Around 300 exhibits (including works of art and documentation) by more than 60 artists offer a comprehensive overview of trends in Latin American abstract art. The time-span is defined by the dates of two return trips from Europe: that of Torres-García to Uruguay in 1934, and Jesús Rafael Sotos return to Venezuela in 1973.
The Fundación Juan March
inaugurated COLD AMERICA on February 11th. GEOMETRICAL ABSTRACTION IN LATIN AMERICA (1934-1973) at its Madrid exhibition space (Castelló 77). The exhibition aims to chart a rigorous and systematic topography of the complex and fragmented history of geometrical abstraction in Latin America.
The resulting map intends to reveal the influences of the European tradition on Latin American abstract artists, as well as their decisive break with that tradition: their process of rethinking and the way that geometrical abstraction differentiated itself from the European tradition in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Uruguay, Venezuela and Mexico.
The exhibition includes around 300 exhibits (including works of art and documentation), some never previously seen outside their country of origin, by more than 60 artists from the above-mentioned countries. It is on display in Madrid until 15 May. The works have been loaned from museums and private collections in Europe, the United States and Latin America. The exhibition marks the most concerted effort to date to bring together the finest works from the most important collections in order to offer a comprehensive vision of the different trends within Latin American abstract art.
A COLD LATIN AMERICA: OBJECTIVE, GEOMETRICAL AND RATIONAL
A Latin America that differs from conventional stereotypes emerges from the works by Latin American artists of the decades covered by the exhibition, as well as in their texts and written reflections, their manifestoes and the publications that they inspired and produced, and in their artistic aims and convictions. Rather than a blanket identification of the region with the Tropics and the Caribbean, with exaggerated theatricality and spontaneous heat and with the indigenous and the local, what emerges is a Latin America that could be termed cold, in the positive sense of objective, geometrical and rational: a Latin America in which numerous artists cast a distant, objective gaze on their own traditions and those of elsewhere in order to formulate a pure type of abstraction that is both fascinating and surprising.
The exhibitions chronological span is defined by the journeys of two artists back to Latin America, in 1934 and 1973. The first is that of Joaquín Torres-García in 1934, who returned to Montevideo after more than four decades in Europe, and the second is the return in 1973 of Jesús Rafael Soto, again returning from Europe, this time to his native city of Ciudad Bolivar to inaugurate the first phase of the museum that bears his name. The year 1973 also saw the death of the Brazilians Waldemar Cordeiro and Iván Serpa, founders of the Ruptura and Frente groups, respectively. In addition to painting, the present exhibition features photography, sculpture and architecture. Overall, including both works of art and documentation, it comprises almost 300 exhibits by 64 artists.