Collections Highlights: Featuring Hispanic/Latinx Artists

Artwork (Nfumbi Mpangui) by Cuban artist José Bedia
José Bedia (Cuban, b. 1959) Nfumbi Mpangui, 2002

Written by Laura Stewart, Collections Manager / Registrar

Discover a few of the works in our collection by Hispanic and Latinx artists

The Miami University Art Museum is pleased to highlight a few works in our collection, in honor of Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15).

José Guadalupe Posada (Mexican, 1852-1913)
El Panteón de las Pelonas (The Graveyard of Bald Women), 1924
Broadside (recto), type-metal engraving on paper
Miami University Art Museum Purchase

José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), was a Mexican illustrator whose career spanned from 1871 until his death. Posada touched on a variety of subjects, including politics, news and current events, religion and obituaries. He is best known for his illustrations of skeletons, or calaveras, which refer to poems accompanied by images of skeletal figures used to critique the social elite and political leaders of the day. Poems acted as satirical commentary dedicated to those still living, while the calaveras represented the notion that everyone is equal in death, regardless of wealth and social status.

David Alfaro Siqueiros (Mexican, 1896-1974)
Nude, 1933
lithograph, 21 3/8” x 12 ¼”
Miami University Purchase

Siqueiros, born José de Jesús Alfaro Siqueiros, was a Mexican social realist artist perhaps best known for his experimental techniques used to create large, public mural paintings. Along with Diego Rivero and José Clemente Orozco, Siqueiros was one of the most famous of the Mexican Muralists. A member of the Communist Party, Siqueiros’s works were often political in nature, including a series of lithographs he created in the 1930s during a stay in Lecumberri Prison. These images were exhibited widely in the United States, where in New York, 1936, Siqueiros held an anti-fascist political art workshop, the Siqueiros Experimental Workshop, attended by Jackson Pollock, among others.

Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1988)
Gala’s Godly Back, 1974
drypoint etching with aquatint, 27″ x 19 1/2″
from the portfolio After 50 Years of Surrealism, Transworld Art Press, S.A. Friborg, Switzerland,
Printed by Ateliers Regal, France, 162/195
Gift of John Y. Taggart

Salvador Dalí is closely identified with Surrealism, a movement that began in the early 1920s that encompasses more than the visual arts. Surrealist artists made art that tapped into the subconscious, used free association, displacement, symbolism and absurd humor to convey thoughts, desires, and dreams. Dalí’s paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and furniture are seen in museums throughout the world. Included in a portfolio created some fifty years after the Surrealist movement began, this print incorporates one of many symbols from Dalí’s earlier works: his wife Gala’s back.

José Bedia (Cuban, b. 1959)
Nfumbi Mpangui, 2002
Two-color lithograph on black Arches Cover
Gift of Rebecca Schnelker

An abstract painter and sculptor, José Bedia (Cuban, b. 1959), often addresses the theme of confrontation between the natural and the synthetic in his art. In addition to being part of a group of Cuban-American artists who migrated to the United States during the 1980s, Bedia spent part of that decade studying the Dakota Sioux culture on the Rosebud Reservation. His works commonly reflect his interest in indigenous art forms as well as refer to Afro-Cuban spirituality. Bedia regularly explores identity and how the self transitions between past, present, and future.