“Lucha Libre: Beyond the Arenas” opens on Oct. 29, 2022 and is on view through May 7, 2023. Senior Curator Julio Cesar Morales, Mexico City-based independent curator Fernanda Ramos and Consulting Curator Sharon Gesund are organizing this groundbreaking exhibition, which features painting, photography and mixed media artworks by internationally recognized Mexican and Chicanx contemporary artists along with collectors’ items, film posters and other memorabilia from some of the sport’s most famous wrestlers. This first exhibition of its kind, “Lucha Libre,” goes beyond its popularity in contemporary culture to reveal the sports’ ancient roots, explore its influence on socio-political movements and link its relationships to the visual culture of Mexico and beyond. In this exhibition, the phenomenon of Lucha Libre transcends the glitz and glamor of the theatrical stage to become a way to investigate themes of the underdog and the hero, identity and performance, and collective resistance to authority.
The exhibition at ASU Art Museum offers all visitors—from those who grew up loving the sport to audiences discovering it for the first time—an opportunity to view and understand Lucha Libre through the lenses of popular culture, poetics and politics. This exhibition is a vehicle to appreciate and deepen our knowledge of Mexican and Mexican-American culture, which has been historically underrepresented in art museums.
“Lucha Libre: Beyond the Arenas” is supported by Cloth & Flame, Rich and Sally Lehmann, Friends of Mexican Art, RDA Consulting, Chuy Rodriguez, Maria Borja, Jesus Rodriguez, Expo Museo Lucha Libre/Christian Cymet Collection and Christie’s Mexico. Additional exhibition and programmatic support is made possible by our Creative Impact Board, Directors’ Council, Innovation Council and the Windgate Foundation.