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Asco: Nausea

by on April 17, 2012

 

 

Two weeks ago, the Visual Studies class went to visit Asco, the Elite of the Obscure, a show currently exhibited at the Williams College Museum of Art. The exhibit, named after the strong word for nausea in Spanish,  presents the works of pioneer Chicano artists who started this art movement in Los Angeles from 1972 to 1987. Asco is not the kind of artwork you merely observe with mild interest; it  is a fascinating collection of videos, photographs, paintings, collages, and sculptures that captures the restraint and oppresion that the “tight-knit core group of artists” Harry Gamboa, Jr., Gronk, Willie F. Herrón III, and Patssi Valdez felt in the art world the first few years after they graduated from Garfield High School. Their work not only produced tangible art, but included perfomances, protests, and public art. All of their work melds their unique art and their activism to bring about an understanding of the Chicano existence in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. This exhibit has moved from LACMA (Los Angeles Museum of Art) to the Williams College Art Museum in February, 2012, and will continue to be exhibited until July 29th, 2012.

Detail, Asco, Instant Mural, 1974, color photograph by Harry Gamboa, Jr. Courtesy of the artist © Asco ; photograph © 1974 Harry Gamboa, Jr. x1200

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