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Frost Art Museum debuts art from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora

Frost Art Museum debuts art from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora

June 22, 2022 at 10:25am

FIU’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum is thrilled to announce its exhibition, Seeking Knowledge: Art from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora gifted by Dr. Gamaliel R. Herrera. Dr. Herrera donated the dynamic and multidisciplinary contemporary works as a response to the Frost’s efforts to build a more inclusive collection of art. The exhibition features a wide range of contemporary Puerto Rican artists, who have worked in diverse genres ranging from conceptual and abstract to landscapes and political works.
This new core collection for the Frost includes works by Myritza Castillo, Wilfredo Chiesa, Nayda Collazo-Llorens, José Lerma, Melvin Martínez, Quintín Rivera Toro, Gamaliel Rodriguez, Julio Rosado del Valle, Noemí Ruiz and Miguel Trelles. These artists share thematic nodes that connect their different practices. For example, Ruiz’s enigmatic abstract forms suggest a built environment while Rodriguez and Castillo interrogate connections between power and architecture. Chiesa’s expressive abstract composition shares an aesthetic sensibility with abstract expressionist and color field painters while Martinez layers and deconstructs paint in vivid colors to evoke a contemporary baroque aesthetic that draws attention to art’s material qualities.
As the child of a university professor, Dr. Herrera spent considerable time on the campus of Universidad de Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. There, he developed a keen interest in art and philosophy. While pursuing his own education as a physician, Dr. Herrera began collecting contemporary art, initially focusing on several Puerto Rican artists.
“We are incredibly thankful for Gama Herrera’s generosity to the Frost Art Museum and particularly for his commitment to telling the rich story of later 20th-century art from Puerto Rico,” said Jordana Pomeroy, director of the Frost Art Museum. “His gift is truly transformative for our museum’s collection and sets a powerful precedent for other passionate collectors in the Miami area.”

“In considering an appropriate home for my collection, I was particularly struck by the fact that Florida International University is ranked No. 1 for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students in the country,” said Dr. Herrera. “Miami, FIU and the Frost Art Museum will provide unprecedented access to these artists that exemplify the contemporary Puerto Rican experience."

The exhibition is on view until Sep. 11, 2022. The Frost’s Chief Curator Amy Galpin will give a public tour of the exhibition on Aug. 16 at 2 p.m.