Known less for serious art and culture than for its lush physical presence, its paradoxical beauty and poverty, the Caribbean has lately been receiving focused attention as possible undiscovered territory for new art and fresh aesthetic approaches. Several books published in the last few years have added in various degrees to scholarship surrounding the idea of an art peculiar to the region. Organizers of major exhibitions recently on view in New York and elsewhere, seek to define the nature and historical sources of art and artists originating from within the archipelago. While the new exhibitions are beginning to provide a wider context for art created in the area, an English-speaking country like Guyana, situated on the Latin mainland of South America, receives scant attention in these visual extravaganzas—thus the need for exhibitions such as this one.
The word ‘Timehri’ in the title, TIMEHRI TRANSITIONS: EXPANDING CONCEPTS IN GUYANA ART, symbolically connects our endeavor to the first artists of Guyana, who produced the ancient Native American rock engravings and drawings of the same name (meaning either ‘mark of the hand of man’, or simply, drawings on rock) found in the deep interior of Guyana. Art in the show includes mural-sized work on paper and canvas, welded steel sculpture, as well as photo-based art. There are works included of purely aesthetic value as well as some that hint of political and even religious expression.