Latin American Masters gallery presents The Last Mayan Train, a selection of works on paper by Mexican master Francisco Toledo (1940 - 2019). The exhibition features twenty-two works acquired directly from the estate of the artist.
Francisco Toledo was regarded as the standard-bearer of Mexican art for forty years. His protean artistic production includes printmaking, painting, sculpture, assemblage, performance, and installation art. Toledo was also a renowned activist. He defended the rights of native people and used the proceeds from the sales of his art to create museums, libraries, and public spaces. In the process, he transformed Oaxaca into an authentic cultural center.
The Last Mayan Train is a multi-faceted exhibition in which Toledo combines themes of activism, mythology, and historical allegory. Among the featured works is a mixed-media painting of two fish surrounded by fishing nets (Untitled, 2019). The decorative beauty of the nets is counterbalanced by the painting’s subject: overfishing the world’s oceans. Another work features a giant octopus that rises above the ocean’s waves and ensnares a slave ship in its tentacles (Pulpo y barco de esclavos, 2019). Here, Toledo weds his animal iconography to mythology (the sea monster) and history (the slave trade). The exhibition's title piece, Vias del tren Maya, 2019 is painted from the point of view of someone riding a train, watching as the train’s tracks disappear into a tunnel that runs directly through the center of an ancient pyramid. Vias del tren Maya is inspired by the controversial project to build a tourist train to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic architectural sites.
Latin American Masters gallery is honored to have exhibited Francisco Toledo’s art for over thirty years. The current exhibition, Francisco Toledo: The Last Mayan Train, will be available exclusively for online viewing.
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