A public garden & cultural center

Francisco Donoso

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Bronx/Dis-Bronx/Re-Bronx/Non-Bronx, 2017, mixed media, variable size. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Francisco Donoso employs maps as a metaphor for immigrant journeys and the constant renegotiation between place and displacement. Deconstructing existing maps of the Bronx, Donoso traces selected segments and redraws them on treated, found paper, which he rearranges into a site-specific installation. By suggesting alternate routes, the project questions the authority of maps as a reliable and logical way of navigating a site.


Status Flux
Sunroom Project Space | September 15–October 20, 2013 
Van Lier Visual Artist Fellow

Status Flux, 2013, mixed media on mylar and mixed media on canvas, works on mylar: 80 1/2 x 31 inches each, work on canvas: 58 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ken Goebel.

In his work, Francisco Donoso reflects on the tension caused by overlapping identities, histories and ideologies as they relate to his own experience as an immigrant from Ecuador who grew up in Miami, Florida. Finding it impossible to assimilate fully in the new culture, he sees himself as “a fluid mix of both Latino and American.” Donoso addresses the multifaceted nature of identity and how it is informed by the confluence of diverse sources; he combines self-portraiture with motifs from Spanish Baroque art, patterning found in Latin American textiles and imagery from current popular culture and pre- Columbian iconography.

Winter Workspace 2013

Developed during Wave Hill’s 2013 Winter Workspace Program, Donoso’s Sunroom Project features five, large, mixed-media works that explore notions of self. In a departure from earlier paintings, where the artist used surrogates, such as Captain America, he now depicts his own likeness. Tropical plants along the bottom of each work are inspired by those in Wave Hill’s greenhouse, as well as by plants that are familiar from his childhood in Miami, and decorative vegetation found in Spanish religious paintings. Four works on mylar are installed directly on the Sunroom’s arched windows and portray Donoso taking on the guise of Catholic saints, cartoon characters and Michelangelo’s David. These personages address Christian history, contemporary representations of Latin Americans and images of the idealized male body in art. With light passing through the translucent collaged elements, the works reveal layers of construction, while opaque elements obscure parts of the image. A large canvas painting on the wall deals with visibility and invisibility, depicting Donoso wearing a poncho that covers his face and body, except for his bare legs and feet. He appears to be an apparition, emerging from the patterned background. None of the figures in the five works appear fully formed or present, suggesting the anxiety, tension and feeling of displacement that Donoso has experienced as an immigrant.


Status Flux, 2013, mixed media on mylar and mixed media on canvas, works on mylar: 80 1/2 x 31 inches each, work on canvas: 58 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photos: Ken Goebel.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.