Cutting-Edge Art in Costa Rica

February 25, 2015 7:28 PM

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It's an unusually cool, blustery day in February in San Jose, Costa Rica and Gabriela Saenz-Shelby, gallery director of TEOR/eTica walks me through their current exhibit, A Chronicle of Interventions, which has just closed in their main exhibition space. Located in the gentrifying Barrio Amon district of the city, where many residences and most stores still have iron bars and gates and barbed wire protecting their property, the 15-year-old independent project and private nonprofit art space was once the family home of the gallery's founder, Virginia Pérez-Ratton, a cultural archivist whose personal collection of over 500 works of contemporary art anchors the space.

The first director of San Jose's Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (MADC), Pérez-Ratton was devoted to the idea of developing support for Central American contemporary art. After all the attention given to the wars and tense political situations of the 1980s, artistic production in the area was la...

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