Representing Masculinity

November 17, 2022 – April 15, 2023


Álvaro Barrios, Hernan Bas, Alfredo Boulton, Valerie Brathwaite, Maris Bustamante, María Fernanda Cardoso, Feliciano Centurión, Detext, Paz Errázuriz, Fernell Franco, Julio Galán, Félix González-Torres, Nicolás Guagnini, Lyle Ashton Harris, Hudinilson Jr., Dorian Ulises López Macías, Antonio Manuel, Robert Mapplethorpe, Marisol, Marta Minujín, Carlos Motta, Claudio Perna, Richard Prince, Herbert Rodríguez, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Hugh Steers, Hank Willis Thomas, Andy Warhol

​ANOTHER SPACE is pleased to announce Macho: Representing Masculinity, a group show that explores constructs of the masculine code. The exhibition is conceived as a sequel to ANOTHER SPACE’s 2018 presentation of The Second Sex, a selection of works from the Estrellita B. Brodsky Collection that examined radical and feminist art practices in Latin America.


Macho considers the ways in which artists have questioned male identity as an absolute, whether through portraiture, self-portraiture, humor, or pathos. Divided into three overlapping themes, the show brings together works by over 25 multigenerational artists from Latin America and its diaspora, the Caribbean and the United States, from the 1940s to the present. 


A first group of works surveys the formation of heteronormative ideals of manliness through rituals of masculinity. Within this group, works such as Richard Prince’s Untitled (Cowboy) (1980-84), an icon of ruggedness, Hank Willis Thomas’ Fair Warning series (2012) that refers to advertising subtexts insinuating phallic prowess, as well as Alfredo Boulton’s seductively posed figures, emphasize the stereotypical “ideal male” in the context of contemporary commercial culture. Centered on portraiture, the role of the camera and cinema to construct and deconstruct codes of masculinity is further emphasized by Robert Mapplethorpe’s iconic 1976 photographs of Austrian bodybuilder (and later, governor of California) Arnold Schwarzenegger and of Bob Paris.


While Fernell Franco’s 1985 photograph of men playing at billiard clubs illustrates the concept of leisurely male camaraderie, in the work Sip In (2019), Hernan Bas turns his attention to a subtle yet powerful act of defiance that marked the early days of the gay liberation movement in the United States. Bas commemorates the 1966 “sip in” that took place at the Julius bar when three young men dressed in suits were refused service for being openly gay. This form of affirmation is echoed in works such as Feliciano Centurión’s 1994 embroidered blanket Estoy Vivo, which addresses the invisibility of homosexuality and the impact of the AIDS epidemic. In parallel, Hugh Steers and Félix González-Torres evoke narratives of intimacy and illness at a time when the two were severely intertwined.

A second section of the exhibition showcases a group of mostly self-portraits by artists who defy traditional objectification of the heteronormative. Julio Galán’s monumental oil painting, collaged with ceramic flowers and fabric, interweaves references to his sexual identity with allusions to Catholicism. Many of the other artists shown deploy photography and xerography to depict themselves through multiple images of a fractured body, as in Claudio Perna’s self-portrait comprised of nine closeups and Hudinilson’s iconic xeroxes. Also presenting their own likeness, Antonio Manuel and Alvaro Barrios further complicate notions of masculinity by assuming alter egos and androgynous gender identification.

The exhibition concludes with a group of works that question the idea of a fixed masculine identity by challenging hegemonic male power and dominance most often associated with the phallus. Paz Errazuriz’s Exéresis (2004) and Detext's Spam wall texts (2010) address castration anxiety and the importance of sexual vigor employed in predominant definitions of masculinity, while María Fernanda Cardoso’s It’s Not Size That Matters it is Shape (2011) and Marta Minujín’s toppled, flaccid obelisk similarly ridicule the masculine obsession with phalluses, the ultimate symbol of male dominance. Herbert Rodríguez and Marisol cull images from pop culture and mass media to establish a direct connection between patriarchy, violence and sexual assault.

ANOTHER SPACE is a not-for-profit program established by the Daniel and Estrellita B. Brodsky Family Foundation. Founded by art historian and collector Estrellita B. Brodsky, the program is dedicated to building recognition and international awareness of artists from Latin America and its diaspora within a global context.

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