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Imagining the World Thru Naive Painting

Imagining the World Thru Naive Painting

April 4 - May 24, 1998

As an increasing number of references are made about "the global village," Imagining the World Through Naive Painting serves as a perfect example of an exhibit illustrating that concept. This unique collection of paintings allows us to explore many of the countries of Latin America, Spain and Haiti.

[picture - parque salamanca, noe leon]
"Parque Salamanca", Noe Leon

It is a fanciful journey, full of bright colors and exotic landscapes. The opportunity to time travel is presented by paintings that depict scenes from Colonial era in the 17th and 18th centuries to the contemporary industrial scenes from Brazil. Naive art may be an unfamiliar term to some. There is a naiveti and child-like quality to this art, produced by artists who usually lack formal training. It is not to be confused with primitive art, which is produced by pre-industrial cultures or folk art which often features traditional decoration and functional forms specific to a culture. Naive art is the product of individual vision rather than cultural tradition, and is usually decorative and non-functional. Stylistically, the artists use bright colors, flat planes and abundant detail.

[picture - san antonia de oriente, jose antonio velasquez]
"San Antonio de Oriente", Jose Antonio Velasquez

We owe a debt of thanks to the Modernist artists like Picasso and Gaugin who introduced the art world to the power of naive art. One of the first recognized naive artists was Henri Rousseau of France. Many of his paintings depicted a fantastic tropical environment. Oto Bihalji-Merlin states, "At Rousseau's childlike, magical touch, nature becomes the promised land, an act of creation takes place, a prodigal returns. Things condemned to be mere objects are made to live again, and a new harmony is given to men estranged from themselves."

[picture - salon de musica buenos aires s. xvii-xviii, pilar aristegui]
"Salon de Musica Buenos Aires S. XVII-XVIII", Pilar Aristegui



The artists in Imagining the World Through Naive Painting have an advantage over the French master Rousseau, they are inhabitants of natural landscapes that boast an abundance of tropical flora and fauna. In addition to landscapes, we are able to view cultural celebrations, moments from daily life, and rites of passage from rural and urban Latin American communities.

As we watch higher and higher retainer walls contain the freeways and shield us from our own natural landscapes, the paintings in this exhibit help to fill the need that some have to feel more connected to the world around us. We invite you to feast your eyes and soothe your souls with art that depicts a colorful and affectionate world.

Lynn LaBate
Fullerton Museum Center
This exhibit was organized by the Ibero-American Association of Cultural Attachisin cooperation with Meridian International Center.

email us at: FMC@ci.fullerton.ca.us