En Foco/In Focus: Selected Works from
the Permanent Collection at Aljira
June 7 – August 18, 2012
Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art
591 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Artists: Adál • Jaishri Abichandani • Max Aguilera Hellweg • Sama Alshaibi • Don Gregorio Antón • Chuy Benitez • Louis Carlos Bernal •
Dawoud Bey • Charles Biasiny-Rivera • Terry Boddie • Samantha Box • Roger Cabán • Valdir Cruz • Gerald Cyrus • Phil Dante •
Ana de Orbegoso • Luis Delgado • Dean Dempsey • Lola Flash • Ricky Flores • Myra Greene • Muriel Hasbun • Germán Herrera • Kenro Izu
Nitza Luna • George Malave • Frank X. Méndez • Héctor Méndez Caratini • Stephen Marc • Rania Matar • Annu Palakunnathu Matthew
Larry McNeil • Groana Melendez • Tony Mendoza • Néstor Millán • Delilah Montoya • Pipo Nguyen-duy • Dulce Pinzón • Bonnie Portelance
Sophie Rivera • Juan Sánchez • Kunié Sugiura • Jane Tam • Hank Willis Thomas • Hong-An Truong • Kathy Vargas • Víctor Vázquez • Wendel White
“En Foco is recognized in the field of photography for its publications, annual New Works Fellowship program, workshops and exhibitions. Much less known is a collection that it has amassed of works by many of the photographers who have taken part in its programs. It now numbers nearly 700 prints dating largely from the 1970s to the present day, encompassing not only a plurality of voices but also subject matter, photographic approaches, and points of view. This collection – representing images and artists that are largely absent from published surveys of photography, museum collections, and academic curricula in the field – can be seen as rich evidence of a parallel history of recent photography. The images presented in this exhibition offer an introduction into this significant photographic collection.”
–Elizabeth Ferrer, Guest Curator
En Foco has developed the first permanent collection in the U.S. dedicated to U.S. based photographers of the Latin American, African, Asian and Native American diaspora. This collection creates a parallel history of photography by bringing together artists and images largely absent from the mainstream photography field and unseen by the public.
The show is comprised of 56 striking prints by 49 artists of 21 differing ethnicities/nationalities. The work dates from the 1970s to the present day, and offers a snapshot of this missing history of photographers who used the camera to document their neighborhoods in the ‘70s and ‘80s, press for the inclusion of multicultural voices in artistic, political and media spheres in the ‘90s and increasingly comment on both local and universal themes using the virtual realm in the present day. This exhibition and accompanying catalogue completes an often-unacknowledged part of modern photographic history.
Generous support for this exhibition is provided by: Canson Infinity, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Archival Methods, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.