Masters from the Dominican Republic Debut in the United States
This exhibition, organized by Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes in Santiago, Dominican Republic and curated by Sara Hermann, explores the pictorial representation of merengue, the genre of music and dance that, interwoven throughout the nation’s history, has come to define Dominican culture and identity.
Spanning the 20 th century, the exhibition features more than 50 works from private and public Dominican collectors
- primarily paintings and also select works on paper, sculpture, photography and video - by 36 Dominican artists inspired by this prevalent form of musical and rhythmic expression. ¡Merengue! explores the evolving formal styles embraced by artists on the island conversant with global artistic currents, from Realism to Cubism and Expressionism to Post-Modernism, while consistently drawing from a distinctly Dominican iconographic vocabulary. Tracing this great tradition and its intersections with the visual arts, the exhibition translates the energy and festivity of the beloved national music through depictions of both customary rural celebrations and more contemporary profiles of conjuntos, groups of musicians, performing for dancing crowds. A timeline constructed for the show relates the artistic integration of the works on display with historical events such as the Centennial of 1944, marking the commemoration of the country’s independence in 1844, and the mid-century political struggles towards democracy.