The Whitney Museum and a Puerto Rican art

Gamaliel Rodríguez, Collapsed Soul, 2020–21.

It’s been roughly five years since Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The category five storm carried the strongest winds recorded in the area, which subsequently cut electricity to the island and took the lives of 4,645 people.

Looking back at the event, The Whitney Museum of American Art will hold an exhibition comprised of 15 intergenerational Puerto Rican artists — who largely identity as women, trans or non-binary — showcasing how each has responded since the events of the hurricane.

As the first show of Puerto Rican art at a U.S. Museum in 50 years, “no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria” seeks to raise awareness to the larger issues that were only exacerbated by the disaster — from Puerto Rico’s socio-political structure to the U.S.’ lack of aid and disinvestment in such events.

In an interview with Artnet News, the Whitney’s curator of the show, Marcela Guerrero, noted, “with the hindsight of five years since that fateful event, we know that Maria’s effects cannot be reduced to the storm itself but rather unfold across the events that preceded and followed September 20. The arts community understands the nuances of this reality, and through their work can at once denounce the policies of disinvestment in the lives of Puerto Ricans while also communicating a message of resistance.”

“no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria” will be on view from November 23, 2022 to April 23, 2023.


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