Judithe Hernández, “Dreams Between the Earth and the Sky” (detail) from the Juarez series (courtesy the artist and MOLAA)

Judithe Hernández began her career in the early 1970s as a major figure of LA’s Chicano Arts Movement, merging activism with her artistic practice. Originally gaining prominence as a muralist, she became the fifth and only female member of the art collective Los Four. Over the ensuing five decades, she has developed a studio practice comprised largely of pastel on paper, fusing Western and indigenous pictorial modes with Mexican and Chicanx themes.

Her current show at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), A Dream is the Shadow of Something Real, features almost two dozen pastels, as well earlier works, that depict female figures in dreamlike landscapes. Some reference iconic works like Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” which Hernández uses as the inspiration for “Maidens of the Barrio” (2013), a group portrait of Latinx feminism. Others tackle contemporary social issues like the murders of hundreds of women around the border city of Juarez. Significantly, it is MOLAA’s first solo exhibition by a Chicana artist since the museum’s founding in 1996.

To commemorate the closing of her exhibition, MOLAA has organized Sueños – Sombras – Cuentos (Dreams, Shadows, Stories), a panel discussion on Chicana art in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Moderated by Betty Avila, the executive director of long-running Eastside art space Self Help Graphics, the conversation with Hernández will also include Charlene Villaseñor Black, professor of art history and Chicana/o studies at UCLA, and Dr. Cristina Castellano González from the Universidad de Guadalajara.

When: Saturday, February 9, 2–4pm (free with paid admission / members free)
Where: Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, California)

More info at MOLAA.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.