ARTS & COLLECTIBLES
THERE IS NO
Organized to coincide with the fifth anniversary
of Hurricane Maria—a Category 4 storm that hit
Puerto Rico in 2017—the Whitney presents no
existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art
in the Wake of Hurricane Maria.
Armig Santos, Procesión en Vieques III, 2022.
Acrylic and oil on canvas, 84 × 72 in.
(213.4 × 182.9 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy the artist
Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria. This exhibition brings together over fifty works by an intergenerational group of more than fifteen artists from Puerto Rico and the Diaspora, recognizing how artists have responded to the transformative years since the hurricane. These works, made between 2017 and 2022, seek to analyze the cracks left by the storm in the very structure of Puerto Rico’s politics, culture, and society through painting, video, installation, performance, poetry, and never-before-seen commissions. No existe un mundo poshuracán (There is no Post-Hurricane Word) —a verse borrowed from Puerto Rican poet Raquel Salas Rivera—is the first scholarly exhibition focused on Puerto Rican art to be organized by a large U.S. museum in nearly half a century.
While the exhibition centers on Hurricane Maria, it is also defined by the larger context surrounding and exacerbating the storm’s aftermath. This chain of events includes the austerity measures implemented by the PROMESA law (also referred to as La Junta); the deaths of 4,645 Puerto Ricans as a consequence of the hurricane; the ouster of governor Ricardo Rosselló that led to the Verano del 19 (Summer of 2019); the string of earthquakes in early 2020; the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more.
Marcela Guerrero, Jennifer Rubio, Associate Curator, Angelica Arbelaez, Rubio Butterfield Family Fellow, and Sofía Silva, former Curatorial & Education Fellow in U.S. Latinx Art, organized this exhibition.