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Companion Exhibitions


This summer, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will be filled with Mexican art and culture. When you make your next trip to the Museum, be sure to visit our permanent collection of Pre-Columbian Art, as well as the three outstanding companion exhibitions that have been designed to complement and enhance your Las Artes de México experience.



Pablo O'Higgins: Works on Paper

February 18, 2010 - September 19, 2010


The UMFA is pleased to present Pablo O'Higgins: Works on Paper, an exhibition highlighting an important artist whose work is widely recognized in Mexico but virtually unknown in Utah, his home state.


Born Paul Higgins in Salt Lake City in 1904, artist Pablo Esteban O'Higgins attended East High School, where he took art classes from acclaimed painter LeConte Stewart. Fascinated by the vibrant Mexican mural movement to the south, O'Higgins continued his art education in San Diego, California.


O'Higgins's contemporaries quickly took notice of his talent, and legendary muralist Diego Rivera invited O'Higgins to assist with mural projects in Mexico when the younger artist was just twenty.


In 1937, O'Higgins co-founded with Leopoldo Mendez the anti-Fascist Taller de Grafica Popular, a group of politically motivated artists dedicated to using graphic arts as a form of social commentary. Their large murals and smaller-scale paintings and prints aimed to empower the working class of Mexico, presenting images of dignified and heroic laborers.


O'Higgins became an official citizen of Mexico in 1961. The only non-native Mexican whose work was included in the New York MoMA's exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art in 1940, his work was exhibited to wide acclaim in Mexico, the United States, and Europe throughout the remainder of his life. O'Higgins died in Mexico City in 1983, and El Palacio de Bellas Artes held a funeral in his honor.


Muralist, painter, graphic artist, and activist, O'Higgins is recognized today as an artist who worked to combat injustice and celebrate the spirit of Mexico's working and indigenous people.



salt 1: Adriana Lara

May 6, 2010 - September 26, 2010


salt (sôlt)

  1. A colorless or white crystalline solid used extensively in ground or granulated form as a food seasoning and preservative
  2. An element that gives flavor or zest
  3. Sharp lively wit
  4. A mineral sharing definitive characteristics with Utah's capital city



Concurrent with Las Artes de México UMFA announces the launch of an ongoing series of semiannual exhibitions entitled salt, which will showcase work by emerging artists from around the world.  salt aims to reflect the international impact of contemporary art today, forging local connections to the global, and bringing new and diverse artwork to the city that shares the program’s name.  The inaugural salt exhibition features the work of Mexico City-based artist Adriana Lara (b. 1978), whose work explores the relationship between art-making and other more commonplace forms of production. Lara takes the exhibition format itself as an object of inquiry, arranging objects in unexpected, sometimes humorous configurations that foreground and dismantle the conventions of displaying and looking at art.

Lara is part of numerous collective art projects such as Pazmaker, a free distribution zine-like publication, Lasser Moderna, an experimental music band, and “Perros Negros,” an art production office that proposes new platforms for discussion and artmaking. She has had solo exhibitions at Artpace, San Antonio, Texas (2009); Gaga Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City (2008); Galería Comercial, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2007); and Air de Paris, Paris, France (2007). Her work has been included in many group exhibitions, including San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2009); Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Germany (2009); The Generational: Younger than Jesus, New Museum, New York (2009); and LA MAMAIN ET LA PUTAIN, Air de Paris, Paris, France (2006).


A Conversation with Artist Adriana Lara
May 6, 2010 at 7 pm • FREE

Please join Dr. Jill Dawsey, UMFA Acting Chief Curator, for a public conversation with salt 1 artist, Adriana Lara. Learn about Lara's artistic practice and philosophy, and be among the first to experience salt 1.



Community: Eat, Work, Play

May 6, 2010 - January 9, 2011


Big canvases, bold colors, and intriguing ideas are offered in Community: Eat, Work, Play. This collaboration between the UMFA, Lincoln Elementary School, and the University of Utah's Artsbridge Scholars aims to create an energetic, community-based project inspired by Las Artes de México and the Mexican muralist movement.


First and sixth grade students from Lincoln Elementary School will create artwork that responds to such questions as: what do you eat, how do you eat it, and where does it come from? How does school and work impact your life and your place in a community? Does play mean something different in your neighborhood, at school, or at home?


With the help of ArtsBridge scholars, a Lincoln Elementary School Art Specialist, and UMFA Education Curators, the participating kids will explore the themes of eat, work, and play in their everyday lives, visually translating their observations into large-scale murals.


Don't miss the creativity and insight of elementary school students, inspired by the art and culture of Mexico, on the walls of the Emma Eccles Jones Education Gallery at the Utah Muesum of Fine Arts!


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Pablo O'Higgins, Minero, n.d., lithograph






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