Fundacion Juan March Opens Cold America Geometrical Abstraction in Latin America

The Fundación Juan March Ppesents COLD AMERICA Geometrical Abstraction in Latin America (1934-1973) open through 15 May 2011.

The exhibition sets out to chart the complex and fragmented path of geometric abstraction in Latin America so as to reveal the way in which it renovated and also differed from the constructions and inventions produced by European geometric abstraction. Painting, sculpture, photography, and architecture are represented through the nearly three hundred pieces on display, some never before viewed outside their country of origin, by a total of sixty-four artists from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Uruguay, Venezuela and Mexico. The exhibition has a specific time frame defined by the dates in which two artists returned to America from Europe: 1934, the year when Joaquín Torres-García settled permanently in Montevideo following his European (and North American) tour, and 1973, when Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto returned to his native city of Ciudad Bolívar to attend the opening of the museum that carries his name.

This project represents the largest effort to date to bring together select pieces from and renowned collections from Europe, United States and Latin America, in order to provide the European audience with the first panoramic view –if not exhaustive, indeed detailed and rigorous- of the various tendencies that made up Latin American abstraction. The Fundación Juan March has organised this exhibition project. Its guest curator is Osbel Suárez, while a number of the most prestigious artists and experts on South American art have also been involved, including Ferreira Gullar, César Paternosto, Luis Pérez Oramas, Gabriel Pérez Barreiro, María Amalia García and Michael Nungesser.

The exhibition offers a vision of a Latin America that differs from the normal stereotype: rather than a hasty and clichéd identification of the continent with the intense heat of spontaneity, or an association of the concept of the indigenous with that of the tropics and the Caribbean, the work of these artists in fact points to a “cold” South America: objective, geometrical and rational, and one that gave rise to a fascinating and surprising type of abstract art.

The fully illustrated and detailed catalogue that accompanies the exhibition opens up this panorama to all those interested in the art of a continent that remains surprisingly unknown to the general public.

Image: acht argentijnse abstracten Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1953

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