The Modern Art Notes Podcast

Episode No. 614 features curator Kate Clarke Lemay and artist Maia Cruz Palileo.

With Taína Caragol, Lemay is the co-curator of "1898: US Imperial Visions and Revisions" at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington. (Carlina Maestre assisted them.) The exhibition examines late-nineteenth-century US imperialism, especially the War of 1898 (often called the Spanish-American War), the Congressional Joint Resolution to annex Hawai'i (which was passed in July 1898), the Philippine-American War (1899-1913) and the US extension of its sphere to include Cuba, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The exhibition particularly -- but not exclusively -- looks at how portraiture was used by the US in an attempt to define peoples, and by both the US and by the leaders of other countries to establish status within the community of nations, and to project power. "1898" is on view through February 25, 2024.

The forthcoming exhibition catalogue features an essay by Caragol that looks at how several contemporary artists are addressing the legacies of US imperialism in their work. Among the artists on whom Caragol focuses is Palileo, whose work often addresses their family’s arrival in the United States from the Philippines, as well as the colonial relationship between the two countries. (The other artists Caragol addresses in her essay are Stephanie Syjuco, Gisela McDaniel, and Miguel Luciano.)

Palileo's work often extends from research she conducted at the Newberry Library in 2017. The library holds significant research collections related to the US imperial project in the Philippines, including a watercolor album by Damián Domingo and photographs made by Dean C. Worcester, a US zoologist who worked in the Philippines. Worcester's work was influential in shaping US public opinion about Filipinos. Palileo's work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Katzen Arts Center at Washington's American University and at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College for the Arts in San Francisco. They have been in group shows at institutions such as the Moderna Museet in Sweden, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Bemis Center, Omaha, and the NPG.

On September 8-9 the NPG will convene over 40 scholars and artists from the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawai‘i, Cuba, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the US for a two-day symposium. In addition to panel discussions and gallery talks, the event will feature a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ada Ferrer. All panels and the keynote address will take place in the McEvoy Auditorium in the Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in Washington. RSVP here (it's free).

Instagram: Kate Lemay, Tyler Green.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeSixHundredFourteen.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT