On view
January 7 - 28, 2017

Opening Reception
Saturday, January 7, 2017
6 to 9 p.m.

Closing Reception
January 28, 2017
6 to 9 p.m.

The motley assemblage that is Bestiario/Menagerie demonstrates both the best and worst of human inclinations: curiosity is an evolutionary gift. Building knowledge through collecting, comparing, and analyzing has helped the human species amass a compendium more comprehensive than any bestiary or curio cabinet could contain. When knowledge, or presumed knowledge, is used to subjugate others, we lose our humanity. Through these objects and the juxtapositions they activate, the knots of history, knowledge production, and the ever-present danger of using it to exploit others begin to unravel.
— Roula Seikaly, Venison Magazine, 1/16/17

Bestiario, from Spanish, can be roughly translated into "a collection or grouping of beasts." Similarly, a menagerie, a Gallicism, is typically imagined as a collection of savage, diverse creatures —transplanted, extracted, in solitary captivity or placed alongside unlikely counterparts in a strange or artificial environment. 

These terms and their numerous connotations inform the works included in Bestiario/Menagerie.

Moreover, in a time where certain political figures frame Latinxs as destructive elements in US society, this exhibition contrasts such racist manipulations by shifting the focus back to creativity, enabling an appreciation of the variety of exuberant visual languages and styles they bring to contemporary art from Puerto Rico to California.

In Bestiario/Menagerie, the Adobe Books Gallery's white cube acts like a diorama for a curious, savage collection of artworks —bodies, entities, and environmental modules both imitating and punning the menageries of old. 

Bestiario/Menagerie showcases works by artists working in San Juan, New York City, and the Bay Area, invoking a unique assemblage of Latin American and Latinx artists that will surely stimulate the visiting public at Adobe Books and enable them to find connections between the works, each referencing fantastic creatures, a variety of mythos, and terrestrial phenomena.

Exhibiting artists include: Mónica Félix (NYC), Fernando Pintado (NYC), Marcela Pardo Ariza (SF), Mya Pagán (SJ), Rafael Miranda-Matei (SJ), Paula Morales (SF), Santiago Insignares (SF), María Guzmán-Capron (SF), Lionel Cruet (NYC), and Abdiel Segarra-Ríos (SJ/Madrid, Spain).


The exhibition is curated by Á.R. Vázquez-Concepción, San Francisco-based independent curator graduate from California College of the Arts and founder of Cranium Corporation, a platform for fostering dialogue about the work of contemporary artists and exhibitions.


Press: Venison Magazine, Jan 16th