El Tango

El Tango

1995
Artist
Robert Colescott, American, 1925-2009
Born: Oakland, CA
Work Locations: United States
painting
Acrylic on canvas
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
2001.703
Robert Colescott (American). El Tango. 1995. Acrylic on canvas. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum. 2001.703.
This object is currently on view
Dimensions
height: 84 in, 213.3600 cm; width: 72 in, 182.8800 cm
Inscription
Signed at bottom left corner "R. Colescott '95"
Department
Modern and Contemporary Art
Collection
Modern and Contemporary Art

Robert Colescott's art is highly contested. Some accuse him of perpetuating negative stereotypes while others see his confrontational appropriation of Zip Coon imagery as a sarcastic social commentary that urges audiences to examine their own racial biases.  Nevertheless, it is undeniable that Colescott is exploring visual forms of racism that most Americans would rather forget, or worse, repress.

A vibrant, colorful canvas, "El Tango" depicts a scene bustling with multiple figures and dynamic action. The tango is a ubiquitous analogy for love and life, and here it serves as context for the dialogue regarding race and culture that the artist seeks to provoke. 

Exhibition History
  • "Focus: The Figure"—Denver Art Museum, 08/09/2008 - 02/2011
  • “Disruption: Works from the Vicki and Kent Logan Collection” — Denver Art Museum, 1/13/2022

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