"International" is not a word that conjures the outer limits, at least not anymore. Even in Orlando, "international" can be as close as family and community. Still, the word carries the mystery of the unknown.
It's that curious world-getting-smaller concept that binds the 50 or so pieces from "Visions in Mexico City: International Artists From Galeria Kin," opening Tuesday, June 29, at UCF Art Gallery.
The contemporary exhibition (all of the works were created in 1998 or 1999) includes no folk images. Rather, the group serves as a snapshot of the multinational art scene in Mexico City, the world's largest city, with a cultural hive to match.
Literally bringing the "Visions" concept home was Andres Pérez, UCF gallery's curator of exhibitions. Beginning as a loosely defined project, the exhibit of works hand-selected by Pérez came together as the result of a personal journey. Originally from Colombia, Pérez followed family connections to Mexico City, where his sister, a well-networked printmaker -- Juanita Pérez-Adelman, included in the show -- lives with her American husband.
From there, Pérez searched for the pieces to his puzzle, one contact leading to another -- in particular to artists affiliated with Galeria Kin, one of the city's better-known upscale commercial galleries. The results hang like a travelogue, so to speak, in the gallery's minimalist environment, echoing the concept of the drawing together of the world in lively compatibility.
Limited by practicalities, Pérez chose mostly paintings and prints -- flat works -- with one 3-D installation that glows with candles. There are sunny abstract paintings of female forms by Irishman Phil Kelly -- who, stereotypes be damned, drinks beer while he paints. Venerable Mexican print master Manuel Felguerez is well represented, along with collages and silkscreens by Vincente Rojo. Reflections of religious iconography come from MarÃa Fernanda Carrasquilla in her richly colored paintings. Adding to the colorful interaction are works by Estela Pereda, Luis Aguilar, Enrique Cattaneo and José Gonzáles Vietes and Juan Carlos Bermúdz.
Pérez-Adelman, who lectures July 22, shares her elaborately hand-crafted personal journals of feelings and family that translate into poetry -- in any language.