Three Shows Celebrate Chicago's Latine Art Heritage

Lori Waxman, Hyperallergic, September 17, 2023

That tension suffuses the MCA’s entre horizontes: Art and Activism Between Chicago and Puerto Rico. The show arranges 20 large paintings, installations, videos, and sculptures by Puerto Rican artists with Chicago connections, most of whom came here to study art, around a central display of ephemera and street photography documenting Puerto Rican Chicago, from the founding of the Young Lords in the 1960s to the Division Street and Humboldt Park rebellions and the eventual establishment of the Paseo Boricua neighborhood. That context sits uneasily alongside much of the included art, with the exception of a few cryptically cool pieces by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Ramón Miranda Beltrán, and Edra Soto. The real stars of entre horizontes are big, lush paintings invoking no particular politics but using a variety of techniques borrowed from printmaking: Ángel Otero’s and Arnaldo Roche Rabell’s messy kitchen tables, with collaged fabrics and impressed textures; José Lerma’s breathtakingly confident profile of a woman, brushed in inch-thick acrylics with a commercial broom; Nora Maité Nieves’s “Magnetic Field” — two pairs of iridescent geometric patterned canvases, the smaller ones used to print the larger. 


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