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Totem Negro XVI

1992 María Martínez-Cañas Born: Havana, Cuba 1960 gelatin silver print sheet and image: 53 1/2 x 9 3/8 in. (135.9 x 23.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program © 1992, María Martínez-Cañas 1997.68 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Born in Cuba, raised in Puerto Rico, and now living in Miami, Martínez-Cañas assembled the pieces of her multifaceted identity into a totem by using a complex photographic process. She drew cubist patterns and abstracted natural forms on large-scale negatives, incorporated images drawn from Cuban colonial maps and pre-Columbian art, and printed them in black-and-white. These hybrid forms announce her multiple cultural connections and recall the paintings of Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013



photography - photoprint



gelatin silver