Puerto Rico Plural
What is the Puerto Rican experience about? How does it represent us? What can we say about it? Consciously or unconsciously, Puerto Rican art has been answering these questions over time. The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR) also asked these questions to a diverse sample of people from the community through focus group discussions. The information gathered through their responses was used to develop the collaborative project that resulted in this exhibition.
Puerto Rico Plural combines works of artists from different generations, historical periods, and different media, with the aim of showing the plurality of Puerto Rican art from the eighteenth century to the present. This individual and collective experience goes beyond geographical limits, and is the common essence that unites us, although sometimes it also provokes division. Artworks, objects, and reference materials from the MAPR collection were selected along with others from public and private collections, as well as commissioned works. In this way, the exhibition presents a broad view of what we are: our cultural, historical, political, and demographic diversity, extolling the role of artists from all disciplines as chroniclers of their time, and of our Caribbean reality.
The exhibition includes yearnings, tributes, denunciations, contrasts, and convergences, as well as provocations for dialogue. Likewise, the thematic galleries do not attempt to offer a single reading. For this reason, Puerto Rico Plural is an invitation to encounter and reflect on Puerto Rican culture —our history, our people, and our art.
A grant received in May 2018 through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was an essential contribution to the development of this exhibition. This grant allowed us to satisfy the conservation needs of our art collection, patrimony of all Puerto Ricans.