Ad Infinitum: Artists Against War and Imperialism

Boyhood Terri Warpinski

Date: 12/7/2022

Contact: Jasmine Herrera, Art Museum Coordinator, NMSU University Art Museum (575-646-2545; jasminew@nmsu.edu)

Las Cruces, NM—The New Mexico State University Art Museum (UAM) is pleased to present the first NMSU Department of Art exhibition in Devasthali Hall: Together Through as Within, on view from January 20-March 11, 2023 and curated by Leslie Moody Castro. Concurrently, the exhibition Ad Infinitum: Artists Against War and Imperialism, on view January - May 20, 2023 and curated by Dr. Joanna Matuszak, Visiting Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History, will feature selections from the NMSU Permanent Art Collection in the Bunny Conlon Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery. 

 

Ad Infinitum: Artists Against War and Imperialism

In the Bunny Conlon Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery Ad Infinitum: Artists Against War and Imperialism presents war-era posters and artworks from the NMSU Permanent Art Collection that address twentieth-century imperialism and its effects: militarization, nuclear arms race, destruction of human lives, and damage to the natural environment. Curated by Dr. Joanna Matuszak, Visiting Art History Professor in the Department of Art, this exhibition also highlights violence and methods of survival, which not only characterize wars, but are often enacted by children and adults in the form of games.

 

Curator's Statement

Art’s critique of war is a relatively modern practice. In premodern times, serving patrons, artists glorified heroic military achievements and their leaders. With the advent of photography, the barbarism of war and the senselessness of its human cost came to light in the second half of the nineteenth century. Following the unprecedented violence and massive scale of World War I (1914–1918), heroic battle paintings completely lost their appeal in public spheres. Concurrently, regular criticism of wars that are symptomatic of imperialism began in earnest in modern art, continuing to this day alongside growing demands for a basic right to peace.

This exhibition showcases works from the New Mexico State University Permanent Art Collection. The earliest acquired artworks, dating from the 1980s, underscore the local origins of the nuclear bomb and omnipresent threat of nuclear conflict during the Cold War period. Others expose propagandistic calls for patriotic duty and the imperialistic politics of Western leaders. Several works from the 2000s consider the broader impact of war, its ubiquity, and its presence in the lives of civilians. Most recent acquisitions continue the collection’s focus on the Southwest region and the long-term effects of the Cold War-era nuclear arms race on its environment and inhabitants.

- Dr. Joanna Matuszak

 

See programming on our programming site here.

 

NMSU Artists Bio:

Dr Joanna Matuszak Headshot

Dr. Joanna Matuszak

Joanna Matuszak, Ph.D is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art at NMSU. Her research focuses on contemporary performance art and art of the Global East in the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.


 

Artist’s bios and further information regarding this exhibition are also available on the museum’s website. Museum admission and programming are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit uam.nmsu.edu.