Mar 10, 2023
Corpus Christi is First Stop of Nationally Touring “Collidoscope”
Art Museum of South Texas Hosts Exhibition Featuring Works by de la Torre Brothers on View April 21, 2023
This exhibition was Organized by The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of Riverside Art Museum (“The Cheech”) and Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino, this exhibition received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian
Corpus Christi, Texas (March 1, 2023)—Collidoscope: de la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective makes the first stop on its national tour at the Art Museum of South Texas, which opens Friday April 21, 2023, witha special Member’s Preview, Thursday, April 20, 2023, and will remain on view through September 30, 2023. Organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of Riverside Art Museum, the exhibition features art by the internationally acclaimed artist duo (and brothers) Einar and Jamex de la Torre. The 40 mixed-media works include blown-glass sculptures and installation art, plus some of the artists’ latest lenticulars with imagery that changes as the viewer moves from side to side.
The de la Torre brothers will be in the Coastal Bend for the exhibition’s opening on Thursday, April 20 at the Art Museum of South Texas. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear the artists speak about the exhibition and their creative process. Representatives from the Smithsonian will also be in attendance.
Collidoscope first premiered at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, affectionately known as The Cheech, during its grand opening in Riverside, California on June 18, 2022. AMST director, Sara Sells Morgan and curator of exhibitions, Deborah Fullerton were in attendance. After Collidoscope closed at The Cheech, it was staged and scheduled for its national tour, managed by Corpus Christi native, Melissa Richardson Banks through her firm CauseConnect. Banks coordinated the Art Museum of South Texas as the first stop.
“When Melissa contacted us about the exhibition, we didn’t hesitate. AMST has a longstanding relationship with Cheech Marin,” Morgan states. “Melissa has worked with Cheech on other exhibitions that we’ve hosted in the past, which have always resonated with our visitors. We expect Collidoscope to be no different. The de la Torre work poignantly explores the collision of culture, medium, and boundaries and does so with boundless substance and humor combined with exemplary craftmanship.”
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, and now living both in San Diego and Baja California, Einar and Jamex de la Torre have navigated life on both sides of the border since their youth and have inherited their own unique vision of the Latinx experience and American culture. Their work is visually complex and infused with humorous elements exploring art, history, and material culture. Working with glass, resin, lenticular prints and found objects, the brothers create work inspired by Mexican folk art, popular culture, religious imagery, consumer culture, and mythology. Many elements of the exhibition, including the title and curatorial framework, try to echo the creative process of the artists, serving as an allegory of their intellectual pursuits, their technical use of materials and media, and their use of wordplay and poetic riddles.
Einar said he and Jamex don’t exactly consider themselves glass artists, but treat glass as one component in their three-dimensional collages. The result, he said, speaks volumes about the Latino experience in America.
“The complexities of the immigrant experience and contradicting bicultural identities, as well as our current life and practice on both sides of the border, really propel our narrative and aesthetics,” Einar said.
The Art Museum of South Texas understands the experience of being bicultural. Nowhere is our blend of cultures more present than in the architecture of the Art Museum itself. Originally designed by Ohio-born architect Philip Johnson in 1972, the Art Museum of South Texas has stood as a landmark on the edge of Corpus Christi Bay. The three-level facility constructed of poured white concrete and shell aggregate blends beautifully with its environment. The windows give way to sweeping views of the bay creating living art. In 2006, an expansion lead by Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta added to the Art Museum’s beauty and functionality by doubling the size of the space, creating the distinctive 13 roof-top pyramids as well as creating a stunning use of color and light in homage to Johnson’s original work, and Legorreta’s Mexican roots. A beautiful marriage of their unique perspectives, the two buildings come together as one incredible masterpiece proudly representing cultures from the United States and Mexico.
Purchased with funds from the Windgate Foundation for the Art Museum of South Texas Permanent Collection, The Art Museum of South Texas acquired Mitosis by Einar and Jamex de la Torre. “The art museum has a growing collection that includes craft,” Fullerton explains. “The work titled Mitosis, fit not only in the area of contemporary craft, but very fittingly it depicts art of this time; and in the case of these collaborating brothers, reflects their bi-cultural identities.”
KEY EVENTS & DATES at AMST
Thursday, April 20 – EXHIBITION OPENING at AMST
5:30 PM – Member’s Preview at Art Museum of South Texas
Friday, April 21 – LUNCH AMONGST THE MASTERS WITH THE ARTISTS
12:00 PM – Lunch at Art Museum of South Texas
1:00 PM – Einar and Jamex de la Torre
Saturday, April 22 – GALLERY TOURS WITH THE ARTISTS
10:00 AM and 1:00 PM – Walk-and-talk tour at Art Museum of South Texas with Einar and Jamex de la Torre. Space is limited. Free for members, $10 (plus the price of admission) for non-members.
Sunday, Family Day, April 23 – SMITHSONIAN DAY at AMST
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM – Local artists will be highlighted and the ¡Descubra! family program created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum for the American Latino will be presented to museum attendees.
ABOUT THE DE LA TORRE BROTHERS: Collaborating artists and brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre were born in Guadalajara, México (1963 and 1960, respectively) where they grew up until their family moved to California in 1972. They both studied at California State University at Long Beach and taught at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Currently, the brothers live and work on both sides of the border (Ensenada, Baja California, México and San Diego, California). Since the mid-1990s, the brothers have collaborated in earnest and worked together to develop their signature style of mixed-media work with blown-glass sculpture and lenticular printing. Their pieces represent a multifaceted view of life that reflects a complex and humorous aesthetic that could be seen as baroque. Influences range from religious iconography to German expressionism while also paying homage to Mexican vernacular arts and pre-Columbian art. To date they have had 18 solo museum exhibitions in six different countries, completed eight major public art projects and have participated in four biennales. Their work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Cheech Marin Collection and they are recipients of the USA Fellowship Award, the San Diego Art Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, among other honors. The de la Torre brothers are represented by Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, visit www.delatorrebrothers.art.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN LATINO: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino advances the representation, understanding and appreciation of Latino history and culture in the United States. The museum provides resources and collaborates with other museums to expand scholarly research, public programs, digital content, collections and more. The museum operates its Molina Family Latino Gallery, the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience, at the National Museum of American History. The legislation creating the National Museum of the American Latino at the Smithsonian passed Dec. 27, 2020. Connect with the museum at latino.si.edu, and follow @USLatinoMuseum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
ABOUT RAM AND THE CHEECH MARIN CENTER FOR CHICANO ART & CULTURE: RAM is one museum with two locations: the Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, which opened June 18, 2022, in downtown Riverside, the “City of Arts & Innovation.” RAM integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing high quality exhibitions and art education programs that instill a lifelong love of the arts. RAM’s desire to further engage and serve the community was the impetus to create The Cheech, a public-private partnership between RAM, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin—one of the world’s foremost collectors of Chicano art. Marin’s gift of approximately 500 works by Chicana/o/x artists—including the likes of Carlos Almaraz, Judithe Hernández, Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Sandy Rodriguez, Frank Romero, and Patssi Valdez—to RAM’s permanent collection makes the collection a repository for one of the largest holdings of Chicana/o/x art by a non-ethnic specific contemporary art museum. The Cheech is dedicated to showcasing Chicana/o/x art and honoring and exploring its continued social, cultural, and political impact through a comprehensive exhibitions program of the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions organized at the center, as well as nationally touring exhibitions that align with the center’s vision. The Cheech intends to work collaboratively with community partners to present thought-provoking educational programming that explores the complexity of Chicana/o/x culture not only through the visual arts, but in both music and film as well, recognizing that this art is evolving and expanding its definitions and parameters in response to current social conditions and in conversation with global artistic movements. For information about The Cheech, visit www.thecheechcenter.org. Find The Cheech on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thecheechcenter), Twitter (@thecheechcenter), and Instagram (@thecheechcenter).
ABOUT THE ART MUSEUM OF SOUTH TEXAS: The Mission of the South Texas Institute for the Arts (the Institute), doing business as the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST), is to operate educational facilities and an art museum which advance the awareness, knowledge, appreciation, and enjoyment of the visual arts for residents and visitors of South Texas. To meet its educational mission, the Institute presents a variety of programs, including classes, lectures, films, performances, and other activities that inspire community interest in the visual arts. These programs at the Art Museum of South Texas, the Antonio E. Garcia Arts and Education Center, and other outreach venues serve the Institute’s mission. In operating an art museum, the Institute actively collects, conserves, exhibits, researches and interprets outstanding works of visual art with interest in art of the Americas and of the region. Website • Instagram @artmuseumofsouthtexas • Facebook @artmuseumofsouthtexas • Twitter @visitamst • YouTube
This exhibition is supported in part by
Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA),
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA),
City of Corpus Christi.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
American Alliance of Museums
Museums for All