Persisting Matters: An Artist Talk Series – Juan Sánchez in conversation with Alejandro Anreus


January 09, 2024, 6:00 PM

General Admission: FREE


Please join us for the final episode in a series of encounters and conversations with contemporary artists, this time with Juan Sánchez and Alejandro Anreus.

Persisting Matters is a series of talks that places contemporary artists in conversation with scholars, curators, critics, and the public. The series is developed in the context of CIMA’s 2023-2024 exhibition, Transatlantic Bridges: Corrado Cagli, 1938-1948, and supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Cagli saw his artistic practice as a tool for anti-rhetorical resistance and critique to power in times of exile, displacement and trauma. Questions of gender, racism, political oppression and resilience through art and community practices were central to his work in the years of his exile from Italy, due to the country’s racial laws. Persisting Matters engages contemporary artists, whose practices explore these pressing subjects in their individual context and prism.

Born to working-class Puerto Rican immigrants in Brooklyn, NY, Juan Sánchez is an influential American visual artist, and one of the most important Nuyorican cultural figures of the latter 20th century. Maintaining an activist stance for over four decades, his art is an arena of creative and political inquiry that encompasses the individual, family, the communities with which he engages, and the world at large. Sánchez emerged as a central figure in a generation of artists using diverse media to explore ethnic, racial, national identity and social justice in 1980s and ’90s.

While Sánchez first gained recognition for his large multi-layered mixed media collage paintings addressing issues of Puerto Rican identity and the struggle against U.S. colonialism, his work has evolved to embrace photography, printmaking, and video. Sánchez exhibited and lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America. His art is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, El Museo del Barrio, El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam,Havana, Cuba, the Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art, The National Museum of African American History & Culture and The National Portrait Gallery and the Mead Museum of Art.

In 2022 Juan Sánchez received the Artist Legacy Foundation Artist Legacy Award and in 2021 The US Latinx Art Forum (USLAF) the Latinx Artist Fellowship. He was the recipient of the 2020 CUAA Augustus Saint-Gaudens Achievement in the Visual Art Award and was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame. Sánchez received other awards and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Juan Sánchez is Professor of Art at Hunter College, The City University of New York.


Alejandro Anreus was born in Havana, Cuba to a working class family. He went into exile at the age of ten with his mother, grandmother and two aunt’s, settling in Elizabeth, NJ.
He receive his BA in art history from Kean College, where he was mentored by Marxist art historian Alan Wallach. He received his MA and PhD in art history from the Graduate Center, CUNY. He was curator at the Montclair Art Museum (1987-93), and at the Jersey City Museum (1993-2001). From 2001-2023 he was professor of art history and Latin American/Latinx Studies at William Paterson University. In Fall 2023 he was the Lauder Visiting Senior Scholar at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, National Gallery of Art, Wash, DC.

The author of seven books and over 60 catalogue essays, his articles have appeared in Art Journal, Third Text, Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, and Commonweal. He has worked with Maestro Sánchez since 1989 on various exhibition projects, including his 1998 traveling survey of his prints.
Dr. Anreus focuses as a scholar on art and politics of the 1920s and 30s, Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Art. He served on the board of the Joan Mitchell Foundation from 1998 to 2018.
A poet in his native Spanish, he has published 6 poetry collections.


This series is developed through a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Light refreshments will be provided.