May 24 - Sept. 9, 2012
A major career retrospective of the work of José Bedia at Miami Art Museum (MAM) explores the influence of indigenous cultures and religions from Cuba, North and South America, and Africa on the artist’s work over the last three decades. Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by José Bedia, featuring 35 artworks including large-scale figurative paintings, installations and drawings, highlights the layering of spiritual, social and historical constructs in Bedia’s body of work—all of which are retold through a highly personal lens. On view from Thursday, May 24 through Sunday, September 2, 2012, the exhibition is the first to comprehensively examine the rich iconography of Bedia’s artistic output.
Bedia is an acclaimed member of Cuba’s “Generation of the ‘80s,” a group of pioneering young artists who incorporated Cuban vernacular and spiritual references into their work and experimented with eclectic visual forms. Throughout the last 30 years, Bedia has traveled to the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, North American Plains, Amazonian rain forest, Dominican countryside, and the Central African savanna, among numerous other locations, in search of artistic and spiritual peers and to participate in what he defines as “diverse spiritual worlds.” The featured works in Transcultural Pilgrim—with their sacred and autobiographical references, strong graphic quality, and philosophical complexity—represent the traces of Bedia’s artistic and spiritual journeys, which have shaped his artistic practice. The exhibition also includes select artifacts from Bedia’s persona collection, which have inspired the forms and content of his work.
Exhibition Organization and Support
Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by José Bedia is organized and produced by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and guest curated by Judith Bettelheim and co-curator Janet Catherine Berlo. Major support for the exhibition is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Donald B. Cordry Memorial Fund. Additional support was provided by the Fay-Bettye Green Fund, the Pasadena Art Alliance, and Manus, the support group of the Fowler Museum.
The Miami presentation is supported by Macy’s Foundation and Funding Arts Network. Additional support has been provided by ArtesMiami, Inc., EDGE Steak & Bar and Mily and Raúl de Molina.
Highlights from the Exhibition
Miami Art Museum presents a major career retrospective of the work of José Bedia.
MAM’s Bedia restrospective surveys 30 years of a city icon
Jose Bedia’s stark images are part of the Miami cityscape, but it’s been three decades since a local museum showed his work.
Jose Bedia: Transcultural Pilgrim at MAM
Those experiences and others are the inspiration behind "Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by José Bedia," a new exhibit at the Miami Art Museum featuring 35 works, including large-scale figurative paintings, drawings, and installations marking a major career retrospective.
Jose Bedia: The artist as anthropologist
Inquisitive, world-traveling Jose Bedia gets the retrospective treatment.
Curator-Led Exhibition Tour of "Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by José Bedia"
On July 21, 2012, exhibition co-curator Janet Catherine Berlo led a walk-through of Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by José Bedia, addressing the Native American elements in Bedia's work.
Lecture by Robert Farris Thompson: "The Grand Illuminator: The Art and World Impact of José Bedia"
Robert Farris Thompson, Col. John Trumbull Professor, History of Art at Yale University gave a lecture entitled "The Grand Illuminator: The Art and World Impact of José Bedia" to a full-house on June 6, 2012.
Artist Talk with José Bedia and exhibition curator Judith Bettelheim .
Exhibition curator Judith Bettelheim and José Bedia discuss the artist’s work on May 23, 2012.
José Bedia leads a tour of "Transcultural Pilgrim"
Artist José Bedia explains several of his pieces in "Transcultural Pilgrim."