Art Exhibition—“Chicago Works: Omar Velázquez”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] The Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago presents “Chicago Works: Omar Velázquez.” This is the first solo museum exhibition for artist and musician Omar Velázquez (Puerto Rico, 1984). Presented alongside Velázquez’s work are two sculptures made by two fellow Puerto Rican artists and musicians Rafael Ferrer and Carmelo Martell Luciano. Exhibition organized by curator Carla Acevedo-Yates and curatorial assistant Iris Colburn. MCA Chicago is located at 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Description: In his first solo museum exhibition, artist and musician Omar Velázquez (Puerto Rican, b. 1984) presents recent paintings and sculptures that address the intersection of painting, music, and folklore.

In a series of large-scale paintings, Velázquez—who lives between Ponce, Puerto Rico and Chicago—explores the lush, tropical landscape through vibrant colors and thick oil paint smears, known as impasto, creating surreal scenes from memories, dreams, and his daily walks and drives through the Puerto Rican countryside. In Velázquez’s paintings, the landscape and its creatures are mystical entities that reveal the dark legacies of colonialism and the experience of the Puerto Rican diaspora.

The exhibition also features string instruments, carved by Velázquez, in the shape of tropical fruits. These instruments accompany small-scale paintings of Jíbaro music album covers, a popular style of string music from the mountainous regions of Puerto Rico. Presented alongside Velázquez’s work are two sculptures made by fellow artists and musicians Rafael Ferrer (Puerto Rican, b. 1933) and Carmelo Martell Luciano (Puerto Rican, 1907–1990), tracing a genealogy of Puerto Rican artists who share Velázquez’s interest in shape, color, and sound.

Chicago Works: Omar Velázquez is organized by Carla Acevedo-Yates, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, with Iris Colburn, Curatorial Assistant. It is presented in the Sternberg and Rabin galleries on the museum’s third floor.

For original post, see https://mcachicago.org/Exhibitions/2020/Chicago-Works-Omar-Velazquez

For more about the artist, visit https://www.instagram.com/omarsinh and https://www.mapr.org/en/museum/proa/artist/velazquez-omar

[Shown above: Omar Velázquez’s “Yocahú Bibí,” 2020. Oil and acrylic on canvas; 72 × 84 in
Courtesy of the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Photo: Julio Lugo Rivas.]

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