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Maker(s):Alicea, Jose R.
Culture:Puerto Rican (1928- )
Title:Paisaje con Paloma #1 (Landscape with a Dove #1)
Date Made:1980
Materials:Lithograph, screenprint and embossing printed in color on medium thick, moderately textured, cream-colored Arches paper
Measurements:sheet: 30 in x 22 3/4 in; 76.2 cm x 57.8 cm; image: 26 5/8 in x 18 5/8 in; 67.6 cm x 47.3 cm
Accession Number:  SC 2016.56.58
Credit Line:Gift of Marius and Suzanne Sznajderman in memory of Bernard Barken Kaufman
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

dead bird below a stylized landscape

Label Text:
The Taino symbol, usually seen in ancient petroglyphs (rock drawings), is a symbol of the sun. Here the symbol is imprinted in the center of the work, appearing beneath a blood red sky and looming over dark mountains. A dead dove (paloma) lies in the foreground. This desolate landscape tells a somber story.

The Taino were native inhabitants of Puerto Rico (which they called Borinquen) who were decimated through famine, war, and disease during the Spanish conquest of the 16th century. José Alicea was born in the heart of borincano culture in the Belgica community of Ponce. He was affected by the dark history of his homeland and intrigued by its ancient mysticism. An illustrator and graphic artist, Alicea is also a storyteller, giving life to the words of Spanish poets like Federico García Lorca and Argentinian poet Pablo Neruda in his illustrations of their work.

Landscape with Dove #1 is one of a series of works that feel like visual poems. As a multidimensional symbol of life, the dove is here laid to rest as Neruda describes: “the dove can be seen as the most exhausted expression of life because of its faithful perfection.” (hkdv)

birds; landscapes

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