Milagros de la Torre

Milagros de la Torre

Americas Society

Milagros de la Torre, “Bulletproof (Guayabera),” 2008.
Archival pigment print on cotton paper, mounted on aluminum.
39 x 39 inches. 
Courtesy Milagros de la Torre.

March 26, 2012


March 6–July 1, 2012
Museo de Arte de Lima
Paseo Colón 125
Parque de la Exposición
Lima, Perú


February 8–April 14, 2012
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065

The Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) is proud to present Indicios: Milagros de la Torre, an exhibition guest curated by Dr. Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts and the Department of Art History, New York University. The exhibition, on view from March 6 to July 1, 2012, will coincide with the Bienal de Fotografía de Lima, which opened on March 19 and will continue until July 22, 2012.  Indicios: Milagros de la Torre is a collaborative project between MALI and Americas Society, which opened the concurrent exhibition Observed: Milagros de la Torre on February 8, in New York and will be on view until April 14, 2012.

Indicios: Milagros de la Torre features twelve series and over fifty works. Selecting photographic works from the 1990s to the present, Indicios will be the artist’s first monographic show in Lima. Focused on stark, object-based images, the exhibition examines contemporary issues related to violence, memory, and the socio-political construction of identity. As Edward Sullivan has suggested, the notion of pain also plays a prevalent role throughout de la Torre’s work. Never displayed in an active or aggressive manner, the physical or emotional trauma manifests itself through quiet allusion. Several of her series develop out of her own experiences in countries that have had waves of crippling violence, such as Mexico and Peru, or that have had extended periods of censorship.

Research has served as a fundamental basis for her images, many of which are examinations of criminality and surveillance. The Lost Steps (1996) is a seminal project deeply informed by nineteenth-century photographic techniques. De la Torre employed these methods to focus on images of incriminating evidence taken from the archive of the Palace of Justice in Lima, Peru during the violent years of the Shining Path. The seemingly everyday objects, shown in an isolated manner, convey stories of acts of terrorism, passion, and other crimes. In Censored (2001) de la Torre depicts passages from seventeenth and eighteenth-century manuscripts from the collection of the University of Salamanca, inked-out by officials during the Spanish Inquisition. The series is made up of abstract images capturing the stroke and stain of each censored text.

De la Torre’s first series, Under the Black Sun (1991–1993) comprises portraits engaged with a subtle treatment of color. They were appropriated or reconfigured images from street photographers in Cusco in which the skin of the clients was lightened with Mercurochrome. Also included in Indicios: Milagros de la Torre is the never before seen series It All Stays in the Family. An exploration into the concept of the family portrait, these photographs printed on vintage paper use an “unsynchronized” flash to produce an image that is covered in a shadow that increases from grey to deep black, thereby blurring the connective association between each relative.

A fully illustrated, bilingual publication featuring essays by Edward J. Sullivan, Miguel A. López and an interview between Anne Wilkes Tucker and Milagros de la Torre will be available in April 2012. This catalogue produced with Americas Society is distributed by ARTBOOK | D.A.P.

Observed: Milagros de la Torre is co-presented by Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Peru and Americas Society.

The exhibition at the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) is made possible by the generous support of Juan Carlos Verme.

The Americas Society exhibition is made possible by the generous support of PromPerú, Eduardo Hochschild, Mundus Novus Collection, and Javier Zavala and Alexandra Bryce.

In-kind support is graciously provided by Arte al Día.

Milagros de la Torre at Museo de Arte de Lima and Americas Society
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March 26, 2012

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