Posted: January 10, 2000
A contributor to the "visual renaissance" in Mexico during the 1980s and a sculptor are paired in the third show of the season in Denison University's Burke Art Gallery.
Nahum B. Zenil, a Mexican artist, and Michael Omichi Quintero, assistant professor of sculpture at Denison, will exhibit starting on Friday (Jan. 19). The show runs through Feb. 23 with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 26) in the Gallery. The Zenil exhibit is co-sponsored by the modern languages department.
Zenil has exhibited his works throughout Mexico and the United States over a period of almost 30 years. Zenil creates art that overflows with the influences of Mexican folk art, Catholic iconography and nostalgic scenes of childhood and memory.
Zenil places his candid self-portraits in his prints within the contexts of family, protest, everyday life and religiosity to signify his attempts to find place as a gay man and as an artist in contemporary Mexican society. Although most of his prints do not explicitly address gay rights, Zenil's works all contain fundamental messages of tolerance and acceptance of difference, says Gallery Director Merijn van der Heijden. The messages are expressed through the face of the artist whose powerful gaze compels the viewer to act, she says.
Quintero's show, "Poetry in Notion," incorporates sculpture, drawings and painting to create an animistic visual experience for the viewer that blends natural and artificial elements. Quintero uses and manipulates visual elements inspired by nature to engage the viewer with questions of social consciousness and ecological sensitivity. Incorporating poetry into the exhibit, Quintero hopes to guide the viewer through a unique aesthetic and spiritual experience.
After having attended Bee County College (Texas), Quintero earned his bachelor of fine arts degree at Corpus Christi State University and his master of fine arts degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His previous teaching experience includes positions at Texas Lutheran University, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame. Last year he exhibited at the IntoBalance International Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition and the "It's Sculpture!" public art project in Washington D.C. He has also been represented at the Pier Walk '99 outdoor sculpture exhibition at Chicago's Navy Pier and has a wood sculpture in the permanent collection of the South Bend Regional Museum. Quintero joined the Denison faculty last fall.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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