An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio

  • Amalia Mesa-Bains, An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio, 1984, revised 1991, mixed media installation including plywood, mirrors, fabric, framed photographs, found objects, dried flowers and glitter, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1998.161, © 1991, Amalia Mesa-Bains

An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio draws viewers in with its sumptuous pink fabric, rows of black-and-white pictures, and an arrangement of fanciful objects set in a niche. Mesa-Bains created this work to honor Dolores del Rio, the Mexican actress who dazzled audiences in the United States and Mexico from the 1920s until her death in 1983. The artist retooled the vernacular and domestic practice of the ofrenda (an offering to the deceased) to memorialize a cultural icon whom she and other Chicanas admired. Mesa-Bains implied this relationship through her ample use of mirrors, which reflect and incorporate the viewer into her installation.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013

 

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An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio atrae a los espectadores con su suntuosa tela rosada, sus fotografías en blanco y negro alineadas, y sus arreglos de objetos fantasiosos agrupados dentro un nicho. Mesa-Bains creó esta obra en honor a Dolores del Rio, la actriz mexicana que deslumbró al público estadounidense y mexicano desde los años veinte hasta su muerte, en 1983. La artista reestructuró la práctica doméstica y vernácula de la ofrenda (un homenaje a los muertos) para conmemorar a un ícono cultural admirado por ella y otras chicanas. Mesa-Bains sugirió esta relación por medio de la profusa utilización de espejos, que reflejan e incorporan al espectador a su instalación.

Nuestra América: la presencia latina en el arte estadounidense, 2013

Title
An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio
Artist
Date
1984, revised 1991
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
967248 in. (243.8182.9121.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

Mediums Description
mixed media installation including plywood, mirrors, fabric, framed photographs, found objects, dried flowers and glitter
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Portrait female – Rio, Dolores del
  • Architecture – religious – altar
  • Monument – memorial – del Rio
Object Number
1998.161
Palette
Research Notes
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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