”For many decades, the name Adelita has evoked multiple meanings. Various interpretations of Adelita identify her as a hero, a myth, and a revolutionary. Popular ballads tell the story of Adelita as a young woman who fought during the Mexican Revolution. While some believe that she is an actual historical figure, others see her as a composite of the many women who joined in battle during the Revolution. The image of a female revolutionary, with blouse, skirt, sombrero, and ammunition across her chest, serves as an iconic representation of the Revolution and of Mexican history. Songs, books, plays, films, and calendars have interpreted Adelita as a sex symbol, a brave champion of the people, and a proto-feminist.
After Adelita includes works that express ideas about myths, heroes, and revolutionaries by women artists who work in diverse media, such as video, painting, photography, and printmaking. The eight artists in the exhibition—Carla Avila, Adriana Baltazar, Esperanza Gama, Maria Gaspar, Judithe Hernández, Patricia Peña, Jenny Priego, and Diana Solís—each bring a layer of complexity to the show by offering a mix of powerful, personal, defiant, intimate, and lyrical portrayals of femininity. Some works relate specifically to the Mexican Revolution, while others evoke a broader, more abstract relationship to the idea of Adelita, an icon who inspires myriad meanings.
2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. The Revolution resulted in the loss of more than one million lives and brought destruction to communities across Mexico. After Adelita examines how a century later, artists in Chicago create work that can relate both closely and loosely to the most iconic female figure to emerge from this turbulent time in Mexican history.” –Amy Galpin
Amy Galpin - Exhibition Curator
Amy Galpin is Project Curator for American Art at the San Diego Museum of Art. Previously, she was Gallery Coordinator at Woman Made Gallery. Her recent exhibitions include Translating Revolution: U.S. Artists Interpret Mexican Muralism at The National Museum of Mexican Art and Brutal Beauty: Drawings by Hugo Crosthwaite at the San Diego Museum of Art.