No Calm Before Or After This Storm

Holland Cotter, New York Times, November 26, 2022

The is actually is a lot of love in the exhibition titled "no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurrican Maria" at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan. There's also a tremendous amount of anger and sorrow, along with much beauty, in a careful textured and moving show that is amoung the first major surveys of contemporary Puerto Rican art in a leading United States museum in nearly 50 years. 


(The last one I can recall was "The Art Heritage of Puerto Rico: Pre-Columbian to Present" in 1974, a collaboration between the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York's small, budget-challenged El Museo del Barrio, which has been consistently showing work by Puerto Rican artists living on and off the island since it last opened in East Harlem in 1969).

Organized by Marcela Guerreo, a Whitney associate curator, along with Arbelaez and Sofia Silva, present and past museum fellows, the exhibition takes its Spanish-language title from a line in a poem by the Puerto Rican writer Raquel Salas Rivera, which Guerrero translates twice, as "post-hurricane world doesn't exist" and as "there isn't a world post hurricane." In her syntactically slippery second rendering, two ideas interlink.