Permanent Collection - Recent Acquisitions

MOLAA is proud to present the following recent acquisitions in our Permanent Collection: On the Construction of the Real Tower of Babel, 1996, by Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa (b. 1967); Diablitos, Tijuana, and Escaleras, Tijuana, both from 2004, by Ingrid Hernández (Mexico, b. 1974); Caracas: Homage to Mondrian, 1950, by Leo Matiz (Colombia, b. 1918-1998); Mickey/Novia from the series Disguise, by Liliana Porter (Argentina, b. 1941) and Big Bang, 2012, by Rubén Ortiz-Torres (México, b. 1964). These works have been on display at MOLAA in various exhibitions throughout the year.

Carlos Garaicoa’s work focuses on how history and the socio-political situation of Cuba become visible in its architecture. By creating installations, videos, or photographs, always within the context of Cuba, the artist explores the ironies of modern cities in ruins and the need for political commitment towards architecture, reinventing places and urban solutions through fiction. In the last three decades, the architecture in Cuba has turned into a nostalgic ruin due to the abandonment of urban projects after the fall of European socialism and the decline of Cuban economy, leaving cities such as Havana in a dream-like time halt. Acerca de la Construccion de la Verdadera Torre de Babel, 1996, is a comment on ruins and utopia, but is also an example of the representation of landscape based in a real place with the incorporation of elements of the imagination. Garaicoa draws a critical but sentimental architectural solution next to the photograph of urban space in ruins in Havana, which is unfeasible and absurd. Ingrid Hernández is interested in alternative modes of living and subverting the stereotype of poverty by focusing on domestic spaces, so that people don’t see these forms of living with pity or exoticism. For the artist, the domestic space is where people project beliefs, desires and expectations. Intimate spaces are a sort of “psychological geography transported to the realm of objects.” The photographs Diablitos, Tijuana and Escaleras, Tijuana, are part of her series titled Compressed Tijuana, 2005, which was a project in the settlement of “New Hope” (colonia Nueva Esperanza) in Tijuana. Hernández studied the urban growth of the settlement, interviewed the residents on themes about family, migration, socioeconomic issues, their personal perception on the settlement, quality of housing, and communal organization. At the end of the project (December 2005) she had an exhibition of her photos in Nueva Esperanza, where the community was able to see the images and exchange feedback. The works by Ingrid Hernández and Carlos Garaicoa were included in the exhibition Anywhere Better Than This Place: Selections from MOLAA’s Permanent Collection (January 12–June 30, 2012) curated by Selene Preciado.

The following work was part of the pieces MOLAA acquired thanks to the kind donation of artists, galleries and collectors for our 1st Exhibition Fund Auction, The Wave, organized by MOLAA’s curatorial department (May 12, 2012). In some cases, works that were not sold, the artists and donors agreed to incorporate the pieces to our permanent collection. Liliana Porter is an artist who since the sixties has been experimenting with conceptual art, photography and video, as well as the mediums of painting, drawing and collage. Her work plays with our understanding of time and reality through the use of inanimate objects and narratives that are activated by the gaze of the viewer and in constructed vignettes of situations that can be interpreted politically or philosophically. Mickey/Novia, 2009, is part of the series Disguise, which include 12 photographs of figurines with masks and disguises, fulfilling their desire to become someone or something else. In this series, Porter resorts to her use of found objects that she obtains in flea markets or antique stores, creating poetic and eerie settings with unusual characters and dialogues that reflect the distress and banality of the human condition.


Carlos Garaicoa (Cuba, b. 1967) Acerca de la Construcción de la Verdadera Torre de Babel / On the Construction of the Real Tower of Babel, 1996, Print and photo, Gift of Geoffrey Beaumont, M.2011.012.a-b

Liliana Porter (Argentina, b. 1941) Lulu from the series Disguise, 2009, Solar print, Gift of the artist, M.2012.009

Main top image: Leo Matiz (Colombia, 1918-1998) Caracas: Homage to Mondrian/ Caracas: Homenaje a Mondrian, 1950/2011, Gelatin silver print on paper, Gift of the Leo Matiz Foundation, M.2012.001

Permanent Collection

The MOLAA permanent collection features over 1,000 works and is internationally recognized as one of the most significant collections of contemporary Latin American fine art in the nation.


Current Exhibitions

View information and images for exhibitions that are currently on view.