Judithe Hernández in 2010
|Born||1948 (age 71–72)|
|Education||Otis Art Institute|
Judithe Hernández (born 1948) is a Los Angeles–based artist whose career began as a founding member of the Chicano Art/Los Angeles Mural movements. She first received acclaim in the 1970s as a muralist. In her long career as a studio artist her artistic practice as centered on works-on-paper, principally pastels, which frequently incorporate indigenist imagery and the social-political tension of gender roles. Hernández has lived both in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles. In 1974, she became the fifth member, and only woman, in Los Four, the influential and celebrated East Los Angeles Chicano artist collective, along with Carlos Almaraz, Frank E. Romero, Robert de la Rocha, and Gilbert Luján. As early as 1970, Hernández was involved in the initial efforts of Chicano artists in East Los Angeles to organize. Of this experience, Hernández later said that "Often I was literally the only female at meetings who was not a girlfriend or wife, but an active artist participant."
Early life and education
In 1965, Hernández became the first student to win the "Future Masters Scholarship" (awarded at LACMA and funded by the Sears & Roebuck Foundation and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce) which enabled her to attend Otis Art Institute (now called Otis College of Art and Design) in Los Angeles. In 1972, after earning a B.F.A. at Otis, she began graduate studies there. When Carlos Almaraz enrolled in the graduate program that year, it marked the beginning of a long friendship and professional association as members of Los Four. Inspired by recent events such as the 1968 East LA student walkouts, she, along with Almaraz, became involved in the Chicano civil-rights movement and worked on such projects as the Chicano Moratorium Against the War. During her time at Otis, Hernández studied drawing with the renowned African-American artist Charles White who became a mentor and important influence on her development as an artist. In the late 1940s, White, had traveled to Mexico to print with Taller de Grafica Popular in Mexico City and became an admirer of indigenous and Latin American art. Hernández attributes much of her success to the teachers and professors who recognized her ability and encouraged her to pursue her career as an artist. In 1971, while working as the illustrator of the Aztlán Journal, published by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, Hernández illustrated the first volume of poetry by the celebrated Mexican-American poet Alurista, Floricanto en Aztlán. In 2013, the 40th anniversary edition of Floricanto received three prizes at the International Latino Book awards.
After earning M.F.A.'s at Otis College, she and Almaraz collaborated with El Teatro Campesino, worked on behalf of the United Farm Workers, and as members of the Concilio de Arte Popular (CAP), they worked to create an organization that united Chicano artists across the state of California. Chicano artist organizations such as the Royal Chicano Air Force of Sacramento; Galeria de la Raza, in San Francisco, and the artists of Chicano Park in San Diego were among those who participated in CAP in the 1970s. In 1981, she and seven other Chicano muralists painted murals inside the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles for an exhibition entitled The Murals of Aztlán. The artists were criticized in Artweek by reviewer Shifra Goldman for "shedding … their cultural identity and political militance" in order to "enter the mainstream as competitive professionals." Hernández responded "why should changes in my work and socio-political attitudes be construed as compromising my commitment … while in another artist the same would be construed as personal and professional growth?" The international significance of her work came in 1989 with the first exhibition of Chicano art in Europe, Les Démon des Anges. Hernández was one of sixteen artists (one of three women) whose work was part of this ground-breaking exhibition.
In the early 1980s Hernández relocated to Chicago and lived there for more than 25 years before returning to Los Angeles in 2010. Her final exhibition in Chicago was a major solo exhibition of new work at the National Museum of Mexican Art. La Vida Sobre Papel, opened in January 2011 and included several new series of work, one of which was the noted serial murders of women in Ciudad Juárez. According to the Chicago Weekly, "The only thing as conspicuous as the artist's skill is her message: being human is hard, a woman harder, and life as a Latina occasionally downright grisly." Hernandez says she will continue working on the series until the 800-2000 deaths are acknowledged by the Mexican government.
In 2011, Hernández was among a select group of artists whose contributions to the art of Los Angeles were honored in multiple exhibitions which were part of the sweeping arts initiative known as Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945–1980 (PST), funded by the Getty Foundation. In 2012 Hernández was the recipient of two major awards; the prestigious C.O.L.A. Fellowship (City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship) for 2013, as well as the coveted commission to create public art for the Terminus Station of Metro EXPO LINE at Colorado & 4th Street in Santa Monica by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Los Angeles. The Expo Line Downtown Santa Monica station opened on May 20, 2016. "The station at the edge of the continent" features 24 mosaic glass panels designed by Hernández positioned over its two-passenger platforms. Collectively, the panels are known at "L.A. Sonata" and depict the passage of the day and the seasons using a montage of cultural icons representing the cultural and ethnic diversity of Los Angeles. It is expected to be one of the most traveled light-rail lines in the U.S.
In 2013, Hernández was one of 72 artists chosen for the first major exhibition of contemporary American artists of Latino descent at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from works in their permanent collection. "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art" opened in October 2013. After closing in January 2014, the exhibition traveled to several other museums throughout the United States, including the Crocker Museum in California, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, and the Hunter Museum of Art in Tennessee. In 2017, Hernández will again have work in multiple exhibitions of the Getty Foundation sponsored Pacific Standard Time LA/LA which explores the influence of Latin American art on the art of Los Angeles. Her work "The Purification" was selected as a featured promotional image for PST LA/LA.
Over her 50-year career, she has established a significant record of exhibition and acquisition of her work by major public and private collections; which include the Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Crocker Art Museum, the Gerald Buck Collection, and the Bank of America. She has been the recipient of the prestigious University of Chicago Artist-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture, the C.O.L.A. Fellowship, and the Comisión Femenil Mexicana Nacional Award for Achievement in the Fine Arts. In 2018, the importance of her status as an American artist was confirmed when the Pulitzer Prize winning Chief Art Critic of the Los Angeles, Christopher Knight, reviewed her solo exhibtion at MOLAA and wrote "...Hernández’s art is churned by her marvelous color sense, which unmoors any illustrative limits of the genre.” 
In 2018, Hernández was honored by the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago with the Sor Juana Legacy Award for “outstanding lifetime contributions to arts” and in August she will become the first American-born Latina to open a solo exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art. Also in 2018, her work "La Virgen del la Oscuridad" will become the featured image of the newly redesigned permanent exhibition "Becoming Los Angeles" of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County which re-opens in May. In 2019, her newest mural commission marks the return of her artistic presence to the historic district of downtown Los Angeles when her seven-story mural “La Nueva Reina de Los Angeles” is installed on the northwest residential tower of La Plaza Village at Broadway and the Hollywood Freeway.
- Judithe Hernández: Dreams on Paper," Monica King Contemporary, New York, NY 2021
- A Dream is the Shadow of Something Real – Museum of Latin American Art, MOLAA Long Beach, 2018.
- La Vida Sobre Papel – National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL 2011.
- What Dreams May Come / Qué Sueños Quizás Vengan – Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL 2010.
- Judithe Hernández: Works on Paper – Cayman Gallery, New York, NY 1983.
- A Decade of a Woman's Work – Solart Gallery, San Diego, CA 1980.
- Virgen, Madre, Mujer: Imágenes de la Mujer Chicana – Casa de la Raza, Santa Barbara, CA 1979.
- Mi Arte, Mi Raza — Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1978.
- Judithe Hernández & Patssi Valdez: Two Paths One Journey, Millard Sheets Art Center, Pomona, CA 2017
- Judithe Hernández and Sergio Gomez: Through the Labyrinth, President’s Gallery, Chicago State University, 2009
- Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC 2020
- LIFE MODEL: Charles White and His Students - Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA 2019
- West by Midwest: Geographies of Art and Kinship - Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL 2018
- Bridges in Time of Walls: Mexican/Chicano Art from Los Angeles to Mexico, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City 2018
- Becoming Los Angeles - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 2018
- Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA - Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico 1915-1985, Los Angeles County Museum of Art 2017
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN 2017
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Contemporary Mexican Art, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV 2017
- MOLAA at 20: 1996-2016. The Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA 2016
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington, DE 2016
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA 2016
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL 2016
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR 2016
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT 2015
- La Muerte Niña - Dia de los Muertos, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL 2015
- MIRADAS: Ancient Roots in Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA 2015
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Arkansas Art Center, AR 2015
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art (Online), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC 2014
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Contemporary Mexican Art, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ 2014
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA 2014
- Sinful Saints and Saintly Sinners, Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, CA 2014
- Chicano Dream - the Cheech Marin Collection. Musée d'Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France 2014
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, FL 2014
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Contemporary Mexican Art, Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX 2014
- Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC 2013
- Signature Works, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL 2013
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Contemporary Mexican Art, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL 2012
- Inaugural Exhibition, América Tropical Interpretive Center, Los Angeles, CA 2012
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Mexican Art, CityArtsCenter, Oklahoma, OK 2012
- Transforming Public Art: Chicano’s of the 1980’s, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, CA 2012
- Road Trip, Vincent Price Art Museum Art, Los Angeles, CA, 2011
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Mexican Art, Cummer Museum, Jacksonville, FL 2011
- Lasting Legacies: A Tribute to the Chicana Art Movement, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, CA 2011
- Pacific Standard Time: L.A. Art 1945-80 - L.A. XICANO Mapping Another L.A. the Chicano Art Movement, Fowler Museum, Los Angeles 2011
- Pacific Standard Time: L.A. Art 1945-1980 - Sandra de la Loza: Mural Remix, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2011
- After the Gold Rush: Reflections & Postscripts on the National Chicano Moratorium, Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles, 2011
- Member’s Choice, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX, 2011
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Mexican Art, Witte Museum, San Antonio, TX, 2011
- Siqueiros in Los Angeles: Censorship Defied, the Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA, 2010
- Indigenismo: Ancient Roots in Mexican Art, Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, 2010
- Translating Revolution: U.S. Artists Interpret the Mexican Muralists, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL, 2010
- Miradas: Ancient Roots in Mexican Art, MUZEO, Anaheim, CA, 2010
- Rastros y Cronicas: Women of Juarez, the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL, 2009
- Feminist Ecology: Women and the Earth, Koehnline Museum, Chicago. IL (Catalog published) 2009
- Miradas - Mexican Art from the Bank of American Collection, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL, 2009
- La Vida Sin Fin - Day of the Dead, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL, 2008
- Chupacabras! Artists Reinvent the Myth, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL, 2008
- Reflections of the Soul - Day of the Dead 2003, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL, 2003
- The Mystical in Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Oxnard, CA, 1994
- Les Démon des Anges, Kulturerhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, Catalog published, 1990
- Les Démon des Anges, Espace Lyonnais d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, France, Catalog published, 1989
- Les Démon des Anges, Centro de Arte Contemporaño Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain (Catalog published), 1989
- Les Démon des Anges, Halle du Centre de Recherche pour le Developpement Culturel, Nantes, France, (Catalog published), 1989
- The Murals of Aztlan, Craft and FolkArt Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 1981
- The Aesthetics of Graffiti, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Catalog published), 1978
- Imagination, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, 1974
- In Search of Aztlan, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, 1974
- Fantasy, the Dark and Light Side, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1974
- In Search of Aztlan, Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA (Catalog published), 1974
- Los Four en Longo, Long Beach Museum of Art (Catalog published), 1974
Public art commissions
- La Nueva Reina de Los Angeles, LA PLAZA Village, Broadway@Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles CA 2019
- EXPO Line Downtown Santa Monica Terminus Station, Santa Monica, CA 2016
- Recuerdos de Ayer, Sueños de Mañana, Los Angeles Bicentennial Mural, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, 1981–2002
- Sueños Oaxaqueños, Mural on canvas, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 1981
- Homenaje a Las Chicanas de Áztlan, (joint project with Carlos Almaraz), Ramona Gardens Housing Project, Los Angeles, CA, 1977
- La Adelita, (joint project with Carlos Almaraz), Ramona Gardens Housing Project, Los Angeles, CA, 1977
- Los Four por El Pueblo, temporary mural, California State University Los Angeles, 1977
- "Mexican Rule", The Great Wall of Los Angeles Mural, Tujunga Wash Flood Control Channel, 1976
- El Mundo del Barrio Sotel, Stoner Recreation Center, Los Angeles, CA, 1976 – Restored 1997 – Demolished 2002
- Ave 43 Mural, collective mural with Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, and Leo Limon, Highland Park, CA, 1977
- United Farmer Workers Mural, Co-designer with Carlos Almaraz, 2nd Constitutional Convention, La Paz, CA, 1975
- El Teatro de la Vida, Century Playhouse Theater, funded by the National Endowment of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA, 1974
Public, private, and corporate collections
- AltaMed Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
- Bank of America Collection, New York, NY
- Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
- El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
- Gerald Buck Collection, Laguna Beach, CA
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
- Latino Museum of History, Art, & Culture, Los Angeles, CA
- Max Factor Collection, Los Angeles, CA
- Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA
- Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
- National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL
- Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
- Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA
- Radio Bilingüe Collection, Fresno, CA
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
- United Farm Workers Union, La Paz, CA
- University of California at Los Angeles, Chicano Studies Research Center
- University of California at Santa Barbara, Chicano Studies Department
- University of California at Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Special Collections, CEMA
- Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA
- Woman Made, Chicago, IL
- City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship (C.O.L.A.), 2013
Artist in Residence
- University of Chicago, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, 2011
- "Judithe Hernández". Judithe Hernández. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- LaTorre, Guisela (2008). Walls of Empowerment: Chicano/a Indigenist Murals of California. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-71883-8. Available on Google Books. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
- "Oral history interview with Judithe Hernández, 1998 Mar. 28, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution". Retrieved August 13, 2011.
- Skrubbe, Jessica Sjöholm (January 14, 2016). Curating Differently: Feminisms, Exhibitions and Curatorial Spaces. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 9781443887380.
- Davalos, Karen. "JUDITHE HERNÁNDEZ INTERVIEWED BY KAREN MARY DAVALOS" (PDF). UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.
- Lomelí, Francisco, ed. (1993). Handbook of Hispanic cultures in the United States, Volume 3: Literature and Art. Arté Publico Press, University of Houston. ISBN 1-55885-074-0. Available on Google Books. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
- Riehle, Christopher (February 9, 2011). "Pain on Paper". Chicago Weekly. "(available online)". Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
- "Judithe Hernandez: Inside the Chicano movement". For The Curious. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
- "Judithe Hernández: A Dream is the Shadow of Something Real – MOLAA". MOLAA. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- "Judithe Hernández and Patssi Valdez: One Path Two Journeys". www.pacificstandardtime.org. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
Archived papers and information
- Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Artists, Washington D.C.
- International Center for the Arts of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art
- Getty Research Institute, Ernest A. Long Outdoor Mural Archive
- Getty Images, Film Archive
- University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, Madison, WI
- USC Libraries, Los Angeles Public Art, Special Collections Department, Michael Several Archives
- Digital Public Library of America, Boston Public Library, Boston MA
- Modern Museum of Art, DADABASE, New York, NY
- Middle Tennessee State University, Walker Library, Archivos Virtuales: Papers of Latino and Latin American Artists
- University of Notre Dame, Institute for Latino Studies, Latin American Art and Latino Art in the Midwestern United States
- University of California at Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Special Collections, California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives
- Chicano Studies Research Center, University of California Los Angeles
- Charles E. Young Research Library, Department of Special Collections, University of California Los Angeles
- California Institute of Technology, Los Angeles, CA
- Los Angeles Public Library
- California Institute of the Arts
- California State University Channel Islands Repository
- Rutgers University, Women Artists Archives National Directory
- "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art". Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- "C.O.L.A. Fellowship Online Catalog". Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- "Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1945–1980". Retrieved September 11, 2011.