Mexican-born, New York-based artist and educator Pablo Helguera (born 1971) explores the historic formation and contemporary definitions of American identity in the one-room exhibition, Club Americano. Opening new dialogues on the MFA’s collection, Helguera takes inspiration from 19th-century university clubs and gentlemen’s lounges—exclusive gathering spaces for elite groups of one gender and race—but breaks with tradition by welcoming people of all backgrounds to lounge, read, host community events and view performances.
The intimate gallery space offers visitors a seat at a 19th-century dining table, surrounded by paintings and decorative arts from the Museum’s world-renowned Art of the Americas collection. Selected by Helguera in collaboration with MFA curators, the artworks will serve as subjects for “After-Dinner Speech” performances that examine the stories contained within them through a present-day lens.
Exhibition overview from museum website