Modern and Contemporary Art in the Dominican Republic Press Release

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Exhibition Page

September 30, 2014
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Greg Svitil | T: 202.370.0147
[email protected] |

Modern and Contemporary Art in the Dominican Republic: Works from the Customs Office Collection

AMA | Art Museum of the Americas
Organization of American States
201 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

On view Thursday, October 16-Sunday, February 1, 2015
Opening Reception Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 6pm

Washington DC - Modern and Contemporary Art in the Dominican Republic: Works from the Customs Office Collection is an initiative of the Cultural Heritage Foundation of the Directorate General of Customs and the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the Organization of American States (OAS), with the collaboration of the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas, and the Embassy of the Dominican Republic

This scenic view and historic sketch showcases, through 30 artworks, the consistency, quality, and diversity of the Collection of the Directorate General of Customs. The selection of works sets the Customs Office apart as one of the more important creative spaces in the region. These works allow us to reiterate, along with many contemporary art scholars, that the Caribbean is not vernacular, thus continuing to overcome the bias and old myth that the Caribbean and its art are sheerly exotic. Director General of Customs Fernando Fernández notes that “a museum of works by Dominican artists is simply the expression of a few human beings who, like Miguel Cocco, the collection’s creator, wish to leave no doubt that the spirit of the institutional revolution they are pursuing is sound. So, at Customs and by Customs, may there be lasting, meaningful change.”

This exhibition is but the tip of the iceberg of contemporary Dominican art. As Pedro Vergés Ciman, Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the OAS and President of the DGA Cultural Heritage Foundation points out, “our selection is not strictly representative of Dominican art, but rather of the Dominican art residing in the collection of one of our most prestigious institutions. But it still is a representation of our art, since that collection is one of the most important and comprehensive our country has.”

The history of AMA is parallel in conception to that of the Customs Office. Andres Navia, Director of AMA notes that “Dominican artists represented in the exhibition are connected with AMA’s origins for their innovative natures that questioned styles and paradigms, realizing a dynamic and modern national cultural agenda. AMA remains faithful to the principles that drove the life’s work of Cuban art critic José Gómez Sicre, founder of the museum. Moreover, Gómez Sicre institutionalized a program of exhibitions in order to promote young artists with links to a universal aesthetic language and affinities with local realities.” In keeping with AMA’s mission of promoting social change through the arts, this exhibition highlights the transformative quality of the arts for individuals and communities, through the framework of Dominican art history from modernism to the present day. The richness of Dominican art and culture here serve as a lens through which to promote multicultural dialogue.

Participating artists: Jaime Colson, José Ramírez Conde, José García Cordero, Fernando Peña Defilló, Scherezade García, Josep Gausachs, Paul Giudecelli, Eugenio Fernández Granel, Antonio Guadalupe, Clara Ledesma, Domingo Liz, Radhames Mejía, Manuel Montilla, José Rincón Mora, Yoryi Morel, Gilberto Hernández Ortega, Ramón Oviedo, Raquel Paiewonsky, Jorge Pineda, Danilo de los Santos, Darío Suro, Inés Tolentino, Iván Tovar, Fernando Varela, Julio Valdez.