Student’s Work Receives a Nod From ‘The New York Times’

January 3, 2023

Art History Ph.D. candidate Tie Jojima contributed to two works about Latin American artists on the Times’ Best Art Books of 2022 list.

Tie Jojima Art Catalog
Art History Ph.D. candidate Tie Jojima is an assistant curator at Americas Society where she contributed to groundbreaking shows and accompanying books on Latin American artists. (Photo courtesy of Tie Jojima)

Last month, Graduate Center Ph.D. candidate Tie Jojima (Art History) received a welcome surprise: a catalog she contributed to and a book she co-edited made The New York Times’ year-end list of Best Art Books of 2022. Both works accompanied precedent-setting exhibitions of Latin American art that Jojima co-curated at the Americas Society, where she is an assistant curator.

“As a book lover and someone that loves to make art books, I was really happy to see this recognition,” said Jojima. “I was also grateful for my colleagues at Americas Society and the institution for providing space and opportunities for these projects.”

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The catalog, Geles Cabrera: Museo Escultórico, accompanied a show of the same name about the Mexican sculptor at Americas Society and includes an essay by Jojima. The book, This Must Be the Place: An Oral History of Latin American Artists in New York, 1965–1975, complemented a similarly titled Americas Society exhibition held in 2021 and 2022.

Americas Society is the only art institution to have more than one title on the list of 18 books. Many are by large trade publishers and top museums. Both books were selected by Times art critic Holland Cotter.

Cotter wrote that the small souvenir catalog for the show of works by Geles Cabrera “distills the essence of a treasurable artist’s life and work.”

Tie Jojima Art Catalog
View of “Geles Cabrera: Museo Escultórico” at Americas Society. (Photo credit: Arturo Sánchez)

Cabrera is sometimes called Mexico’s “first female sculptor” and is known for semi-abstract works that celebrated the human body. The Americas Society show held this past June and July marked the first solo exhibition of works by an artist who, from the start of her 70-year career, has defied conventions.

In her essay in the catalog, Jojima describes the prejudice Cabrera encountered during her artistic training from teachers and colleagues who considered sculpture a “man’s art form.” In 1966, Cabrera, in defiance of the exclusion of female artists from the cultural canon, opened her own museum to display her work. Americas Society named its show after that museum, Museo Escultórico, and simulated its backyard garden space with plants, bricks, and unusual pedestals, Jojima said.

Jojima also helped Americas Society break new ground when she co-curated a show of works by migrant Latin American artists who contributed to the New York art scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Cotter listed the show, “This Must Be the Place: Latin American Artists in New York, 1965–1975,” among eight not-to-be-missed exhibitions in a December 2021 review.

The book that complemented the show unearths testimonies from the migrant artists who hailed from diverse backgrounds, including South American metropolises, Caribbean diasporas, and Nuyorican communities.

Tie Jojima Art Catalog
“This Must Be the Place: Latin American Artists in New York, 1965-1975” at Americas Society. (Photo credit: Arturo Sánchez)

The book and exhibition, Jojima said, open “debates on the distinct experiences of Latin American and Latinx artists in the city, which were heavily informed by differences on race, colonial status of their country of origin, class, and migration status, among others.”

For the book, Jojima helped with research and organization and wrote introductory essays for each of the chapters and explanatory notes on the artists and documents that are included. The book also includes chapters by two Graduate Center alumnae: Abigail Lapin Dardashti (Ph.D. ’20, Art History), now a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and Yasmin Ramirez (Ph.D. ’05, Art History).

Jojima, who is from Brazil, specializes in modern and contemporary Latin American art. Her dissertation research focuses on performance, pornography, and technology in Brazilian art of the late 1970s and early 1980s. “This academic training is fundamental to my work at Americas Society,” she said.

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