February 5, 2020 – Delia Solomons

Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art
Drexel University

“Marisol’s Anti-Monument: Panamericanism, Masculinity, and Other Imaginaries”

Marisol’s assemblage The Generals (1961–62) assumes a guise of well-worn signifiers of midcentury U.S. patriotic masculinity: equestrian statue, founding father, soldier, and cowboy. At the same time, this sculpture of George Washington and Simón Bolívar on a single horse invokes the very forces Cold Warriors vilified as un-American threats at home and abroad: homoeroticism and Latin American dissent. Marisol’s irreverent anti-monument, which has garnered little analysis but performed a central role during her meteoric rise in the sixties, tapped into Cold War discourses about sexual politics, freedom, national mythologies, and inter-American relations.