Lorraine García-Nakata: A Retrospective 1964 - 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - Sunday, October 25, 2015
View some images of Lorraines residency work here.
San Francisco artist Lorraine García-Nakata chose the title Navigating by Hand to describe her retrospective exhibition at Galería de la Raza. The title of the show plays an important role in the experience of viewing García-Nakata’s prolific, comprehensive body of work; it not only draws attention to the intersections of Lorraine’s visual art history, creative processes, cultural and political influences, but also gestures to the multiple mediums and forms in which she works, and the arts career and family she has built by hand.
In contrast to the chronological focus retrospective exhibitions traditionally follow, Navigating By Hand maps distinct, albeit intertwined, trajectories. While García-Nakata’s artistic maturation follows a linear path, she has produced visual representations of her personal history both contemporarily and as memoir. In her earliest works, we see Lorraine’s childhood crayon drawings interpret colonialist 1950s schoolbook histories. In a later work, reflecting a time when the quinceañera had fallen from popular favor, we see a young Lorraine’s coming-of-age celebrated at a high school formal. Imagery of the artist’s family and visual reflections upon her career in arts administration stand as a testament to García-Nakata’s dedication to both family and work. In depictions ranging from ethereal visions of indigenous ancestry to a ceremonial passing-on of contemporary Chican@ cultural traditions, we come to understand how various influences—from the beehive hair-do, to membership in the Royal Chicano Air Force, to the values that galvanized El Movimiento—have contributed to the Lorraine of the present, and perhaps even hint at her legacy to come.
The title of the exhibition, Navigating by Hand, draws attention to the intersections of Lorraine’s personal history, creative processes, cultural and political influences, and gestures to the multiple mediums and artforms in which she works. The artist’s life story on display, often depicted larger-than-life, invites us to witness seminal and everyday moments through her eyes, as guided by her own hand.