Foundational Dualities

Glendalys Medina

In Residence: Jan 24 – Mar 21, 2022

Exhibition: Mar 17 – May 8, 2022

Glendalys Medina’s exhibition, Foundational Dualities, explores themes of erasure, duality, and craft. In this collection of works, the artist focuses on the creation story of the indigenous people of the Caribbean, the Taínos.

The series of embossed prints, BrownTaínoBlackGold and BrownTaínoBlackDiamond, seen on the south wall, are blueprints for the artist’s visual language. The pictographs and motifs from these prints are a collected reference from research at the Center of Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City and are the exhibition’s inspiration. The symbols used in Foundational Dualities are an interpretation of the supreme deities in the Taíno religion, such as the goddess Atabey and her twins, Yúcahu and Juracán/Guabancex. This imagery is repeated throughout this exhibition and can be seen in Medina’s previous work.

On the east wall of the gallery is a piece representing Guabancex/Juracán, the deity of chaos and disorder, who controls the weather, and Yúcahu, the deity of male fertility. The materials used for the wall sculpture La Luna pay homage to Medina’s heritage and combine both formal artmaking and craft. Floating across from La Luna, sits a drawing of Atabey birthing the two mirroring columns with iconography that pictorially unravels the story of the twins leading to the creation story of the Taíno people. The spilling of the columns onto the floor symbolizes the evaporation of indignity caused by the colonization of the Caribbean.

Besides the physical work on the walls, the gallery is filled with an audio recording of a lyric poet written and performed by the artist. Sway, accentuates the fluctuating perspectives of existence, swinging from connecting with ourselves to our common humanity and universal spirit.


Glendalys Medina

New York, USA

Glendalys Medina is a conceptual interdisciplinary visual artist who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx. Medina received an MFA from Hunter College and has presented artwork at such notable venues as Performa 19, Artists Space, The Bronx Museum of Art, and El Museo del Barrio among others. Medina was a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 2020; a Jerome Hill Foundation Fellowship, 2019; and an Ace Hotel New York City Artist Residency, 2017, to name a few. Medina is currently a professor at the School of Visual Art’s MFA Art Practice Program and lives and works in New York City.

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Marcela Guerrero

Marcela Guerrero is Jennifer Rubio Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Recently, she was part of the curatorial team that organized Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945. In summer 2018, Guerrero curated the exhibition Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture. From 2014 to 2017, she worked as Curatorial Fellow at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where she was involved in the much-lauded exhibition Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, organized as part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative and guest-curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Andrea Giunta. Along with Fajardo-Hill, Guerrero curated the show’s selection of Latina and Chicana artists and wrote the catalogue chapter on Caribbean women artists, along with more than sixty biographical entries. Prior to her position at the Hammer, she worked in the Latin American and Latino Art Curatorial department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) where she served as Research Coordinator for the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA). As researcher-in-house, she was in charge of reviewing, vetting, and publishing all primary and secondary sources on the ICAA’s digital archive “Documents of 20th -Century Latin American and Latino Art.” At the MFAH she also participated in the acquisition of artworks from the Caribbean region for the permanent collection. Guerrero’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications including ArtNexus, Diálogo, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Caribbean Intransit, and Gulf Coast, and has contributed articles to a variety of exhibition catalogues. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Guerrero received her BA from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, and holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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