El Tango

El Tango

Robert Colescott, American, 1925-2009
Born: Oakland, CA
Work Locations: United States
Acrylic on canvas
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
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.
height: 84 in, 213.3600 cm; width: 72 in, 182.8800 cm
Signed at bottom left corner "R. Colescott '95"
Modern and Contemporary Art
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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