Visitors to Crystal Bridges’ Art Trail will encounter a lively new sculpture near the museum’s south entrance. Yesterday, preparators installed Vaquero, a large sculpture by renowned artist Luis Jimenez. Crafted of polychrome fiberglass, the work depicts a vaquero (Spanish for cowboy) atop a boldly colored bucking bronco, and is a 16-foot-tall tribute to the Mexican cowboy of the American West.
“Luis Jimenez is one of the most important Latino artists of the 20th century,” said Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi. “This work speaks to the importance of Latino artists in the story of American art, and to the important contributions of Latino heritage on American history and culture. It’s a wonderful acquisition for Crystal Bridges, and we are very excited to install it on the Art Trail.”
Crystal Brides acquired the sculpture prior to the museum’s opening, and it has been undergoing conservation in preparation for placement. Luis Alfonso Jimenez (1940-2006) was born in El Paso, Texas, and worked in Texas, Mexico City, New York and New Mexico. His large, colorful fiberglass sculptures celebrating Hispanic life and culture have been featured at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Jimenez’s work has a distinctive appearance and often features bright colors, slick surfaces and fluid lines, which is the case for the polychrome fiberglass Vaquero. Crystal Bridges’ sculpture, created in 1987-1988, is the third in an edition of five. Other editions in this series are installed outside the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., and in the City of Houston’s Moody Park, Houston, TX.
Luis Alfonso Jimenez, 1940 – 2006
16 ft. 6 in. x 144 in. x 122 in. (502.9 x 365.8 x 309.9 cm)
Courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.