LUIS GONZALEZ PALMA





Born 1957, Guatemala

Education

Studied architecture and cinematography at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.

Solo Exhibitions

2008
DeCordova Museum and Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts

2007
Galeria Fucares, Madrid
Galeria Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
2006
Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, ID
Galeria Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Scheinbaum & Russek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Pan American Art Gallery, Dallas, TX
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL

2005
Venice Biennial
Private Collection, London, England
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL
Martin Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

2004
Galeria Fucares, Madrid
Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, ID
Camera Obscura, Paris, France
Museo Ken Damy, Brescia, Italy
Museum of Fine Arts, Medellin, Colombia
Galeria Visor, Valencia, Spain
Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Robert Mann Gallery, New York, NY
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL

2003
Galeria Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Taylor Museum Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO
Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL
Benham Gallery, Seattle, WA
Focus Gallery, London, England

2002 Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, Australia
Galería Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, México
Rockford College, Rockford, IL
Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Mainsite Gallery, Norman, OK
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL
Severn Gallery, Ketchum, ID
Colorado Springs Museum, Colorado Springs, CO

2001 Robert Mann Gallery, New York, NY
Galería Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Fetterman Photographic Works, Santa Monica, CA
The Olson, Gallery Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Jane Jackson Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2000
Atrio di Palazzo Ducale, Genova, Italy
Mas de la fotografia de Merida, Mexico
Pinacoteca Diego Rivera, Veracruz, Mexico
The University of North Texas Art Gallery, Denton TX
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL
University of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

1999
Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Martin Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
Museo Ken Damy, Brescia, Italia
Foto España, Centro Cultural La Villa (Grand Prize Winner)
Festival de Invierno, Ouro Preto, Brasil
The Galleries of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Sicardi Sanders Gallery, Houston, TX
Photo & Co. Gallery, Milan, Italy
El Ojo Ajeno, Lima Peru
Mainsite Contemporary Art, OK
Arts and Humanities Council, Lake Charles, LA
Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

1998
Photo & Co., Turin, Italy
Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ USA (January)
James Danziger Gallery, New York, NY USA (May)
Jane Jackson Fine Arts, Atlanta, GA USA (June)
Barry Singer Gallery, Petaluma, CA USA (Sept)
Schneider Gallery, Chicago,IL (Dec)

1997
Mes de la Fotografia, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Casa de las Americas, La Habana, Cuba
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA USA (April)
Centro de Artes Visuales, Museo del Barro, Asuncion, Paraguay
Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA USA (January)
Martin Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, MN USA (October)
Galeria Sergio Milliet, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL USA (September)
James Danziger Gallery, New York, NY USA
Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ USA (January)

1996
Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico D.F., Mexico
Museo de Guadalajara, Mexico
Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin, Colombia
Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota Colombia
McClain & Co., Houston, TX USA
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL USA (May)
Biuro-Wystaw-Artystycznych, Jelenia Gora, Osrodek Kultury, Wroclaw/Lodzki Dom Kultury, Lodz/Centrum Kultury, Katowice, Poland, (Travelling Show in Poland)
V Bienal de Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador
Galeria Tomas Andreu, Santiago de Chile, Chile

1995
Galeria Il Diaframma, Milan, Italy
The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon, SK. Canada
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL USA
Galeria Spectrum, Zaragoza, Spain
Mes de la Fotografia, Quito, Ecuador
Galeria Antonio de Barnola, Barcelona, Spain
Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ USA
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL USA
Festival International de Fotografia, “Tarazona Foto”, “El Silencio de Dios” Spain

1994
Royal Festival Hall, London, England
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela
25th Recontres de la Photographie, Arles, France
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL USA
Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH USA
Month of Photography, Bratislava, Slovakia
Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA USA
Galeria Visor, Valencia, Spain

1993
New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, New Harmony, IN USA
Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA USA
A.B. Galleries, Paris, France
Jane Jackson Gallery, Atlanta, GA USA
Schneider-Bluhm-Loeb Gallery, Chicago, IL USA
FotoFeis, International Festival of Photography, Scotland, Great Britain
Scheinbaum and Russek, Santa Fe, NM USA
Moderna Museet, Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Musee de la Photographie de Charleroi, Belgium
Lowinsky Gallery, New York, NY USA
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN USA

1992
The Art Institute of Chicago, “Persistence of Beauty, Persistence of Pain”, Chicago, IL USA
V Fotobienal de Vigo, Vigo, Spain
Galeria “Sol del Rio”, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Fotofest, International Month of Photography, “Nupcias de Soledad”, Houston, TX
Schneider-Bluhm-Loeb Gallery, “Silencio de la Mirada”, Chicago, IL USA
Galleri Image, Arhus, Denmark
Simon Lowinsky Gallery, New York, NY USA

1991 “Lugar Sin Reposo” (Place Without Rest), El Cadejo Arte Contemporaneo, Antigua, Guatemala
“La Fidelidad del Dolor” (Persistence of Pain), Galería de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, México

1990 “El Sueno Tiene Los Ojos Abiertos” (The Dream has its Eyes Open), Fotogalería Teatro San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1989 “Auto-confesión”, Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, New York, NY USA

Selected Collective Exhibitions

2002
Sarah Morthland Gallery, New York, NY USA
Salinas Art Center, Salinas, KS
Daros Latin America Collection, Zurich, Switzerland

2001
Biennale de Venezia, “L’Aperto”, Venezia, Italia (June-November)
St. Louis Community College, St. Louis, MO
Alternative Processes Exhibit, The Art Institute of Boston, Boston , MA (curated by Christopher James)

1999
The Meadows Museum, Dallas, TX
The Rockford Museum, Rockford, IL
Joliet Center for the Arts, Joliet, IL
10 Años de Centro Cultural UFMG, Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Lisieres LatinoAmericaines, Strasbourg, France
La Cita, Painting and Sculpture of Latin America, Biarritz, France Contemporary Art from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaruagua, and Costa Rica , Taipei Fine Art Museum , Taipei, Taiwan
Tracing Times, photogravures by eight Latin American photographers, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
I Bienal Internacional de fotografia, Centro de la Imagen, México

1998
ARCO, Madrid, Spain (February)
Center for Latino Art, San José, CA
Galería Nina Menocal, Mexico DF, Mexico
1,254KM, Centro Wifredo Lam, La Habana, Cuba
Lumo triennial, Jyvaskyla Art Museum, Finlandia

1997
ARCO, Madrid, Spain (February)
VI Bienal de la Habana, Cuba
Festivales de Arte de Lima, Peru
Festival Internacional de Arte de Medellin, Colombia
“New Realities, Hand Colored Photographs-1839 to the Present”, Wyoming Art Museum, Boise Art Museum
Asi Esta la Cosa: Instalacion y Arte Objeto de America Latina, Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico D.F., Mexico
“Arqueologia del Silencio”, Museo de Arte Moderno, Guatemala
“Real Maravilloso”, Piazza dei Macelli, Prato, Italy

1996
Art Gallery of the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA USA
ARCO, Madrid, Spain
Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brasil
“Relaciones”, Museo de Arte y Diseno, San Jose, Costa Rica
Vision del Arte Contemporaneo en Guatemala, Museo de Arte Moderno de Guatemala, Guatemala
“Image and Memory”, Museo del Barrio, New York, NY USA
“Common Bonds”, Photogravure, Spectrum Gallery, New York, NY USA
“Photogravure, A Survey 1903-1996”, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY USA
“Pushing Image Paradigms: Conceptual Maneuvers in Recent Photography”, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR USA
“Arqueologia del Silencio”, Museo del Chopo, Mexico D.F. ,Mexico
“Figuratively Speaking: 20th Century Paintings, Sculptures, and Works on Paper” Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA USA
“Cuerpo”, Galeria Nina Menocal, Mexico D.F., Mexico
“Mesotica II”, Museo de Arte y Diseno Contemporaneo, San Jose, Costa Rica
Casa de America, Madrid, Spain

1995
“Traces: The Body in Contemporary Photography”, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY USA
“Image and Memory: Latin American Photography, 1880-1992”, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA USA
“Meta-Physics”, De Pree Art Center, Hope College, Holland, MI USA
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL USA
Museo de Arte Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Triangular: Antigua, Guatemala, Mexico D.F., Stockholm, Sweden
Arte Contemporaneo Latinamericano, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
Cruzando Caminos: 6 Fotografos Latinamericanos, Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru
“Quest for the Moon”, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX USA

1994
“Drawing Back the Curtain: Intimate Photographs of Human Grace”, Swanson-Cralle, Louisville, KY USA
V Bienal de la Habana, Cuba
Ludwig Forum fur International Kunst, Aachen, Germany
“Image & Memory: Latin American Photography, 1880-1992”, Akron Art Museum, Meadows Museum of Art, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX USA
“Le Courage”, Chateaux Beychevelle, Bordeaux, France
“Indagaciones”, Galeria Sol Del Rio, Guatemala
Encuentro Interamericano de Artistas Plasticos, Museo de las Artes, Guadalajara, Mexico
Tierra de Tempestades, Nuevo Arte de Guatemala, El Salvador y Nicaragua, Harris Museum, travelling show in UK
Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL USA

1993
“Canto a la Realidad, Fotografia Latinamericana 1860-1990”, Madrid, Spain, travelling through several countries for two years
Encuentro Latinoamericano de Fotografia, Caracas, Venezuela

1992
Salon Latinoamericano del Desnudo,Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brasil; Alianza Francesa. Lima, Peru

1991
Fotografia Contemporanea de Latinoamerica, Museo de Huelva, Spain
Recontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France

1990
Cents Ans de Photographie au Guatemala, Maison de l’Amerique Latine, Paris, France

1989
“El Mito de la Imagen” (The Myth of the Image), Galeria Imaginaria, Antigua, Guatemala
“Presencia Imaginaria” (Imaginary Presence), Museo National de Arte Moderno, Guatemala City, Guatemala and Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico, DF

1988
“Refigura (Refiguration): Guatemalan Contemporary Visual Arts”, Gallery of Contemporary Art, San Antonio, TX USA
“Angelogia” (All About Angels), Galeria Imaginaria, Antigua, Guatemala
Three Contemporary Photographers from Guatemala, travelling show through Alabama, USA

1987
V Biennale de Artes Paiz, Guatemala City, Guatemala
XVI Salon Nacional de Fotografia, Guatemala City, Guatemala
XIV Salon Nacional de Fotografia, Museo Bellas Artes, Ciudad de Antigua, Guatemala

Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL USA; Berlin Museum, Berlin, Germany; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY USA; Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Centro de Estudios Fotograficos, Vigo, Spain; DePauw University, Greencastle, IN USA; DAROS Latin America, Zurich, Switzerland; Maison European de la Photographie, Paris, France; Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA USA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA USA; LA County Museum, Los Angeles, CA USA; Maison de l’Amerique Latine, Paris, France; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN USA; Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX USA; National; Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris, France; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA USA; University Art Museum, AZ State University, Tempe, AZ USA; Musee de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium; Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela; The Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Akron, OH USA; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ USA; Museo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Yale University, New Haven, CT; Smith College, Northampton, MA USA; North Dakota Museum of Art, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND USA; Museo de Arte y Diseno Contemporaneo, San Jose, Costa Rica; Casa de las Americas, La Habana, Cuba; Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota, Colombia; Centro de Artes Visuales, Museo del Barro, Asuncion, Paraguay; Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellin, Colombia; William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Store, CT; MacArthur Foundation Collection, Chicago, IL; Akron Museum of Art, Akron, OH; Fonds National D’Art Contemporain, Paris, France; Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Dayton Institute of Art, Dayton, OH

Monograph

Luis Gonzalez Palma, introduction by Maria Cristina Orive, La Azotea, Photographic Editorial of Latin America, S.R.L., Buenos Aires, 1993.
Il Silencio De Maya, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Peliti Associati, Photo & Co., Verona, 1998.
Luis Gonzalez Palma : Poems of Sorrow, text by John Wood, Arena Editions, Sante Fe, 1999

Bibliography

Akron Art Museum, text by B. Tannenbaum, M. Kahan, J. Grove, Art since 1850: An Introduction to the Collection, (p. 40, Akron Art Musuem, distributed by University of Washington Press, Seattle, 2001)

Billeter, Erika, Edited with Text by, A Song to Reality, Photography of Latin America, 1860-1993, (Barcelona: Lundwerg; Madrid: Casa de America, 1993).

Bloncourt, Nelson and Engelmann, Karen, Visions of Angels, 35 Photographers Share Their Images, (S Editions, an imprint of SMITHMARK Publishers, New York, NY, 1998).

High Museum of Art (in association of Rizzoli International Publications), Chorus of Light: Photographs from the Sir Elton John Collection, (printed by the Stinehour Press, Lunenberg, Vermont, 2000).

James, Christopher, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, (p. 288, Delmar, Thomson Learning, Albany, NY, printed in Canada, 2002).

Leonelli, Laura (postfazione), Il Silenzio dei Maya, (Peliti Associati – Photo & Co, Verona, Italy, 1998).

Orive, María Christina (Introduction), Luis Gonzalez Palma, (La Azotea, Photographic Editorial of Latin America, S.R.L., Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1993).

Pultz, John, The Body and The Lens, Photography 1839 to the Present, (p. 154, Perspectives, Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York, NY, 1995).

Watriss, Wendy and Zmora, Lois Parkinson, Editors, Image and Memory, Photography from Latin America 1866-1994, (University of Texas Press, in association with FotoFest, Inc., Austin, TX, 1998).

Wood, James, Director and President of the Art Institute of Chicago (works selected by), and Mancoff, Debra N., (Commentaries by), Treasures of the Art Institute of Chicago, (Distributed by Hudson Hills Press, Inc., NY, 2000, printed in Verona, Italy).

Wood, John, Editor, Albahari, Steven, publisher, The Journal of Contemporary Photography, Culture & Criticism, (A publication by Leo & Wolfe Photography, Inc., Brewster, MA, 1999

Wood, John (Essay), Luis Gonzalez Palma, Poems of Sorrow, (Arena Editions, Santa Fe, NM, 1999, Printed in Verona, Italy



The Annunciation Reconceived

A profound visual meditation on our failure fully to connect with one another, in which distance becomes manifest in nearness and absence in presence, Luis Gonzalez Palma’s “Hierarchies of Intimacy” marks a continuation of his extended reflections on the varieties of sadness.

One of the most important and esteemed postmodern photo-artists, Gonzalez Palma has always combined his deeply personal struggles with cultural agonies in mythical works that use straight photography as a base that he infuses with enhanced meaning through paint, tint, collaged elements and now – for the first time – color film and digital alteration. The scenario of theatrical portrait has been his favored genre for expressing complex emotions and melding them with public and private symbolism.

Gonzalez Palma’s eleven-image series is part of his larger “Annunciation Project,” which reflects – in thoroughly contemporary form – on the Angel Gabriel’s revelation to the Virgin Mary that she would birth Jesus Christ.

Aesthetically and emotionally sensitive, and conceptually rigorous, Gonzalez Palma unfailingly embeds his ideas in his works so that their meanings body forth visually without the need for protracted verbal explanations. We must, then, begin with the biblical story of the Annunciation in order to understand the artist’s transformation of it for our own times.

The story of the Annunciation is told in the book of Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-38. The narrative reports that when Gabriel greets Mary, she is “deeply disturbed,” being in doubt about the reason for the visitation. Gabriel reassures Mary that she has “found favor with God” and then tells her that she will conceive Jesus, who “will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever and there will be no end of his kingdom.” Mary wonders how she can bear a child when she is a virgin, to which Gabriel responds that everything is possible for God. Mary acquiesces and says, “ ‘May it become of me according to your word.’ “

In Christian theology, the Annunciation heralds the good news of the virgin birth, yet if we stop there, we will pass over its meaning for Mary, which is what concerns Gonzalez Palma. In Luke’s story, there is nothing extraordinary about Mary – she is a normal woman who is “deeply disturbed” by the visitation, skeptical about the revelation and – most importantly – simply acquiescent and obedient when the encounter concludes; there is a vehicle for God’s work of salvation. Indeed, we are left in doubt about Mary’s feelings, providing Gonzalez Palma with his opening to fill out the story with psychological content.

For Gonzalez Palma, the Annunciation is not primarily one of the events in the Jesus narrative; it is Mary’s story, which he retells not by shadowing the biblical account, but by offering “variations” of it. Those reflections are placed in sequential order, but they do not pretend to constitute a coherent narrative; they are emotionally suggestive and – as a whole – create a sensibility that questions the biblical story. In the account in Luke and in the depictions of the event in the tradition of Western painting upon which Gonzalez Palma has drawn, there is a fullness of presence; in Gonzalez Palma’ scenarios, there is a deep play between presence and absence, with a dominating and unresolved sense of disconnection and loss that has not become final, yet does not betray hope for reconciliation.

The image in Gonzalez Palma’s series that most closely approaches traditional depictions of the Annunciation is Variation 2, in which a woman with a pained and drawn expression stands facing the camera in the shadows at the foot of a staircase near a corner that opens out into a dingy corridor lit by a glowing chandelier. Behind her stands a man in a black suit with his hands behind his back who is so deeply shadowed that his features are indiscernible and his presence ghostly. A disembodied hand rests on the woman’s shoulder – the finishing touch on a scene with gothic resonance.

In traditional representations of the Annunciation, Gabriel and Mary are fully in the light, and the angel either faces the virgin or stands at her side, often extending on of his arms towards her. In Gonzalez Palma’s version, darkness replaces light, presence is effaced and the empty illuminated corridor leads to a blank wall with the hint that there is another corner to turn. Most importantly, the hand that rests on the woman’s shoulder does not belong to the man behind her, who has withdrawn his arms; there is no sense of foreboding here, rather, there is a palpable disconnection. The dark-haired woman dominates the scene and although there are other presences, they are privative and she is even more isolated in her apparent sorrow that when would be were she alone.

Gonzalez Palma’s Annunciation image is bathed in mystery and enigma, provoking questions rather than providing answers. Is the woman receiving a revelation? If so, what is the news? She does not seem to be frightened, but what disturbs her so deeply? What lies beyond the far corner of the illuminated passageway? Why is the scene so unremittingly dreary? What does the spectral man standing behind the woman mean to her and why does he fail to try to give her solace? Is he powerless or does he refuse to intervene? We cannot believe that we are witnesses to a blessed event filled with promise; whatever the answers to our questions might be – if, indeed, there are answers – Gonzalez Palma’s postmodern Mary is more a victim than someone who has “found favor with God.”

Variation 2 stands for Gonzalez Palma’s visual reflection on the “Hierarchies of Intimacy.” None of the other ten images records successful connection and all of them are suffused with the same sense of somber mystery, sometimes appearing to tend toward a closer bond and sometimes seeming to foreclose that possibility.

Throughout his trajectory as an artist, Gonzalez Palma has meditated on the varieties of sadness, producing incisive and profound works that reveal to us our personal discontents in relation to their cultural expressions, setting up a vital reciprocity between private and public. His Annunciation Project is one of the most challenging and complex of his ventures into the painful currents of experience and – as always – invites us to sharpen the sense of our perplexities.

-Michael Weinstein


Galeria Omar Alonso © 2020

FOLLOW US ON
f t i c

Leona Vicario 249, Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, C.P. 48300, Mexico. Phone+52 (322) 222 5587