In Brown Brilliance Darkness Matter, Maria Gaspar explores the National Museum of Mexican Art’s Permanent Collection in dialogue with ephemera from her own personal surroundings. By reproducing and manipulating artifactual materials from history to promotional mementos and images, Gaspar attempts to reimagine new and complex realities for a contemporary cultural identity. The exhibition brings into question the role of static historical narratives and examines how these materials play a role in the way we see ourselves and form our understanding of history and collective memory.
This exhibition is curated by Emanuel Aguilar.
Maria Gaspar is an artist born in Chicago. Using installation, sculpture, performance, audio, and community-engagement processes, her artistic practice negotiates matters of space, contested geographies, and authority. Her action-based and performative interventions with youth and adults explore the social and political body through long-term processes. Gaspar’s art practice includes founding major community-based art projects, such as City As Site (2010) and The 96 Acres Project, a current series of public, site-responsive art projects that examine the Cook County Jail and the impact of incarceration on communities of color. She has presented her work at The MCA Chicago, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, the Alpineum Produzentengalerie, and Artspace New Haven, amongst others. Recently, Gaspar was awarded a Creative Capital Award, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the National Museum of Mexican Art Sor Juana Women of Achievement Award, and residencies at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago and Project Row Houses in Houston. She was featured in the Chicago Tribune as Chicagoan of the Year in the Visual Arts in 2014. She is an Assistant Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gaspar received her MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
Exhibition runs March 25 – July 31, 2016.