CULTURE & ARTS
10/17/2014 09:41 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Over 800 Living Folk Artists Come Together For Massive Iboamerican Exhibition

Leave it to the Natural History Museum to present an art show poised to put most art-specific museums to shame. This fall, the museum brings together a massive collection of living folk artists from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. And when we say massive, we mean over 800 contemporary artists from 22 countries.

The dazzling exploration in art and history, titled "Grandes Maestros: Great Masters of Iberoamerican Folk Art, Collection of Fomento Cultural Banamex," features everything from colorful masks and miniature sculptures to vibrant textiles and religious figurines -- all used as spiritual or mundane aspects of daily life around the world.

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Óscar Soteno Elías. Artisan Tree of Iberoamerica, 2012

"The show is comprised of hundreds of jaw-droppingly spectacular and gorgeous objects," Dr. Karen Wise, Vice President of Exhibits and Education, explained to The Huffington Post. "These are classified as folk art because they really come out of community traditions and long-term traditions, but they show extraordinary craftsmanship, amazing artistry, lively representations. Sometimes you look at these objects and you feel like someone is telling you a story through the object. There are incredible faces, colors, traditions represented, artists and their expressions. They are presented as objects made by the hundreds of objects presented as the grand masters or grandes maestros of folk art."

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Manuel Jimenez Ramirez. Feline, 2001

The exhibition certainly presents a refreshing break from the art world trends of today. However, although each of the displayed objects is steeped in history, they're all made relatively recently. "The pieces are all contemporary. These are brand new objects made almost all of them in the last decade, by some of the most extraordinary living artisans throughout Latin America. Some are artists who are famous in their countries whose objects cost thousands and thousands of dollars, and others are members of small, indigenous communities who have been laboring making traditional objects and are highlighted in this exhibit."

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Cecilia Vargas. 
Pitalito Express, Eustorgio Inchima and Yorleny’s Wedding, 2007

It's perhaps not surprising that Los Angeles was the chosen locale to debut these remarkable objects. "There are so many ties that we have in Los Angeles to all parts of Latin America. Many of us have heritage ties. Many of us travel to different parts of Latin America. There are people who love to collect Latin American objects and folk art. And as residents of Los Angeles we are always encountering these traditions that are hybrids from all around the world. Also the history of L.A., which began its historic life as a Spanish outpost and so we share history with these countries represented. It's a great opportunity for us to learn about our deep shared roots and make big global connections."

The historic exhibition will run from November 9, 2014 through September 13, 2015 at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. You can purchase tickets here and enjoy a preview of the magical art event below.

  • Manoel Gomes Da Silva "Nuca" 
Lion, 2011
Modeled clay, smoothed, with appliqué and varnished
Tracunhaém, Pernambuco, Brazil
I
    Manoel Gomes Da Silva "Nuca" 
Lion, 2011
Modeled clay, smoothed, with appliqué and varnished
Tracunhaém, Pernambuco, Brazil
Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Medardo de Jesús Suárez
Vueltiao Hat, 2007
Natural and dyed strips of caña flecha, woven in bands and stitched 
Tuchín, Córdo
    Medardo de Jesús Suárez Vueltiao Hat, 2007
Natural and dyed strips of caña flecha, woven in bands and stitched 
Tuchín, Córdoba, Colombia Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Julieta and María Canastuj Prezencin
Huipil (woman's tunic), 2008
Cotton woven in basket weave with satin stitch embroidery
    Julieta and María Canastuj Prezencin
Huipil (woman's tunic), 2008 Cotton woven in basket weave with satin stitch embroidery Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Dora Panduro Silvano
Mucahua (effigy vessel), 2009
Clay thrown on a wheel, modeled, decorated with natural earth tones, varni
    Dora Panduro Silvano Mucahua (effigy vessel), 2009
Clay thrown on a wheel, modeled, decorated with natural earth tones, varnished with pitch Shipibo, Amazonía, Peru. Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Miguel Caraballo García
Mask, 2011
Molded, modeled and polychromed papier-mâché Santo Tomás, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Image Courtes
    Miguel Caraballo García Mask, 2011 Molded, modeled and polychromed papier-mâché Santo Tomás, Ponce, Puerto Rico Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Jorge Caridad
Chess Set, 2011
Carved and polished amber
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 
Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural
    Jorge Caridad
Chess Set, 2011 Carved and polished amber Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Francisco Aguirre Tejeda
Chest on Cabinet, 2000
Carved, assembled and inlaid wood 
Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, Mexico 
Image Cour
    Francisco Aguirre Tejeda Chest on Cabinet, 2000 Carved, assembled and inlaid wood 
Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, Mexico Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda
Jaguar, 2011
Carved and polychromed wood
San Martin Tilcajete, Octolán de Morelos, Oaxaca
Image Courtesy
    Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda Jaguar, 2011 Carved and polychromed wood
San Martin Tilcajete, Octolán de Morelos, Oaxaca Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Mariano San Félix Martin
Damascene Coffer, 2012
Cast steel, rolled, openwork, respoussé, chased, and gilded
Toledo, Toledo, C
    Mariano San Félix Martin Damascene Coffer, 2012 Cast steel, rolled, openwork, respoussé, chased, and gilded Toledo, Toledo, Castile-La Mancha, Spain Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • José Rocabado
Chest, 2011
Silver cast in lost wax technique, rolled, repoussé, chased, soldered, and polished Cochabamba, Coc
    José Rocabado Chest, 2011 Silver cast in lost wax technique, rolled, repoussé, chased, soldered, and polished Cochabamba, Cochabamba, Bolivia Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Manuel Eudócio Rodrigues
Couple Riding an Ox, 2008
Modeled clay, polychromed after firing
Alto do Moura, Caruaru, Pernambuco,
    Manuel Eudócio Rodrigues Couple Riding an Ox, 2008 Modeled clay, polychromed after firing Alto do Moura, Caruaru, Pernambuco, Brazil Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Antônio Rodrigues da Silva
Familia de Retirantes, 2008
Modeled clay with applique and polychromed after firing
Alto do Moura,
    Antônio Rodrigues da Silva Familia de Retirantes, 2008
Modeled clay with applique and polychromed after firing Alto do Moura, Caruaru, Pernambuco, Brazil Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Isabel Mendes da Cunha 
Bride, 2008
Hand shaped and modeled clay, with appliqué, smoothed, with slip and incised
Santana do A
    Isabel Mendes da Cunha 
Bride, 2008 Hand shaped and modeled clay, with appliqué, smoothed, with slip and incised
Santana do Araçuaí, Vale do Jequintinhonha, Ponto dos Volantes, Minas Gerais, Brazil Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
  • Leonardo Linares Vargas
Skull, 2001
Wire and papier-mâché, modeled and polychromed.
Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico 
Im
    Leonardo Linares Vargas
Skull, 2001 Wire and papier-mâché, modeled and polychromed.
Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico Image Courtesy of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.

Outside the Lines" is an ongoing series addressing the prickly genre sometimes referred to as outsider art.

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