1st Edition

New Geographies of Abstract Art in Postwar Latin America

Edited By Mariola V. Alvarez, Ana M. Franco Copyright 2019
    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    260 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume examines the history of abstract art across Latin America after 1945. This form of art grew in popularity across the Americas in the postwar period, often serving to affirm a sense of being modern and the right of Latin America to assume the leading role Europe had played before World War II. Latin American artists practiced gestural and geometric abstraction, though the history of art has favored the latter. Recent scholarship, for instance, has focused on geometric abstraction from Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. The book aims to expand the map and consider this phenomenon as it developed in neglected regions such as Central America and the Andes, investigatinghow this style came to stand in for Latin American contemporary art.

    Introduction [Mariola V. Alvarez and Ana M. Franco]  Part I: Gestural Abstractions 1. "Informalism Between Surrealism and Concrete Art. Aldo Pellegrini and the Promotion of Modern Art in Buenos Aires during the 1950s" [María Amalia García] 2."Calligraphic Abstraction and Postwar Brazilian Informalist Painting" [Mariola V. Alvarez] 3. "The Painting Devoured: El Techo de la Ballena and the Destruction of Venezuelan Informalism" [Sean Nesselrode Moncada] Part II: New Visions of Geometric Abstraction 4/ "The Fotoforma Exhibition at MASP, 1951: Geraldo de Barros and the Museum-School" [Heloisa Espada] 5. "Negotiating Afro-Brazilian Abstraction: Rubem Valentim in Rio, Rome, and Dakar, 1957-1966" [Abigail Lapin Dardashti] 6. "Fighting for the Abstract: Manuel de la Cruz González and Geometric Abstraction in Costa Rica" [Lauran Bonilla-Merchav] 7. "Beyond Abstraction: The Work of Vicente Rojo, Kazuya Sakai, and Manuel Felguérez during the 1970s" [Daniel Garza Usabiaga] Part III: Nuestra América: Abstraction between Latin America and the United States 8. "Andean Abstraction as Displayed at the Organization of American States" [Michele Greet] 9. "The Politics of Abstraction in Colombian Art during the Cold War" [Ana M. Franco] 10. "Public ‘Lifescapes’: Gonzalo Fonseca’s Designs for Life and Play (1964-1969)" [María Laura Steverlynck] Part IV: Abstraction and the Avant-garde  11. "From Sacrilegious Black to Chromatic System: The Argentinean Monochrome" [Daniel R. Quiles] 12. "Antagonistic Environments: Gendered Spaces and the Kinetic Installations of Colombian Artists Feliza Bursztyn, Jacqueline Nova, and Julia Acuña" [Gina McDaniel Tarver]  13. "Vontade Construtiva: Latin America’s Geometric Abstract Identity" [Camila Maroja]


    Mariola V. Alvarez is Assistant Professor at Temple University.

    Ana M. Franco is Associate Professor at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá.

    "...contributes to a careful reconsideration of the links between this region and the United States and Europe. ...The compilation successfully accomplishes its main aim to expand outside the borders of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Venezuela. The essays it includes are interested in areas often disregarded within larger studies of Latin America, such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. The volume achieves this expansion across a huge range of territories, even exploring how diasporic communities employed abstract art, moving the discussion of Latin American art away from a few cities that dominate scholarship, thus further decentering histories of abstract art."

    --Latin American Research Review