Organized by McNay Prints and Drawings Curator Lyle Williams, the Tricentennial exhibition series “100 Years of Printmaking in San Antonio” smartly illustrates the seemingly endless possibilities and myriad subgenres of the medium. Having recently highlighted the quiet, poetic work of old-school master Kent Rush, the series wraps up on a decidedly noisy, new-school note with Michael Menchaca.
Menchaca — who is one half of the Dos Mestizx duo responsible for the sprawling airport mural ¡Adelante San Antonio! — has enjoyed a steady rise on the local art scene via exhibitions at Artpace, Ruiz-Healy Art and Presa House Gallery, to name a few. Exemplifying an overused phrase, there’s a lot going on in Menchaca’s prints and animations — cats don mustaches and sombreros, Prince performs at the Battle of Flowers Parade, Trump and Clinton appear frozen in a state of shrieking rage, and Mesoamerican worshippers sacrifice themselves to a rat god known as El Diedad de Queso. A dizzying collision of symbols culled from Aztec codices, Menchaca’s oeuvre is rendered playfully with splashy, cartoony elements and nods to video games but closer inspection often reveals pervasive borderland issues, including illegal immigration, drug smuggling and human trafficking.
For his McNay showcase, the Rhode Island School of Design grad has transformed the museum’s Lawson Print Gallery into “an immersive environment of prints, paper installations and video.”
$15-$20, 10am-9pm Thu Oct. 18, 10am-6pm Fri Oct. 19, 10am-5pm Sat Oct. 20, noon-5pm Sun Oct. 21 through Jan. 6, 2019, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org.
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