mini-exhibit: Amy Castaneda
flatscreen dvd: Michael Piazza: in memoriam
Opening Friday June 23 from 6pm-10pm
June 23 - July 15, 2006
Artist talk Saturday June 24 from 3pm-5pm---FREE ADMISSION
Polvo welcomes the summer by showcasing the work Elizam Escobar. Elizam is an internationally recognized art theorist and artist, he served 19 years in prison from 1980-1999 for his participation in the Puerto Rican independence movement. Escobar is considered one of Puerto Rico's most illustrious revolutionaries, poets and painters. For this show Elizam will create a mixed media installation. Alongside this show, our mini-exhibit area will showcase some digital prints by Amy Castaneda and our dvd area will play a dvd of our friend, artist and activist Michael Piazza who passed away April 30th of this year.
Painter, poet, theoretician and born May 24, 1948 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Elizam Escobar received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico and continued his studies at the City University of New York, the Museo del Barrio and the Art Students’ League of New York. He worked as a teacher in the New York City public schools and as a painter with the Association of Hispanic Arts. During 1979-80 Elizam was part of the faculty of the Museo del Barrio’s Art School. On April 4, 1980, he was arrested and accused of being a member of the Puerto Rican clandestine movement struggling for the independence of his nation. He received a sentence of 68 years in prison and during 19 years and 5 months of prison, continued painting and writing. His poetry and theoretical essays have been published in magazines and anthologies in Puerto Rico, the United States, Latin America and Europe. His work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Juan, Toronto, Anchorage, Edinburgh, Madrid, Havana, Managua and other Latin American cities. On September 10, 1999, Elizam was released from federal prison and returned to live in Puerto Rico. His release coincided with the publication of his book Los ensayos del artificiero: mas allá del postmodernismo y lo político-directo. He later received the PEN Club first prize for best creative essay. In 2002, Dobles de Elizam Escobar, with an essay by Joserramón Melendes, addressed a thematic-structural aspect of his plastic work. The Institute of Culture recently published Elizam Escobar: Cuadernos de cárcel, a selection of drawings from his prison sketchbooks.
His first individual exhibit following his release from prison, Relaciones/Distancias, in March of 2000 at Petrus Galeros, included a selection of his last paintings in prison. In November of 2001, Petrus presented Tres Tiempos, which included three decades of his paintings: the 70's (Puerto Rico and New York) and the 80's and 90's (New York and prison). Paisajes y pasajes del regreso, which opened at the Ponce Museum of Art in February of 2002, was his first individual exhibit of work done after his release from prison. The exhibit moved to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture’s La Puntilla in Old San Juan, expanded by some 125 small works on paper which are reproduced in Dobles de Elizam Escobar. Two other individual exhibits in 2002 were Los Albizus, at the Museum of the House of the Ponce Massacre/Institute of Culture, and Banderas Mixtas at Casa Escuté in Carolina. A version of Paisajes y pasajes del regreso traveled in 2003 to Collage Fine Arts Gallery in Chicago and to Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana, and to Philadephia’s Taller Puertorriqueño in 2005. He is currently teaching in the Painting Department of the School of Plastic Arts in San Juan, having served as Director of the Department for three years.
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Chicago, IL 60608
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