo (1943)
Vera Chaves Barcellos (1938)
Lygia Clark (1920-1988)
Analívia Cordeiro (1954)
Liliane Dardot (1946)
Lenora de Barros (1953)
Iole de Freitas (1945)
Anna Bella Geiger (1933)
Carmela Gross (1946)
Anna Maria Maiolino (1942)
Marcia X (1959–2005)
Ana Vitoria Mussi (1943)
Lygia Pape (1927–2004)
Letícia Parente (1930–1991)
Wanda Pimentel (1943)
Neide Sá (1940)
Regina Silveira (1939)
Teresinha Soares (1927)
Amelia Toledo (1926)
Celeida Tostes (1929–1995)
Regina Vater (1943)
Gracia Barrios (1927)
Sybil Brintrup & Magali Meneses (1954 & 1950)
Roser Bru (1923)
Gloria Camiruaga (1941–2006)
Luz Donoso (1921–2008)
Diamela Eltit (1949)
Paz Errázuriz (1944)
Virginia Errázuriz (1941)
Catalina Parra (1940)
Lotty Rosenfeld (1943)
Janet Toro (1963)
Eugenia Vargas (1949)
Cecilia Vicuña (1948)
Alicia Barney (1952)
Delfina Bernal (1940)
Feliza Bursztyn (1933–1982)
Maria Teresa Cano (1960)
Beatriz González (1938)
Sonia Gutiérrez (1947)
Karen Lamassonne (1954)
Sandra Llano Mejía (1951)
Clemencia Lucena (1945–1983)
María Evelia Marmolejo (1958)
Sara Modiano (1951–2010)
Rosa Navarro (1955)
Patricia Restrepo (1954)
Nirma Zárate (1936–1999)
Victoria Cabezas (1950)
Antonia Eiriz (1929–1995)
Ana Mendieta (1948–1985)
Marta María Pérez (1959)
Zilia Sánchez (1928)
Margarita Azurdia (1931–1998)
Yolanda Andrade (1950)
Maris Bustamante (1949)
Ximena Cuevas (1963)
Lourdes Grobet (1940)
Silvia Gruner (1959)
Kati Horna (1912–2000)
Graciela Iturbide (1942)
Ana Victoria Jiménez (1941)
Magali Lara (1956)
Mónica Mayer (1954)
Sarah Minter (1953–2016)
Marta Palau (1934)
Polvo de Gallina Negra (1983–1993)
Carla Rippey (1950)
Jesusa Rodríguez (1955)
Pola Weiss (1947–1990)
Sandra Eleta (1942)
Olga Blinder (1921–2008)
Margarita Morselli (1952)
Teresa Burga (1935)
Gloria Gómez Sánchez (1921–2007)
Johanna Hamann (1954)
Victoria Santa Cruz (1922-2014)
Poli Marichal (1955)
Frieda Medín (1954)
Celia Alvarez Muñoz (1937)
Judy Baca (1946)
Barbara Carrasco (1955)
Josely Carvalho (b. Brazil, 1942)
Isabel Castro (1954)
Yolanda López (1942)
María Martínez-Cañas (b. Cuba, 1960)
Sylvia Palacios Whitman (b. Chile, 1941)
Sophie Rivera (1938)
Sylvia Salazar Simpson (1939)
Patssi Valdez (1951)
Nelbia Romero (1938–2015)
Teresa Trujillo (1937)
Mercedes Elena González (1952)
Marisol (1930)
Margot Romer (1938)
Antonieta Sosa (1940)
Tecla Tofano (1927)
Ani Villanueva (1954)
Yeni & Nan (1977–1986)