Cover image for Latin American women artists of the United States : the works of 33 twentieth-century women
Latin American women artists of the United States : the works of 33 twentieth-century women
Henkes, Robert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [1999]

Physical Description:
v, 245 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6538.H58 H46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This work examines the art of 33 Latina American artists and the manner in which these artists have merged Latino and Norte Americano cultures in their work. Juana Alicia, Leonora Arye, Santa Barraza, Pura Cruz, Linda Vallejo, Theresa Rosado, Joyce de Guatemala, and 26 other Latina American artists are included. Their works are composed in a variety of media and styles. A critical discussion of the work of each artist is supplemented by photographs (some in color) of many works and a compilation of exhibitions in which they have participated.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This volume covers two underrepresented areas in art history, women's and Latin American art. A brief preface sets the stage for the artists. Henkes, a retired professor of art, discusses the sacred aspects of Latin American art, noting that the Roman Catholic environment is "a strong stimulus for the creative process." He also notes the confessional aspect of Latino art and the importance of murals. Entries are alphabetically arranged, from San Francisco muralist Juana Alicia to Santa Fe painter Bernadette Vigil, who studied under Diego Rivera. Others include sculptor Leonora Arye, printmaker Maritza Davila, and installation artist Patricia Rodriguez. All the women artists lived or worked in the U.S. at one time. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs, each entry explores the artist's work in a three-or four-page essay, followed by a section called "Career Highlights," which lists educational background, selected exhibitions, and collections where works can be found. Emphasis is on works rather than lives; some entries don't even supply date of birth. Much of the information appears to have been gathered through communication between Henkes and the artists. The middle section of the book contains a selection of colored plates. The editor's goal is to expose Latin American women of the U.S. to a national audience. The selections are well-written and illustrated. They capture the essence of the artist's work while giving important factual information. In addition, the bibliography and index are good resources for art history students, artists, and the general public. Recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries as a supplement to titles such as Dictionary of Women Artists [RBB F 15 98] and North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century [RBB O 15 95], which include few if any of these women.

Library Journal Review

Contemporary Women Artists examines the lives and works of over 350 of "the world's most prominent and influential" contemporary women artists. Entries often begin with a photo of the artist, then offer condensed facts about her birth, schooling, lifestyle, art career, and awards. Lists of solo shows and publications provide especially useful guideposts to the careers. When available, a short artist's statement concludes the introductory material, and an up-to-date, critical assessment concludes every entry. The husband-and-wife coeditors, who have put together encyclopedias on numerous subjects, have guided their 110 contributors well in providing judicious and restrained commentary. How they went about selecting artists for inclusion is more problematicÄno real explanation is provided, and parameters seem hard to define. Should "contemporary" be taken to mean 20th century, post-World War II, or post-1960? As the preponderance of entries are truly contemporary, why are Georgia O'Keeffe and Mary Cassatt included? In any case, this is a wonderful, stimulating, and surprisingly well-written volume. Highly recommended for the reference collections as an adjunct to the Dictionary of Women Artist (LJ 12/97), an LJ best-reference source covering women born before 1950. Henkes's much narrower book is visually arrestingÄthe artworks are insightful, poignant, striking, and original. He discusses 33 meritorious Hispanic/ Chicana artists, from Juana Alicia to Bernadette Vigil (none of whom are to be found in Contemporary Women Artists). Henkes is experienced in art commentary, having produced at least five other reference titles on American art and artists in the last nine years, yet his style remains halting and unpolished. His preference for sacred art leads to writing that sometimes sounds more like homilies in Christian Dogma than objective art criticism, and he detects the sacred at least as an undercurrent in perhaps too many examples, even when the artist works with modernist abstractions. Still, art collections with a special interest in Hispanic or women's studies will appreciate this unique reference.ÄMary Hamel-Schwulst, Towson Univ., MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Henkes identifies 33 Latin American women artists whose work is described as deserving of greater recognition within the mainstream of US art. It is not clear how these individuals were selected but, by in large, they are serious artists with substantial experience and achievements. All have worked or lived in the US, but they represent a wide diversity of styles, and it is difficult to find a common aesthetic among them. Henkes provides only superficial context for the publication in his painfully brief preface, introduction, and conclusion. He posits an illusive common thread connecting the artists in broad generalizations about religious and cultural heritage and the desire to succeed in the mainstream art world. The approach to the essays on the artists is formulaic, entailing a critical essay of about 1500 words built around commentary about four representative works plus an outline of career highlights citing education, exhibitions, and awards. Small in format, the book features 11 full-color and 132 black-and-white illustrations of acceptable quality. Acquisition of this publication should be limited to libraries with a serious interest in Latin American studies and contemporary women artists. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. J. A. Day; University of South Dakota

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 3
1. Juana Aliciap. 5
2. Nela Arias-Missonp. 12
3. Leonora Aryep. 19
4. Marta Ayalap. 26
5. Santa Barrazap. 33
6. Margo Consuela Borsp. 40
7. Maria Britop. 47
8. Graciela Bustosp. 55
9. Pura Cruzp. 61
10. Elba Damastp. 68
11. Maritza Davilap. 76
12. Joyce de Guatemalap. 83
13. Dora de Lariosp. 90
14. Aurora Dias-Jorgensenp. 97
15. Geny Dignacp. 104
16. Catalina Gonzalezp. 110
17. Liliana Wilson Grezp. 117
18. Carmen Herrerap. 122
19. Nora Chapa Mendozap. 130
20. Ruth Gonzalez Mullenp. 136
21. Celia Alvarez Munozp. 142
22. Elena Presserp. 148
23. Josefina Quezadap. 155
24. Elba Riverap. 162
25. Anita Rodriguezp. 168
26. Patricia Rodriguezp. 175
27. Theresa Rosadop. 184
28. Soledad Salamep. 191
29. Fanny Saninp. 197
30. Bibiana Suarezp. 205
31. Linda Vallejop. 212
32. Kathy Vargasp. 219
33. Bernadette Vigilp. 227
Concluding Remarksp. 233
Bibliographyp. 235
Indexp. 239