mel casas paintings

In this blog post, Curator for Latino Art E. Carmen Ramos reflects on the importance of Casas' art. "Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster" is a book that will appeal to many audiences from everyday people to academics. [4], Casas went to college using the G.I. Focusing on topics like beauty and politics, the works also demonstrate the artists contribution to the accessibility and relevance of Chicano art. Currently on view at the McNay art museum in San Antonio, in conjunction with the exhibition Pop América, 1965–1975, is a presentation of six large-scale paintings and eight other works by the late San Antonio-based artist Mel Casas (1929-2014). Several of these artists were students of Casas, who was teaching at San Antonio College. This site uses cookies to help make it more useful to you. and the author of Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster . In Casas’ hands Pop Art became a vehicle for cultural, social and political commentary from a Chicano point-of-view. CAMH’S Online Publication Archive. The works, some of which are from his Humanscapes series, address themes of identity, politics, and the landscape of his native Texas, … [6] Casas, who referred to the dominant notion of beauty as the Barbie doll ideal, spoke of the privileges of blond hair and blue eyes while he undressed a Barbie doll during his acceptance speech. [2] After graduating high school, Casas worked for Pacific Fruit Express, a railroad company, as an iceman. painting series whereby over the span of 150 paintings the Chicano experience slowly moves from the periphery to the center. When interviewed about Latino/Chicano identity, Casas is not dismissive of identity, but rather has grand ambitions for it. [21] The "Humanscapes" were generally painted on large-scale canvases, mimicking the drive-in movies that inspired them. Courtesy San Antonio College 3 of 10 "Humanscape 62 (Brownies of the Southwest)," a … The date is August 14, 1996. The Nancy Kelker research material regarding Mel Casas was donated in 2016 by Nancy Kelker. PAUL KARLSTROM: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, an interview with artist Mel Casas at his casa in San Antonio, Texas. [21], Chicano Art is not Art for Art's Sake, but Art for Human Sake. I don't think it's quite true. June 5-Oct. 24, 2015. Mel Casas: Human presents six large paintings by the late San Antonio–based artist Mel Casas, co-founder of the Chicano art group Con Safo. Aztlán 36 (2). [12] Casas felt that he had the opportunity to teach a "very good cross-section of the city" which was something he enjoyed. Mel Casas (Born 1929) is active/lives in Texas. GETTING the BIG PICTURE: Political Themes in the Art of MEL CASAS, 1968-1977. "The Cinematic Genesis of the Mel Casas Humanscape, 1965-1967". His piece, “Brownies of the Southwest” is one of the few by an American pop artist. This painting, which comes from a larger series of works called “Humanscapes,” were actually inspired by Casas’ experience seeing a drive-in movie screen and seeing these huge images of people and things. From 1975 through 1981, Casas' favorite topic as art about art. [22] His choice of subject matter, which satirized racism and may show sexualized nudes, was often considered to be "provocative. "Melesio Casas was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1929. [10] He attended El Paso High School which he chose in order to get a better education. The series began in 1965 with. Two large paintings from Mel Casa’s Humanscape series comment on Southwestern clichés, and the commodification of Day of the Dead is especially prescient. Mel Casas (Born 1929) is active/lives in Texas. By the time of the UFW Delano Grape Boycott of 1965 and the Mexican American student protests at schools in Texas and California between 1967-1969, Casas had been practicing professionally as an artist and painter for almost a decade. In Casas’ hands Pop Art became a vehicle for cultural, social and political commentary from a Chicano point-of-view. Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster. NOTICE: All paintings represented on this site are the original work of Mel Casas. The interviewer for the Archives is Paul Karlstrom, and this is the first tape, tape one, side A. Mel Casas is active/lives in Texas. The date is August 14, 1996. "[1][2] His work has been collected by the San Antonio Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum,[3] and nationally and internationally. [10] He retired in 1990. mel Casas is a member of Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. Casas was an artist of national and international renown. He was also an educator and cofounder of the San Antonio Artist Collective Con Safo—considered by many to be one of the most significant Chicano Art groups of the 60s and 70s at a time when Chicano art was not being shown at mainstream venues. "Mel Casas: Border Lord." [11] His father liked to draw and this influenced Casas to start drawing on his own. Discover and buy from a selection of thousands of landscape paintings, portraits, and nude paintings. [2] He challenged stereotypes, especially in some of the works in his "Humanscape" series. Like many Mexican Americans from this generation, Casas was able to attend college with support from the GI Bill after serving in the Korean War. ISBN 978-1491265451. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Funding For the most part, the show was comprised of Casas’ smaller paintings. (6 May 1976). Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Humanscape 94: Art Lures (1978), Acrylic on canvas, 72 × 96 in [10] He received a BA in 1956 from Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso). [10] Being the chair of the department, however, was stressful for Casas, since he was often on call. Casas was professor emeritus at San Antonio College, where he taught for 29 years before retiring as chairman of the art department in 1990. Last year, SAC hosted “Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster,” an exhibit of 76 works by Casas, in conjunction with a signing of art historian Nancy Kelker’s book by the same title. [21] His paintings often reacted to these media types by using erotic themes to highlight the effect that media had on the viewer. Archives of American Art. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Flower Triangle (1993), Acrylic on canvas, 24 × 24 in Mel Casas is known for Mod figure-genre, non objective painting. El Paso, United States. Cordova, Ruben C. (2009). Kathy gives credit to Casas for opening her eyes and sharing many Chicano and Chicana artists with her. "[23] Casas felt that media, like television, movies and advertising had the power to change people and could be used to change them for the better. "Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster" is a book that will appeal to many audiences from everyday people to academics. She felt welcome here and loved what the group was doing with art. It will tend to flavor, to color the way we think. The series began in 1965 with Humanscape 1 and concludes in 1989 with Humanscape 150. Casas began making politically themed paintings in 1968, and he emphasized this subject matter from 1970 through 1975. Additional papers were donated by Casas in 1999. In regards to the future of Chicano art, Casas is quoted in the landmark exhibition, Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA), that his wishes were to make “Chicano art relevant to everyone.” Casas constructed a diagram outlining his vision to balance the “national art criteria” with Chicano Art and Regional Art in attempts to make Chicano art more accessible and “relevant to EVERYONE: AN ICONIC REALITY.”. Open Wednesday - Saturday from 11AM to 4PM and by appointment | 210.804.2219, 201-A East Olmos Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78212, Open Wednesday - Saturday from 11AM to 4PM and by appointment | 212.510.7873, 74 East 79th Street, 2D, New York, New York 10075. Born in El Paso, Texas, Casas received his BA from the Texas Western University and an MFA from the University of the Americas in Mexico. Bill. [10] He was considered by his students to be a "generous" teacher, helping to launch many young art careers. We are entirely different. click to enlarge. (2006), Acrylic on canvas, 30 × 15 in CAMH has a number of its original and co-published publications digitally reproduced on Issuu.com.This online library is a rich resource for academic research and study with curatorial essays, artist interviews, and images that describe the art world’s ever-changing landscape through the CAMH’s perspective. [9] Casas taught art at Jefferson High School in El Paso, Texas[14] for about three years. Con Safo: The Chicano Art Group and the Politics of South Texas. [25], I don't think we should break away from our tradition. "Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster" is a book that will appeal to many audiences from everyday people to academics. Mel Casas Family Trust. [8] He is considered to be one of the important founders of the Chicano Arts movement. [2] He was very interested in dealing with the objectification of women in media[2] and "debunking" racial stereotypes.[18]. The recent passing of pioneering Chicano artist Mel Casas got me thinking about the current state of affairs for Latino art in San Antonio, a city with a sizeable Mexican American majority. [10] It was Casas' first encounter with discrimination. 'No usamos bastidores o manta.' In this regard the Chicano Movement did not generate Casas’ artistic practice. The date is August 14, 1996. What signs of the Southwest has the artist included? In this series, Casas focuses on imagery from popular culture and how these media images can and do affect viewers[17] who Casas called voyeurs, instead. Casas is known for his Humanscape painting series whereby over the span of 150 paintings the Chicano experience slowly moves from the periphery to the center. [2] He and Grace had one child, Bruce. 2 of 10 This Mel Casas painting is part of his “Humanscapes” series. I think we are lucky to be born outsiders. Smithsonian Institution. Mel Casas, Humanscapes 94: Art Lures, 1978, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96", 182.9 x 243.8 cm. He used visual statements, his sense of humor and love of puns to "address cultural stereotypes. He used visual statements, his sense of humor and love of puns to "address cultural stereotypes." This exhibition provides a full view of Casas’ politically-oriented art, including anti-war paintings and oblique commentaries on Nixon-era politics, censorship, and racial discrimination. [15] In December 1971 the Con Safo group consisted of Felipe Reyes, Jose Esquivel, Jesse Almazán, Roberto Ríos, and Jose Garza (all of whom were members of El Grupo), and Mel Casas and Jesse Treviño. Los Angeles: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press. See available prints and multiples, paintings, and works on paper for sale and learn about the artist. "[6] Cordova, who curated four Humanscape exhibitions with approximately half of the paintings,[20] divides the Humanscapes into five groups. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Humanscape 135: #2 Mexican Plate (1984), Acrylic on canvas, 72 × 96 in Mel Ramos is an American Pop artist best known for his female nudes painted alongside brand logos. Share. Gallery Talk: Mel Casas: The Man Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Dr. Ruben Cordova, renowned Chicano scholar, discusses work by late San Antonio-based artist Mel Casas, who is best known for his pointed visual statements that explore identity and the bicultural experience. Casas, Mel. [10], Later, Casas was called into the United States Army[12] and his father insisted it was his duty to serve. Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster. 4: 28–31. Okay, now we're doing it, we're really doing it. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is proud to own paintings by artist, including Humanscape 62, which was featured in our exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. Mel Casas, Humanscapes 94: Art Lures, 1978, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96", 182.9 x 243.8 cm. [10] Con Safo was considered influential and helped Chicano art receive recognition when Chicanos and their work were largely excluded from museums and galleries. The blurry, nebulous audience members were gradually endowed with more color and form, and from late 1967 through 1970, many Humanscape paintings dealt with the Sexual Revolution. Through the Con Safo group, members gained exposure by participating in exhibitions for which they were paid a fee by the exhibiting institutions. [17] Casas recalls that eventually he felt that the abstract work was too "pretty" and it wasn't the right artistic language for him. McNay Hosting Gallery Talk on Legacy of Late San Antonio Artist Mel Casas Posted By James Courtney on Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 12:12 PM. Bochner’s popular thesaurus painting series consists of lists of synonyms displayed in rainbow-colored palettes, often featuring a single word repeated in painterly capital letters, as seen in his seminal piece Blah, Blah, Blah (2008). As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums are closed temporarily. Finally, from 1982 through 1989, the last Humanscapes treated what Casas called the "Southwestern clichés." Casas is best known for pointed visual statements that question cultural stereotypes and portrayals of Mexican Americans in the media. Related Materials. [10] In college, he had a very strong background in classical art theory, drawing and painting. Silva, Elda (11 June 2015). [4], Casas was first recognized for his work in the abstract expressionist style[2] which was considered "typical" for his time period in the United States. Mel Casas is known for Mod figure-genre, non objective painting. In regards to the future of Chicano art, Casas is quoted in the landmark exhibition, Essays by Rita Gonzalez, Howard N. Fox & Chon A. Noriega, Rita Gonzalez, Howard N. Fox & Chon A. Noriega, 2008, Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985, Richard Criswold Del Castillo, Teresa McKenna & Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano, editors, 1991, Essay by E. Carmen Ramos, and introduction by Tomás Ybarra-Frausto. PAUL KARLSTROM: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, an interview with artist Mel Casas at his casa in San Antonio, Texas. Provenance. Mel Casas is known for Mod figure-genre, non objective painting. [4] His "Brown Paper Report" is considered an important document of Chicano history. Artspace: Southwestern Contemporary Arts Quarterly 12, no. [12][13], Casas received an all-level certificate to teach in Texas. Kathy Vargas began classes with Mel Casas, a Chicano artist, who asked her to attend a Con Safo art group meeting after seeing some of her photographs. [16], Casas taught for 29 years at San Antonio College[1] where he was Chair of the Art Department for 12 years. He was designated "Artist of the Year" by the San Antonio Art League for 1968, only to have this honor revoked three days later. [10], Casas had a two-year battle with cancer. With his first wife, Maria, Mel had four children: Alfredo, Ingrid, Mike and Sonya. [6] In the first group, from 1965 through 1967, Casas made depictions of audiences watching films at drive-in cinemas and conventional movie theaters. [10] After the mid 1960s he began to do more representational work. Casas was also well known as a write… The paintings and their images are not to be reproduced, copied, or used for any other purposes without explicit permission.. MEL CASAS: Whatever it is. Mel Casas is one of San Antonio's most influential artists, yet also among the most overlooked. NOTICE: All paintings represented on this site are the original work of Mel Casas. The trio of exhibits trace almost the entire progression of Mel Casas' 150 Humanscape paintings from 1965 to 1989. [2] After retiring, Casas and his wife Grace went to Italy, spending two years in Brandisi and two in Sicily. I am not a professional Mexican.”. "[10], Casas was born in El Paso, Texas[1] to Mexican parents during the Great Depression. Con Safo is a Pachuco slang expression whose most common meanings are: "the same to you," "don't mess with this," and "forbidden to touch. Kelker, Nancy L. (4 September 2013). [13] Casas then received a MFA from the University of the Americas in Mexico City in 1958. He attended the public school system and graduated from Texas Western College with a bachelor's degree in arts in 1956. [19], To me, being an outsider is the next thing to being an artist. 723 South Brazos St. Mel Casas, “Humanscape 47 (Still Life)” (1968), 72″ x 96″, acrylic/canvas (images courtesy of the Casas family unless noted) SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Over the course of 20 years, Mel Casas … Melesio "Mel" Casas (November 24, 1929 – November 30, 2014) was a Chicano artist, activist, writer and teacher. The trio of exhibits trace almost the entire progression of Mel Casas' 150 Humanscape paintings from 1965 to 1989. I have to my benefit that I can combine English and Spanish to give a more colorful expression than I would if I said it all in English or all in Spanish. Please contact us to find out more about our Cookie Policy. ‎Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster showcases the work of American Pop Artist Mel Casas. Photo courtesy Mel Casas Family Trust Artists Respond at The Smithsonian. [24], In later years, he ceased exhibiting, but painted almost daily, even when he was battling cancer. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Holy Mackerel! 447 Followers, 567 Following, 129 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from (@mel.casas) [21], Casas often paid a price for his trenchant social criticism. I so divide the picture plane of my painting so as to force the spectator into the role of 'voyeur,' thus acquiring an identity through participation. The Mel Casas papers were donated by Mel Casas in 1981 and microfilmed as part of the Archives of American Art's Texas project. Casas’ practice was rooted in the Chicano ethos of social justice, bridging the cultural, political, and economic divides that define the borderlands. Mel Casas $ (Born 1929) Mod figure-genre, non objective painting - Texas Melesio Casas * (Born 1929) *See Mel Casas - Texas Olivier Casas $$ (20/21st century) Painting "Art on the Border." This painting, which comes from a larger series of works called “Humanscapes,” were actually inspired by Casas’ experience seeing a drive-in movie screen and seeing these huge images of people and things. He used clever word play mixed with imagery. San Antonio-based artist Mel Casas died on November 30, 2014 after a two-year battle with cancer. [5][6] Casas was also well known as a writer and theorist. SAN ANTONIO — Mel Casas is probably best known for politically charged paintings such as “Humanscape 62 (Brownies of the Southwest),” one … His signature “Humanscape” paintings were designed as "impact pieces" intended to challenge the viewer into a reconsideration of the cultural myths and social stereotypes so … [10] He also helped with his father's Swedish massage business located in downtown El Paso. With the history of art as its foundation, Kelker took several steps to correlate Casas’ body of works to America’s social history, popular … Mel Bochner is an American Conceptual artist best known for his text-based paintings. Casas is best known for pointed visual statements that question cultural stereotypes and portrayals of Mexican Americans in the media. [22] His incorporation of imagery from Mexican and Pre-Columbian iconography in conjunction with pop art was unique. Ruiz-Healy Art features Mel Casas' small, intimate works and larger scale paintings to provide a well-rounded view of his oeuvre. This figure is the centerpiece of Casas’s pop-styled painting Humanscape 62. San Antonio-based artist Mel Casas died on November 30, 2014 after a two-year battle with cancer. His broad and impactful practice of challenging borders that create metaphorical, physical, and ideological divergences. He was inspired by professor Mel Casas, who made large paintings on a black ground that were informed by pop art and surrealism. His signature “Humanscape” paintings were designed as "impact pieces" intended to challenge… Mar 24, 2013 - This Pin was discovered by Sherry Willome. Karlstrom, Paul (1996). “Because I am of Mexican descent and I readily admit it. The subtlety of the meanings, the syntax, or the pronunciation of the words give it something that is missing.[21]. "Melesio Casas was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1929. [10] He grew up and lived in El Segundo Barrio. ‎Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster showcases the work of American Pop Artist Mel Casas. With the history of art as its foundation, Kelker took several steps to correlate Casas’ body of works to America’s social history, popular culture, psychology, gender studies, and issues of social justice. Nancy Kelker (1951- ) is an art historian in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. You think that, because you eat tortillas and you think in Spanish or in the Mexican tradition, you can identify yourself. In Casas’ hands Pop Art became a vehicle for cultural, social and political commentary from a Chicano point-of-view. Mel Casas: Human presents six large paintings by the late San Antonio–based artist Mel Casas, co-founder of the Chicano art group Con Safo. Austin: University of Texas, 1973. p. 83, The 153 paintings that make up the "Humanscape" series were inspired by a "glimpse of a drive-in movie screen. 1 of 30 S.A. residents attended the opening of SEX & CINEMA with Mel Casas, featuring the late artist's Humanscape paintings at the FL!GHT in the Blue Star Arts Complex on June 25, 2015. In Casas’ easily Pop Art became a agent for cultural, amusing and political annotation from a Chicano point-of-view. [10] At the time, there were more Anglo students at El Paso High and Casas felt alienated from the other students because of his background and heavy Mexican accent. [4] He is best known for his series of 150 large-scale paintings called "Humanscapes" that were painted between 1965 and 1989. Cordova’s series focuses exclusively on the artist’s 6-foot-by-8-foot works. [10] Casas felt that he had a good education in elementary school and junior high. [7] In his writing, he emphasized the importance of "self-determination" and equality for Chicanos/as. Retrieved 7 April 2015. In this blog post, Curator for Latino Art E. Carmen Ramos reflects on the importance of Casas' art.

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