September 27, 2017 - Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara - Guatemala from 33,000 km
September 27, 2017

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

Efraín Recinos, Guatemala vista desde 33,000 kms de distancia (Guatemalita), 1960. Oil on masonite, 172.8 x 52.8 inches. Courtesy of Coleccion John Gody.

Guatemala from 33,000 km
Contemporary Art, 1960–present
September 17–December 17, 2017

Symposium: "Art in Guatemala: 1960–present": October 20, 10am–5pm
Porter Theater, Westmont College, 955 La Paz Rd, Montecito, CA 93108
Community celebration: October 22, 1–4pm
Community Arts Workshop, 631 Garden St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
653 Paseo Nuevo
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / #pstlala / #guatemalafrom33000km / #mcasb

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) is proud to present Guatemala from 33,000 km: Contemporary Art, 1960–present, the first ever museum exhibition of this scope dedicated to the study of modern and contemporary Guatemalan art, curated by Miki Garcia and Emiliano Valdés. The exhibition, featuring nearly 100 works from more than 75 Guatemalan artists, is spread across three venues in Santa Barbara–MCASB, Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop, and Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art–as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. Guatemala from 33,000 km is an exhibition of Guatemalan art that traces the emergence of the country’s contemporary artistic practices, from the social, political, cultural, and artistic contexts of the second half of the 20th century and the early 21st century.

Rather than a straightforward, chronological account of Guatemalan art history, the exhibition considers specific, overarching themes, investigating how trends such as conflict, identity, and landscape emerged in restrictive times and project into the future. The nine themes, or clusters, into which the artworks are grouped include Art & Politics; Art Histories; Formal Experimentation; Gender Perspectives; Land, Landscape, & Territory; Popular Cultures; Racisms & Identities; Religion, Spirituality, & Metaphysics; and Violence & Trauma.

The works included in Guatemala from 33,000 km span a wide variety of media and speak to a range of formal, political, and social concerns that permeate contemporary art both in Latin America and around the globe. This highly diverse collection of work demonstrates the surprising extent to which artists in Guatemala participated in the broader movements and practices of Latin American art, such as geometric abstraction, performance and conceptual art, and new media, even in the midst of the “long civil war” that has plagued the country since 1960. It points to the fact that even during the worst years of repression and war in their country, artists, both as individuals and collectives, continued to create visual expressions that not only mirrored but directly engaged with the sociopolitical situations of their time, albeit through muted languages and conceptually-oriented presentation.

Accompanying Guatemala from 33,000 km is a publication that promises to be a vital resource for art historians with full-color reproductions of the works in the exhibition as well as essays from Guatemalan and US scholars whose contributions provide a wealth of knowledge surrounding contemporary Guatemalan art. Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara has partnered with Black Dog Publishing, who will print a Spanish language version of the publication as well as an English language version. Both versions will be available beginning December 2017.

Join us for the Getty PST:LA/LA Santa Barbara Weekend from October 20–22, 2017.

Curated by Miki Garcia and Emiliano Valdés. Exhibition design by Alejandro Paz. Graphic identity and branding by Ambush Studio.

Major support for this exhibition and the accompanying publication is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Supported by grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA takes place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California, from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. For further information, please visit

T 805 966 5373 / hello [​at​]

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
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