Alejandro Diaz

(American, 1963 – )

Alejandro Diaz cleverly explores the boundaries of race and class by merging humor, urban imagery, products, folk art, fine art, and advertising. His conceptual and campy cardboard signs, which he made and sold on the streets of Manhattan, earned him an international reputation. They are emblematic of his recurrent use of everyday materials, his humor infused politics, and his ongoing involvement with art as a form of entertainment, activism, public intervention, and free enterprise. From these humble, hand written signs to his glamorous works in neon, from his oversized cans of beans and corn to his witty, appropriations of many of contemporary art’s “greatest hits”, Diaz continues to challenge the preconceived notions of culture, society and status.

Alejandro Diaz has exhibited at the Rhode Island Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; the Los Angeles County Museum, CA; the Phoenix Art Museum, AZ; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ; the Aldridge Contemporary Art Museum, CT; and the Museo Del Barrio, NY. Diaz has had public installations in New York, NY, San Antonio, TX and St. Moritz, Switzerland. He is included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Rhode Island Museum of Art, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Fundación/Colección Jumex in Mexico City, and the St Gallen’s University in Switzerland.

ALEJANDRO DIAZ

Born: San Antonio TX (1963 – )

Works: New York, NY

 

Education

1999    MA Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson NY

1987    BFA University of Texas, Austin TX

 

Selected Exhibitions (Solo)

2015    The Linda Pace Foundation “Alejandro Diaz, It Takes a Vlliage”, San Antonio TX

2014    Royale Projects : Contemporary Art “Archeologie”, Palm Desert CA

2013    RISD Museum “RISD Business: Sassy Signs and Sculptures by Alejandro Diaz”, Providence RI

2012    “Artist Rising Above it All” Los Angeles CA

(produced by Royale Projects : Contemporary Art in conjunction with Art Platform)

2011    Royale Projects : Contemporary Art “The Townhouse of New York”, Indian Wells CA

2010    David Shelton Gallery “Just in Queso”, San Antonio TX

Happy Lion Gallery ”The World’s Largest Cardboard Sign”, Los Angeles CA

2009    Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, “Blame it on Mexico”, Ridgefield CT

2006    ArtPace, Window Works, “Mexi-cans”, San Antonio TX

2005    “A Can for All Seasons”, New York NY (produced by The Public Art Fund)

2003    Sala Diaz “Back in 5 minutes”, San Antonio TX

2001    Jessica Murray Projects “Souvenirs”, Brooklyn NY

2000    The Fuller Art Museum “Alejandro Diaz,”, Brockton MA

1996    ArtPace “A.I.R”, San Antonio TX

1995    Southwest Texas State University “La Dolce Vita in Yellow”, San Marcos TX

Barbara Davis Gallery “Introductions ’95”, Houston TX

1994    Karen Rhymer Gallery “Alejandro Diaz”, San Antonio TX

Bemis Center for the Arts “Alejandro Diaz”, Omaha NE

1988   Southwest Craft Center, San Antonio TX

 

Selected Exhibitions (Group)

2013    Royale Projects : Contemporary Art “Looking Back at Tomorrow; the first 5 years of

Royale Projects”, Palm Desert CA

2012    Dorfman Projects “Read Into It”, New York NY

2011    St. Moritz Art Masters, Switzerlan

2010    Royale Projects : Contemporary Art “Outside the Lines: the drawing in contemporary art”,

Indian Wells CA

El Museo del Barrio & Americas Society “Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano

Movement”, New York NY

2009    Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art “Seriously Funny”, Scottsdale AZ

Royale Projects : Contemporary Art “Le Petit Objet”, Indian Wells CA

Museo de Arte Zapopan “Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement”,

Guadalajara, Mexico

Phoenix Art Museum “Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement”, Phoenix AZ

Museo Alameda “Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement”, San Antonio TX

National Museum of Mexican Art “A Declaration of Immigration”, Chicago IL

California State University Fullerton “A New Cosmopolitanism: Preeminence of

Place in Contemporary Art”, Fullerton CA

Royale Projects : Contemporary Art “West/East: Contemporary Artists from Two Coasts”,

Indian Wells CA

2008    Royale Projects : Contemporary Art “Open: Neon as a medium”, Indian Wells CA

Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico

Los Angeles County Museum of Art “Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement”,

Los Angeles CA

2007    Sara Meltzer Gallery “Ceci n’est pas…, “ New York NY

Dashanzi Art Festival “Surge – 798”, Beijing, China

2006    Forum + Elzbieta Koscielak Gallery Cultural Center Zamek, “Body Double”, Lesnica Castle,

Wroclaw, Poland

Santa Barbara Contemporary “Light /Art: Mystic, Crystal, Revelation”, Santa Barbara CA

Weatherspoon Art Museum “Works on Paper Biennial”, Greensboro NC

New World Museum “Tres Años, Tres Amigos, Trés Chic”, Houston TX

Marin Art Gallery, Muhlenburg College “Four Freedoms”, Allenstown PA

KBK Galleria Contemporanea “Apropiaciones”, Mexico City DF

Museo de Las Americas ”Never Leaving Atzlan”, Denver CO

2005    Julia Friedman Gallery “Gift: Wrap and Set Boutique”, New York NY

Galeria O-Itatti “Cheap and Chic”, Mexico City, Mexico

Jersey City Museum “The Superfly Effect”, Jersey City NJ

2004    The Drawing Center “Fall Selections ‘04”, New York NY

Brooklyn Museum of Art “Open House: Working in Brooklyn”, Brooklyn NY

Galeria Animal “Pequeñas Escenas”, Santiago, Chile

Center on Contemporary Art “Neo-Queer”, Seattle WA

Heine Onstad Kuntsenter “Postcards from Cuba: Selections from the 8th Havana Biennial”,

Oslo, Norway

2003    Eighth Havana Biennial I” (Heart) CUBA”, Havana, Cuba

2002    Jessica Murray Projects “Grotto”, Brooklyn NY

Stony Brook University “Queer Visualities: Reframing Sexuality in a Post-Warhol World”,

Stony Brook NY

2001    Rudolph Projects “Cartoon-like,”, Houston TX

2000    El Museo del Barrio “S-Files”, New York NY

University of North Texas State “Latino Redux”, Denton TX

1997    Contemporary Art Museum “Simply Beautiful”, Houston TX

1996    University of Texas at San Antonio Art Gallery, and UTSA Satellite Space “Synthesis and

Subversion: A Latino Direction in San Antonio Art”, San Antonio TX

1991    Glassel School of Art/ Houston Museum of Fine Art “Material as Message”, Houston TX

Centro Cultural de la Secretaria “Las Manos del Artista”, Mexico City, Mexico

Galleria Arte Contemporaneo “Marcas Registrada”, Mexico City, Mexico

Extranjeros en Mexico: Francis Alys, Alex Vaness, Alejandro Diaz, Eugenia Vargas,

Silvia Grunner, Taller Diaz, Mexico City

1989    Blue Star ArtSpace “Blue Star IV, Curated by Lucy Lippard”, San Antonio, TX

 

Awards / Grants

 

2007    Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award

2004    Public Art Fund, In the Public Realm, New York, NY

2003    Linda Pace and ArtPace – supplemental grant for the Havana Biennial Project

Frances T. and Stephen P. Magee – supplemental grant for the Havana Biennial Project

1998    Bard College, Curatorial Studies Fellowship, Annandale-On-Hudson NY

1994    Margaret Pace – Robert Wilson Foundation Grant

1993    River Pierce Foundation Grant

1992    Umlauf Award in Sculpture, University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX

 

Residencies / Visiting Artist / Lectures /Academic

2003    Whitney Museum of American Art, I.P.O. Artist – Curator dialogues, Lecturer, New York NY

2000    Southwest Texas State University, Latino Redux: A Collections of Stories, Lies, and

Embellishments, Panelist, Denton TX

1999    Downtown Arts Projects, Internship, New York NY

1998    Whitney Museum of American Art, Internship (Summer), New York NY

NEA Report, American Canvas: A Roundtable, Panelist, Art Journal Vol. 57 No. 3 p. 69-76

1996    Sala Diaz, Founder, San Antonio TX

1996    ArtPace International Artist-in Residence Program, San Antonio TX

1994    Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha NE

 

Selected Bibliography

Castro, Leslie Moody, Critic’s Picks for It Takes a Village at Linda Pace Foundation, Artforum.com, April 2015

Warren, Chris, An Artistic Homecoming, San Antonio magazine, April 2015

Linda Pace Foundation exhibits works by Alejandro Diaz, OutinSA.com, April 2015

Munsell, Liz, ARTFORUM, Alejandro Diaz: Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, March, 2013

The Nate Berkus Show – House Proud: Texas Dance Hall, April 26th, 2011

Johnson, Ken, They’re Chicanos and Artists. But is Their Art Chicano?, New York Times, April 10, 2010

Muchnic, Suzanne, New arrivals from L.A. galleries, Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2009

Rosenberg, Karen, Toplessness and Taxidermy in a Bottoming Market, New York Times, March 7, 2009

Douglas, Sarah, Zoo: There’s Still a Market for Happiness, Art Info, October 16, 2008

Knight, Christopher, Phantom Sightings at LACMA, Los Angeles Times, April 15 2008

Ryan, Jeffrey, What Do You Care? Frieze Magazine, Dec. 12, 2007

Robinson, Walter, Fair Weather? Artnet Magazine, Oct. 2007

Cotter, Holland, Art in Review, New York Times, July 2007

Rosenberg, Karen, An Afternoon in Chelsea, New York Magazine, Summer 2007

Talespining, The New Yorker, Oct 18, 2004

Glueck, Grace, Working Words into Images, New York Times, Sept. 24, 2004

Herzberg, Julia, 8th Havana Biennial, ArtNexus, Issue #52, Apr. 2004

FILES, MUSAC Museo de Arte Contempraneo, Castilla y Leon, Spain, Feb. 2004

Gopnik, Blake, In Havana, An Air of Possibilities, Washington Post, Nov 16, 2003

Garcia, Miki, Interview with Alejandro Diaz www.Apollo13art.com; April 2003

Sloley, Emma, Personal Space, Harper’s Bazaar – Australia, Jan. 2003

Hamburger, Susan, Artburgher: Alejandro Diaz – Souvenirs, WaterFront Weekly, Oct. 2001

Cotter, Holland, Picking Out Distinctive Voices…, The New York Times, Aug. 2000

Sirmans, Franklin, The S-Files, Time Out New York, Aug. 2000

Goddard, Dan, Denton Show … Texas Hispanics, San Antonio Express & News, March 2000

Sirmans, Franklin, Cityscape San Antonio, FlashArt, summer 1998

Weiss, Ann, On View, New Art Examiner, March 1995

Finding the Authentic…, Financial Times, June 1995

Cantu, Enrique, Jovenes Curadores, Poliester, Sept. 1993

Guerra, Maria, Arte Tex-Mex, Poliester, Sept. 1992

Scott-Fox, Lorna, Arte en su Lugar, La Jornada Semanal, Dec. 1990

Kartofel, Graciela, Arte en Capsulas, Vogue-Mexico, May 1991

Gambrell, Jamie, Texas State of the Art, Art in America, March 1987

Texas Contemporary Art Fair: Live Blog, Glasstire, Oct. 2011

Bennet, Steve, Social, Political Issues Drive Artist’s Humor, My San Antonio,July. 2010

Dickens, Scott, Seeing “Multiples” at the David Shelton Gallery, Examiner Aug. 2009

Fuller, Daniel, Alejandro Diaz The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Art Lies, 2009

Ollman, Leah, Art Review: Alejandro Diaz at Happy Lion, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 2009

Drysdale, Rebekah, Alejandro Diaz, Daily Serving, Oct. 2009

Alejandro Diaz: Blame it on Mexico, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Feb. 2009

The Nate Berkus Show – House Proud: Texas Dance Hall

Knight, Christopher, Phantom Sightings at LACMA, Los Angeles Times, April 15 2008

Ryan, Jeffrey, What Do You Care? Frieze Magazine, Dec. 12, 2007

Robinson, Walter, Fair Weather? Artnet Magazine, Oct. 2007

Cotter, Holland, Art in Review, New York Times, July 2007

Rosenberg, Karen, An Afternoon in Chelsea, New York Magazine, Summer 2007

Ewing, John, Alejandro Diaz: A Can for All Seasons, Art Lies, 2005

Talespining, The New Yorker, Oct 18, 2004

Glueck, Grace, Working Words into Images, New York Times, Sept. 24, 2004

Herzberg, Julia, 8th Havana Biennial, ArtNexus, Issue #52, Apr. 2004

FILES, MUSAC Museo de Arte Contempraneo, Castilla y Leon, Spain, Feb. 2004

Gopnik, Blake, In Havana, An Air of Possibilities, Washington Post, Nov 16, 2003

Garcia, Miki, Interview with Alejandro Diaz www.Apollo13art.com; April 2003

Sloley, Emma, Personal Space, Harper’s Bazaar – Australia, Jan. 2003

Hamburger, Susan, Artburgher: Alejandro Diaz – Souvenirs, WaterFront Weekly, Oct. 2001

Cotter, Holland, Picking Out Distinctive Voices…, The New York Times, Aug. 2000

Sirmans, Franklin, The S-Files, Time Out New York, Aug. 2000

Goddard, Dan, Denton Show…Texas Hispanics, San Antonio Express & News, March 2000

Sirmans, Franklin, Cityscape San Antonio, FlashArt, summer 1998

Weiss, Ann, On View, New Art Examiner, March 1995

Finding the Authentic…, Financial Times, June 1995

Cantu, Enrique, Jovenes Curadores, Poliester, Sept. 1993

Guerra, Maria, Arte Tex-Mex, Poliester, Sept. 1992

Scott-Fox, Lorna, Arte en su Lugar, La Jornada Semanal, Dec. 1990

Kartofel, Graciela, Arte en Capsulas, Vogue-Mexico, May 1991

Gambrell, Jamie, Texas State of the Art, Art in America, March 1987

 

Selected Public Collections

City of San Antonio TX

El Museo del Barrio, New York NY

Fundación Colleción Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico

Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio TX

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles CA

RISD Musem of Art, Providence RI

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale AZ

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC

Univeristy of St. Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland