[21] The "Humanscapes" were generally painted on large-scale canvases, mimicking the drive-in movies that inspired them. Okay, now we're doing it, we're really doing it. [15] Felipe Reyes, a painter, was the prime mover of the Con Safo group, which he views as a final reorganization of a group he cofounded in 1968, which was initially known as El Grupo. [10] One of his students was Gaspar Enriquez. Casas is best known for pointed visual statements that question cultural stereotypes and portrayals of Mexican Americans in the media. Mel Casas is one of San Antonio's most influential artists, yet also among the most overlooked. —Mel Casas as quoted in Quirarte, Jacinto, Mexican American artists. Retrieved 7 April 2015. CAMH’S Online Publication Archive. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Mel Casas, “Humanscape 47 (Still Life)” (1968), 72″ x 96″, acrylic/canvas (images courtesy of the Casas family unless noted) SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Over the course of 20 years, Mel Casas … Casas is known for his Humanscape painting series whereby over the span of 150 paintings the Chicano experience slowly moves from the periphery to the center. Kathy Vargas began classes with Mel Casas, a Chicano artist, who asked her to attend a Con Safo art group meeting after seeing some of her photographs. Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster is a new book by Nancy Kelker that showcases the work of American Pop and Chicano Artist Mel Casas. Artspace: Southwestern Contemporary Arts Quarterly 12, no. NOTICE: All paintings represented on this site are the original work of Mel Casas. Mel Casas (Born 1929) is active/lives in Texas. [10] Casas felt that he had a good education in elementary school and junior high. Mel Casas is known for Mod figure-genre, non objective painting. I am not a professional Mexican.”. Mel Casas, Humanscapes 94: Art Lures, 1978, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96", 182.9 x 243.8 cm. This painting, which comes from a larger series of works called “Humanscapes,” were actually inspired by Casas’ experience seeing a drive-in movie screen and seeing these huge images of people and things. Additional papers were donated by Casas in 1999. He used clever word play mixed with imagery. 2 of 10 This Mel Casas painting is part of his “Humanscapes” series. Mel Casas is known for Mod figure-genre, non objective painting. Though Casas is best known for a handful of works that treat Chicano themes, he created an unusually wide array of works with varied themes and styles. The Nancy Kelker research material regarding Mel Casas was donated in 2016 by Nancy Kelker. Several of these artists were students of Casas, who was teaching at San Antonio College. McNay Hosting Gallery Talk on Legacy of Late San Antonio Artist Mel Casas Posted By James Courtney on Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 12:12 PM. We are neither Mexican nor Anglos. 1 of 30 S.A. residents attended the opening of SEX & CINEMA with Mel Casas, featuring the late artist's Humanscape paintings at the FL!GHT in the Blue Star Arts Complex on June 25, 2015. Provenance. (6 May 1976). . [12][13], Casas received an all-level certificate to teach in Texas. [10] He also helped with his father's Swedish massage business located in downtown El Paso. Open Wednesday - Saturday from 11AM to 4PM and by appointment | 210.804.2219, 201-A East Olmos Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78212, Open Wednesday - Saturday from 11AM to 4PM and by appointment | 212.510.7873, 74 East 79th Street, 2D, New York, New York 10075. Los Angeles: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press. In regards to the future of Chicano art, Casas is quoted in the landmark exhibition, Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA), that his wishes were to make “Chicano art relevant to everyone.” Casas constructed a diagram outlining his vision to balance the “national art criteria” with Chicano Art and Regional Art in attempts to make Chicano art more accessible and “relevant to EVERYONE: AN ICONIC REALITY.”. [10] It was Casas' first encounter with discrimination. Finally, from 1982 through 1989, the last Humanscapes treated what Casas called the "Southwestern clichés." Mel Casas: Human presents six large paintings by the late San Antonio–based artist Mel Casas, co-founder of the Chicano art group Con Safo. The subtlety of the meanings, the syntax, or the pronunciation of the words give it something that is missing.[21]. I think people are generally aware of what MeL is, but haven't found a way to incorporate it into their daily life. Melesio "Mel" Casas (November 24, 1929 – November 30, 2014) was a Chicano artist, activist, writer and teacher. Lecture delivered at University of Texas at El Paso. In Casas’ easily Pop Art became a agent for cultural, amusing and political annotation from a Chicano point-of-view. [14], Casas served as president of the Con Safo art group in the early 1970s. Mel Casas (Born 1929) is active/lives in Texas. With the history of art as its foundation, Kelker took several steps to correlate Casas’ body of works to America’s social history, popular culture, psychology, gender studies, and issues of social justice. "Melesio Casas was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1929. Mel Casas Family Trust. Casas’ practice was rooted in the Chicano ethos of social justice, bridging the cultural, political, and economic divides that define the borderlands. He attended the public school system and graduated from Texas Western College with a bachelor's degree in arts in 1956. But that doesn’t make me an artist. "Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster" is a book that will appeal to many audiences from everyday people to academics. 31 likes. The recent passing of pioneering Chicano artist Mel Casas got me thinking about the current state of affairs for Latino art in San Antonio, a city with a sizeable Mexican American majority. ‎Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster showcases the work of American Pop Artist Mel Casas. Courtesy San Antonio College 3 of 10 "Humanscape 62 (Brownies of the Southwest)," a … Funding Smithsonian Institution. [10] In college, he had a very strong background in classical art theory, drawing and painting. "The Cinematic Genesis of the Mel Casas Humanscape, 1965-1967". [10] First, he started to study psychology, due to practical considerations, but later changed to art and teaching. Gallery Talk: Mel Casas: The Man Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Dr. Ruben Cordova, renowned Chicano scholar, discusses work by late San Antonio-based artist Mel Casas, who is best known for his pointed visual statements that explore identity and the bicultural experience. Mel Casas, an influential artist and teacher who helped define the Chicano art movement has died after a two-year battle with cancer. Casas seems to project the future/present of the tradition that Enrique Martinez envisions in At the Altar (2006). Casas has been written about as a Chicano artist yet his practice predated the emergence of the Chicano Movement. NOTICE: All paintings represented on this site are the original work of Mel Casas. Bill. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Flower Triangle (1993), Acrylic on canvas, 24 × 24 in [21] His paintings often reacted to these media types by using erotic themes to highlight the effect that media had on the viewer. "[10], Casas was born in El Paso, Texas[1] to Mexican parents during the Great Depression. PAUL KARLSTROM: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, an interview with artist Mel Casas at his casa in San Antonio, Texas. Hickey, David (1988). Casas was an artist of national and international renown. So there is no sense in trying to say that we have that kind of purity. His signature “Humanscape” paintings were designed as "impact pieces" intended to challenge… Find an in-depth biography, exhibitions, original artworks for sale, the latest news, and sold auction prices. Like many Mexican Americans from this generation, Casas was able to attend college with support from the GI Bill after serving in the Korean War. [22] His choice of subject matter, which satirized racism and may show sexualized nudes, was often considered to be "provocative. Currently on view at the McNay art museum in San Antonio, in conjunction with the exhibition Pop América, 1965–1975, is a presentation of six large-scale paintings and eight other works by the late San Antonio-based artist Mel Casas (1929-2014). Mel Casas: Human presents six large paintings by the late San Antonio–based artist Mel Casas, co-founder of the Chicano art group Con Safo. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Humanscape 95: Bird Watching Art (1978), Acrylic on canvas, 72 × 96 in Mel Casas is known for Mod figure-genre, non objective painting. [21], Casas often paid a price for his trenchant social criticism. [10] Con Safo was considered influential and helped Chicano art receive recognition when Chicanos and their work were largely excluded from museums and galleries. (2006), Acrylic on canvas, 30 × 15 in The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center . [10] He was considered by his students to be a "generous" teacher, helping to launch many young art careers. Born in El Paso, Texas, Casas received his BA from the Texas Western University and an MFA from the University of the Americas in Mexico. From 1975 through 1981, Casas' favorite topic as art about art. [10] He received a BA in 1956 from Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso). The Smithsonian American Art Museum is proud to own paintings by artist, including Humanscape 62, which was featured in our exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. The trio of exhibits trace almost the entire progression of Mel Casas' 150 Humanscape paintings from 1965 to 1989. Related Materials. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Visual Scent (1999), Acrylic on canvas, 24 × 24 in [2] He was very interested in dealing with the objectification of women in media[2] and "debunking" racial stereotypes.[18]. [10] At the time, there were more Anglo students at El Paso High and Casas felt alienated from the other students because of his background and heavy Mexican accent. [6] Casas, who referred to the dominant notion of beauty as the Barbie doll ideal, spoke of the privileges of blond hair and blue eyes while he undressed a Barbie doll during his acceptance speech. [22] His incorporation of imagery from Mexican and Pre-Columbian iconography in conjunction with pop art was unique. A grinning Frito Bandito, who appears to have been carved from semi-precious stone, is perched atop a skeleton and surrounded by a series of ​ “ brown” references drawn from American and indigenous cultures. The series began in 1965 with. Share. He used visual statements, his sense of humor and love of puns to "address cultural stereotypes. [1] He died in his home with his family and his wife of 35 years, Grace Casas. He was also an educator and cofounder of the San Antonio Artist Collective Con Safo—considered by many to be one of the most significant Chicano Art groups of the 60s and 70s at a time when Chicano art was not being shown at mainstream venues. [9] Casas taught art at Jefferson High School in El Paso, Texas[14] for about three years. She felt welcome here and loved what the group was doing with art. View Mel Ramos’s 2,901 artworks on artnet. June 5-Oct. 24, 2015. In regards to the future of Chicano art, Casas is quoted in the landmark exhibition, Essays by Rita Gonzalez, Howard N. Fox & Chon A. Noriega, Rita Gonzalez, Howard N. Fox & Chon A. Noriega, 2008, Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985, Richard Criswold Del Castillo, Teresa McKenna & Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano, editors, 1991, Essay by E. Carmen Ramos, and introduction by Tomás Ybarra-Frausto. I think linguistically and iconographically we will tend to mix the two. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Holy Mackerel! Mel Casas papers, 1963-1998 This site provides access to the papers of Mel Casas in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2020, and total 1,030 images. [4] He is best known for his series of 150 large-scale paintings called "Humanscapes" that were painted between 1965 and 1989. ‎Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster showcases the work of American Pop Artist Mel Casas. Mel Bochner is an American Conceptual artist best known for his text-based paintings. Melesio "Mel" Casas (November 24, 1929 – November 30, 2014) was a Chicano artist, activist, writer and teacher. [2] After retiring, Casas and his wife Grace went to Italy, spending two years in Brandisi and two in Sicily. For the most part, the show was comprised of Casas’ smaller paintings. He was inspired by professor Mel Casas, who made large paintings on a black ground that were informed by pop art and surrealism. In Casas’ hands Pop Art became a vehicle for cultural, social and political commentary from a Chicano point-of-view. “I like the "How to MeL" slogan a lot! [21] As Casas' paintings became more colorful, they also began to have a richer sense of satire and visual play. [2] He and Grace had one child, Bruce. Mel Casas is active/lives in Texas. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Humanscape 135: #2 Mexican Plate (1984), Acrylic on canvas, 72 × 96 in "Casas Exhibit too big for one Gallery," San Antonio Express-News, retrieved July 10, 2015, "Artist, 'cultural adjuster' Mel Casas has died", "The Cinematic Genesis of the Mel Casas Humanscape, 1965-1967", "Con Safo Artists Bring El Movimiento to Canvas", "Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster Painting Exhibition and Book Signing", "Oral History Interview with Mel Casas, 1996 Aug. 14 and 16", "A Stunning Spotlight on the Latino Presence in American Art", http://www.expressnews.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article/Casas-exhibit-too-big-for-one-gallery-6319825.php#photo-8131225, "MTSU Professor Pens Books on Artist Mel Casas", "Oral history interview with Alberto Mijangos, 2003 Dec. 5-12", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mel_Casas&oldid=995636413, United States Army personnel of the Korean War, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 02:38. So we are a mixture. [10], Casas had a two-year battle with cancer. Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster showcases the work of American Pop Artist Mel Casas. The date is August 14, 1996. "Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster" is a book that will appeal to many audiences from everyday people to academics. Please contact us to find out more about our Cookie Policy. [4] His "Brown Paper Report" is considered an important document of Chicano history. Rather, his cultural work supported and coincided with the emergence of a broad civil rights movement. [21], Chicano Art is not Art for Art's Sake, but Art for Human Sake. Between 1958-1965 Casas participated in numerous solo, 2-person, and group exhibitions at local community arts spaces, galleries, and museums in Texas and Mexico. What signs of the Southwest has the artist included? [21] The text chosen for many of the "Humanscapes" help create visual "conundrums" that are meant to allow the viewer to question and re-interpret the ideas that are juxtaposed with the imagery. We are entirely different. Where do we see “brownies” in this image? 447 Followers, 567 Following, 129 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from (@mel.casas) SAN ANTONIO — Mel Casas is probably best known for politically charged paintings such as “Humanscape 62 (Brownies of the Southwest),” one … MEL CASAS: Whatever it is. I think we are lucky to be born outsiders. "Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster" is a book that will appeal to many audiences from everyday people to academics. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Hanging Garden (2005), Acrylic on canvas, 24 × 24 in With his first wife, Maria, Mel had four children: Alfredo, Ingrid, Mike and Sonya. He was designated "Artist of the Year" by the San Antonio Art League for 1968, only to have this honor revoked three days later. El Paso, United States. GETTING the BIG PICTURE: Political Themes in the Art of MEL CASAS, 1968-1977. The interviewer for the Archives is Paul Karlstrom, and this is the first tape, tape one, side A. [4], Casas was first recognized for his work in the abstract expressionist style[2] which was considered "typical" for his time period in the United States. The paintings and their images are not to be reproduced, copied, or used for any other purposes without explicit permission from the Casas Family Trust. [10] After the mid 1960s he began to do more representational work. Cordova’s series focuses exclusively on the artist’s 6-foot-by-8-foot works. This figure is the centerpiece of Casas’s pop-styled painting Humanscape 62. 'No usamos bastidores o manta.' [10] He retired in 1990. Nancy Kelker (1951- ) is an art historian in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The date is August 14, 1996. [9] Casas felt that once artists had a fair chance to exhibit in the United States, then they would become part of "Americana. "Art on the Border." Last year, SAC hosted “Mel Casas: Artist as Cultural Adjuster,” an exhibit of 76 works by Casas, in conjunction with a signing of art historian Nancy Kelker’s book by the same title. Two large paintings from Mel Casa’s Humanscape series comment on Southwestern clichés, and the commodification of Day of the Dead is especially prescient. It will tend to flavor, to color the way we think. Mel Casas, Humanscapes 94: Art Lures, 1978, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96", 182.9 x 243.8 cm. Casas is best known for pointed visual statements that question cultural stereotypes and portrayals of Mexican Americans in the media. His signature “Humanscape” paintings were designed as "impact pieces" intended to challenge… On Artfinder you can find oil paintings for sale, acrylic paintings, as well as watercolour and mixed media paintings. The other thing, however, is this. [24], In later years, he ceased exhibiting, but painted almost daily, even when he was battling cancer. Image assets for this folder have not been fully processed. [15] Other notable artists who subsequently joined the group include Rudy Treviño (who later served as president) César Martínez, Amado Peña, Carmen Lomas Garza, Santos Martínez, Kathy Vargas, Roberto Gonzalez, and Rolando Briseño. [10] Being the chair of the department, however, was stressful for Casas, since he was often on call. As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums are closed temporarily. Okay, now we're doing it, we're really doing it. Mel Casas $ (Born 1929) Mod figure-genre, non objective painting - Texas Melesio Casas * (Born 1929) *See Mel Casas - Texas Olivier Casas $$ (20/21st century) Painting "[15] In its abbreviated form, C/S, it is used to protect murals from defacement. Karlstrom, Paul (1996). [6] In the first group, from 1965 through 1967, Casas made depictions of audiences watching films at drive-in cinemas and conventional movie theaters. His work has been collected by the San Antonio Museum of Art, SmithsonianAmerican Art Museum, and nationally and internationally. In Casas’ hands Pop Art became a vehicle for cultural, social and political commentary from a Chicano point-of-view. [2] He challenged stereotypes, especially in some of the works in his "Humanscape" series. Bochner’s popular thesaurus painting series consists of lists of synonyms displayed in rainbow-colored palettes, often featuring a single word repeated in painterly capital letters, as seen in his seminal piece Blah, Blah, Blah (2008). [10] Casas served in the Korean War from 1950-1953, where he was injured and subsequently returned to the United States. [16], Casas taught for 29 years at San Antonio College[1] where he was Chair of the Art Department for 12 years. Discover (and save!) First of all, because we use liquitex, and we use canvas, and we use stretcher boards. “Because I am of Mexican descent and I readily admit it. Casas began making politically themed paintings in 1968, and he emphasized this subject matter from 1970 through 1975. "[23] Casas felt that media, like television, movies and advertising had the power to change people and could be used to change them for the better. Kelker, Nancy L. (4 September 2013). 723 South Brazos St. Casas was also well known as a write… Mel Casas, a long time resident of San Antonio and art professor at San Antonio College for nearly 30 years, is one of the featured artists included in the new exhibition. Con Safo is a Pachuco slang expression whose most common meanings are: "the same to you," "don't mess with this," and "forbidden to touch. [10], Later, Casas was called into the United States Army[12] and his father insisted it was his duty to serve. This painting, which comes from a larger series of works called “Humanscapes,” were actually inspired by Casas’ experience seeing a drive-in movie screen and seeing these huge images of people and things. He attended the public school system and graduated from Texas Western College with a bachelor's degree in arts in 1956. His signature “Humanscape” paintings were designed as "impact pieces" intended to challenge the viewer into a reconsideration of the cultural myths and social stereotypes so … Through the Con Safo group, members gained exposure by participating in exhibitions for which they were paid a fee by the exhibiting institutions. Okay, now we're doing it, we're really doing it. SAN ANTONIO — Mel Casas is probably best known for politically charged paintings such as “Humanscape 62 (Brownies of the Southwest),” one … We cannot deny it. With the history of art as its foundation, Kelker took several steps to correlate Casas’ body of works to America’s social history, popular … click to enlarge. Discover and buy from a selection of thousands of landscape paintings, portraits, and nude paintings. With the history of art as its foundation, Kelker took several steps to correlate Casas’ body of works to America’s social history, popular culture, psychology, gender studies, and issues of social justice. The paintings and their images are not to be reproduced, copied, or used for any other purposes without explicit permission.. Available for sale from Ruiz-Healy Art, Mel Casas, Humanscape 94: Art Lures (1978), Acrylic on canvas, 72 × 96 in I so divide the picture plane of my painting so as to force the spectator into the role of 'voyeur,' thus acquiring an identity through participation. The Mel Casas papers were donated by Mel Casas in 1981 and microfilmed as part of the Archives of American Art's Texas project. [12] Casas felt that he had the opportunity to teach a "very good cross-section of the city" which was something he enjoyed. 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