Material Language, The Bonnier Gallery, Miami Florida USA
For Now, Contemporary Venezuelan Art of the Miami Diaspora, Coral Gables Museum, Coral Gables, Florida, USA
El lenguaje del Color (The Language of Color), Espacio Monitor, Caracas, Venezuela
Anti-Readymade, Espacio Monitor, Caracas, Venezuela
Zona Maco, RGR Art Gallery, DF, México
Visión Constructiva (Constructive Vision), Espacio Monitor, Caracas, Venezuela
Big, Espacio Monitor, Caracas, Venezuela
Proposiciones Abstractas (Abstract Propositions), Galería D’Museo, Caracas
Sotheby’s Latin American Art, New York, USA.
Signos Contemporáneos en el Arte Venezolano (Contemporary Signs in Venezuelan Art), Galería La Cometa, Bogotá, Colombia
Houston Fine Art Fair, Evan Lurie, Gallery, Indiana, USA.
Pinta London Art Fair, Art Nouveau Gallery, London, UK.
INOCENCIO JIMENEZ CHINO
Inocencio Jimenez Chino, from his Uncle Rabbit and the Wax Doll series, amate bark painting
INOCENCIO JIMENEZ CHINO
Inocencio Jiménez Chino is a corn farmer and self-trained artist from the Nahuatl (Aztec)-speaking village of San Agustín Oapan. This community, and a few nearby villages, are at the center of a genre of “tourist art” iconic in Mexico and known throughout the world as amate or bark paintings. Inocencio was twelve years old when this form of painting first emerged and soon took over village life, with virtually every family learning the skills necessary to produce dozens of homogenized and highly stylized works every week. He was eighteen when the 1968 Olympics were held in Mexico City and the government ordered hundreds of thousands of drawings, small and large, to meet the demand of the influx of visitors to Mexico.
Over the following decades Inocencio continued to paint for the mass market. But at the same time, and mostly for his own pleasure, he strove to innovate and excel painting works that had not immediate market but rather started to adorn his house, a small private collection tacked to the brick walls of his modest home. Unfamiliar with the possibilities of high quality commercial brushes, he made his own out of the hairs of donkeys tied to small hollow reads. Despite these rudimentary tools, Inocencio developed a skill with detail that rivals that of any academy trained artist. The detail to the right measures about 1 inch from left to right in the original.
The first of Inocencio’s works to reach a wide audience are two line drawings that he made as part of a visual narrative to protest the proposed construction of a hydroelectric dam that would have innundated over a dozen villages in the Balsas River valley of central Guerrero, Mexico. The works were developed in collaboration with the anthropologist Jonathan D. Amith and originally planned to be given out at protests and roadblocks to raise money to support opposition to the dam. Yet the works were so striking that they became the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum (Chicago) and Parque La Villette (Paris). At the same time they were published in a book entitled The Amate Tradition: Innovation and Dissent in Mexican Art.
Jonathan and Inocencio became close friends. Jonathan now has a house in San Agustín Oapan and Inocencio and his wife, Florencia, have visited the United States and both helped Jonathan with a Nahuatl summer course he taught at Yale University.