The Most Exciting Latino Art & Culture Exhibitions Happening in the First Half of 2019

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
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In 2018, mammoth art institutions seemed to finally pay heed to the demands of Latinx and Latin Americans for greater representation in the art world. In August, the Whitney Museum presented its first exhibit of emerging Latinx artists, organized by the museum’s first Latinx and Puerto Rican curator. Then, in December, following a report that denounced a lack of diversity at the Smithsonian Institute, the museum announced plans to open a gallery focused on Latinx culture in 2021.

These initiatives – hiring Latinx staff and establishing inclusive gallery spaces – suggest a long-term commitment to advance Latinx and Latin American art well into the future. This is why we’re hopeful that 2019 will build on 2018, which was a big year for Latinx and Latin American art.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of highly anticipated art exhibits in museums and galleries across the country that honor the work of emerging and establish Latinx and Latin American artists.


Estampas Chicanas (San Antonio, Texas)

Where: McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave.
When: January 17 to May 5, 2019
Cost: $20 for general admission

This exhibition explores the art of Judy Baca, Patssi Valdez, Barbara Carrasco, Ester Hernandez, Alma Lopez, and other Chicana artists who fought to have a voice in the early Mexican-American art movements. Many of these artists, who started in the midst of the social unrest of the Chicano movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s, incorporate elements of political resistance and feminism as well as scenes of everyday life for Chicanas.

Learn more here.


Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico (Boston, Massachusetts)

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Ave.
When: January 19 to May 12, 2019
Cost: $25 for general admission

While the acclaimed photographer found inspiration for her artistry in people and places around the world, her most iconic images remain the ones she captured in her native Mexico. The exhibit, considered the first major presentation of Iturbide’s work on the East Coast, will feature 125 photographs from the artist’s personal collection that span five decades of her career. These images present Iturbide’s personal vision of Mexico, a country rich in diversity and cultural heritage thanks to its indigenous communities. The exhibition will feature her work on Zapotec women, the Seri people of the Sonoran Desert, the rituals of the Mixteca, and her most recent work on the environment.

Learn more here.


Lucio Fontana: On The Threshold (Manhattan, New York)

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave.
When: January 23 to April 14, 2019
Cost: Pay as you wish for New York residents; $25 suggested

The Italian-Argentine Lucio Fontana is known as a pioneer of abstract art in 20th century Latin America. Fontana tested his theory of spatiality, elaborated in the White Manifesto of 1946, with his Cut series of stabbed and slashed canvases. Fontana proposed another outlook at artwork that elevated the “gesture” or performance of art over the material. He continued to champion his theory throughout his subsequent works until his death in 1968. This retrospective is the first major survey in the United States of Fontana’s oeuvre in 40 years and will include his acclaimed Cut series, alongside his sculptures, ceramics, and environmental art.

Learn more here.


Raúl de Nieves: Fina (Cleveland, Ohio)

Where: Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 E. Blvd.
When: February 2 to April 27, 2019
Cost: Free

In the last six years, Michoacán-born artist Raúl de Nieves has quickly become a darling of the art and fashion world after his collaboration with Karl Lagerfield in 2013 and his standout exhibition at the Whitney Biennel last year. Fina, de Nieves’ upcoming exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art, will be the artist’s first solo museum exhibition and will debut site-specific installation for the Transformation Station gallery. His artwork takes inspiration from de Nieves’ early years in Morelia, Mexico, where he learned to sew from his mother and watched Indigenous Huichols transform beads into art. Similarly, de Nieves breathes life into everyday objects — beads, paper, tape, even broken shoes — to create fantastic sculptures, murals, and stained glass.

Learn more here.


Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving (Brooklyn, New York)

Where: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway
When: February 8 to May 12, 2019
Cost: $20 on Monday and Tuesday, $25 on Wednesday through Sunday

The name and image of Frida Kahlo is ubiquitous: She appears on T-shirts, nail polishes, cigarette cases, and alcoholic beverages in countries around the world. Still, what do we know about the iconic Mexican artist and does her commercialized image reflect the values she lived by? These are the questions that the upcoming exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum asks and strives to answer. The largest US exhibit of Kahlo in the last decade presents the artist’s most important paintings and drawings as well as personal items that until 2004 remained secretly stored in the Kahlo’s Mexico City home. These belongings offer insight into Kahlo, the person: Tehuana clothing and pre-colonial jewelry that displayed her pride in her Indigenous roots and a plaster corset used after her tragic accident that Kahlo transformed into art.

Learn more here.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post misstated the cost of admission.


Soy Isla (I Am an Island) (Washington, DC)

Where: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21St. N.W.
When: February 16 to May 19, 2019
Cost: $12

Soy Isla, the title of Cuban artist Zilia Sánchez’s first museum retrospective in the US, describes oscillating feelings of isolation and connection with dominant art movements that serve as an undercurrent throughout Sánchez’s work. While the Havana-born artist may have spent her early years in Cuba, her artistic journey took her to Europe, New York City, and most recently, Puerto Rico, drawing inspiration from the art movements that defined each region.The exhibit features more than 60 paintings, works on paper, shaped canvases, sculptures, and other pieces that span almost seven decades of the 90-year-old artist’s career.

Learn more here.


Super/Natural: Textiles of the Andes (Chicago, Illinois)

Where: Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave.
When: February 23 to June 23, 2019
Cost: $25 for general admission

Prior to the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire in the 16th century, Indigenous peoples and civilizations flourished alongside the Andes mountains and the Pacific coastlines. Two of these Indigenous peoples are the Paracas and Nazca, who may have lived in different regions and time periods, but who created similarly designed textiles. These woven fabrics, commonly used in burials and as garments, are the focus of this new exhibit that highlights the supernatural motifs and brights colors used in textiles of the Paracas and Nazca people. The exhibit will feature 60 textiles alongside a small selection of ceramics from the permanent collection.

Learn more here.


Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas (Queens, New York)

Where: Queens Museum, New York City Building, Corona
When: April 7 to August 18 2019
Cost: $8 for general admission

Science fiction is usually a tool to make social critiques, and Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas. In this upcoming exhibit, more than 25 individual artists and collectives with roots in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, El Salvador, and other Latin American countries and regions, comment on the legacies of colonialism in the hemisphere through various artistic expressions, such as screenprint, textiles, and installation. These body of work will be presented in five sections, inspired by literary devices commonly used in the genre: Time Travel, Alternate Americas, Indigenous Futurisms, Reimagining the Americas, and Alien Skins.

Learn more here.