The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation launches its first exhibition tour The Sites of Latin American

November 2009.

The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation tours for the first time The Sites of Latin American Abstraction. Its only stop in The United States will be at The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) which inaugurates the museum’s 2009 – 2010 exhibition schedule.  The Sites of Latin American Abstraction opens on November 8th, 2009 and will remain on view through January 17, 2010. The exhibition, drawn from The Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, proposes a fresh approach to Geometric Abstraction in art from Latin America produced between the decades of the 1930s and the 1970s. After being on display at MOLAA, the exhibition travels to Europe. This is the first time the foundation will be touring one of its exhibitions outside of Miami, hence globally expanding its mission of showcasing work by artists from Latin America and international contemporary art.  

The Sites of Latin American Abstraction was organized by The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, Florida and curated by Juan Ledezma for CIFO. The presentation of Sites of Latin American Abstraction at Molaa has been sponsored in part by Wells House Hospice, the Robert Gumbiner Foundation, the Arts Council for Long Beach, City of Long Beach, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Hotel Maya. Media sponsors are ABC7, KCRW, LA Weekly, Ovation TV and Telemundo.

The visually engaging display of works, drawn from The Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, range from intimate drawings to black and white modernist photography to paintings and mechanized constructions.  The 200 works in the exhibition showcase works by 81 Latin American artists such as Joaquín Torres-García, Jesús Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Gego, Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, Mira Schendel, Julio Le Parc, Alejandro Otero, Carlos Rojas. The pursuit of geometric abstraction by these artists coincided with Latin America’s mid-20th century shift towards modernity, industrialization, urban development and a renewed cultural identity.

Exhibition curator Juan Ledezma proposes an unorthodox and innovative approach to the reading of this history, organized according to a conceptual and aesthetic structure and visual balance of sites, locales or focuses. The viewer is given the opportunity to appreciate an abstract aesthetic which spans from traditional forms of media (painting, sculpture and drawing) to public spaces, established by the axis of locating the grid, writing and the city as sites where the art and its place of creation is conceptually considered as an interaction between the concrete (city, urban or industrial) and the abstract (line, plane, rhythm, movement and mechanization). The reference to the city is amplified by the novel inclusion of photography, grounding the abstract aesthetic to the concrete sites where artists and ideas converge.

Ledezma’s curatorial perspective allows a much broader connection between well-known masters and newly recognized or lesser known artists and photographers who were active in the artistic centers of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. The expansive scope offers a fluid and amplified intersection between artists and works, inspiring a sophisticated vista of the artist’s engineered visual aesthetic – one that engaged the viewer’s participation in a new way.  Throughout the exhibition’s various sections, the juxtapositions of works explore the use of the grid and tonality, writing and language, line and plane, rhythm and shadow, movement and mechanization revealed in the various art forms. 

To cite a few examples of the exhibition’s format, a selection of paintings and photograms by Geraldo de Barros (Brazil, 1923-1998) pose vigorously composed geometric representations of domestic objects, industrial buildings and technical processes in concert with paintings by Alejandro Otero (Venezuela, 1921-1990) and Waldemar Cordeiro (Brazil, 1925-1973), whose use of line and plane generate a rhythmic force that, according to Otero, expand the pictorial landscape beyond the frame and push out into the public sphere. Hélio Oiticica’s (Brazil, 1937-1980) gouache on paper of a grid pattern references the city structure, pulling it into the confined framework of the picture, while the large scale of Gego’s (Germany 1912-1994, worked in Venezuela) suspended sculpture, titled Reticulárea Cuadrada (Square Grid) expands the structural form beyond itself. Kinetic structures by Julio Le Parc (Argentina, 1928) and Abraham Palatnik (Brazil, 1928) redefine the concepts of collective interaction, inviting the viewer to participate in the operation of the pieces. A black-and-white film by Carlos Cruz-Diez of Gego’s work demonstrates how the formal dynamism of the constructed object could be used in the perceptual reorganization of space itself.

Artists included in the exhibition:

Gertrude Altschul (Germany, 1904-1962), Carmelo Arden Quin (Uruguay, 1913), Antonio Asis (Argentina, 1932), Hercules Barsotti (Brazil, 1914), Ubi Bava (Brazil, 1915-1988), Martin Blaszko (Germany, 1920), Martha Boto (Argentina), Ary Brizzi (Argentina), Feliza Burstyn (Colombia, 1933-1982), Sergio Camargo (Brazil, 1930-1990), Andre Carneiro (Brazil), Lucilio Correa Leite (Brazil), Lothar Charoux (Austria, 1912-1987), Marta Chilindrón (Argentina, 1951), Lygia Clark (Brazil, 1920-1988), Horacio Coppola (Argentina, 1906), Waldemar Cordeiro (Italy, 1925-1973), Carlos Cruz-Diez (Venezuela, 1923), Geraldo De Barros (Brazil, 1923-1998), Amilcar De Castro (Brazil, 1920-2002), Willys De Castro (Brazil, 1926-1988), Eduardo Enfelt (Brazil, 1937-2004), Manuel Espinosa (Argentina, 1912-2006), Servulo Esmeraldo (Brazil), Espinoza (Venezuela, 1950) & Perna (Italy, 1938), Thomaz Farkas (Hungary, 1924), León Ferrari (Argentina, 1920), Ivo Ferreira Da Silva, Lucio Fontana (Argentina, 1899-1968), María Freire (Uruguay, 1917), Gaspar Gasparian (Brazil, 1899-1966), Gego (Germany, 1912-1994), Mathias Goeritz (Germany, 1915-1990), Elisa Gramcko (Venezuela, 1925-1994), Ann Marie Heinrich (Germany, 1912-2005), Carmen Herrera (Cuba, 1915), Alfredo Hlito (Argentina, 1923-1993), Nelson Kojranksi (Lithuania, 1927), Judith Lauand (Brazil, 1922), Julio Le Parc (Argentina, 1928), Nelson Leirner (Brazil, 1932), Gerd Leufert (Lithuania, 1914-1998), Germán Lorca (Brazil, 1922), Raúl Lozza (Argentina, 1911), Victor Lucena (Venezuela), Anna Maria Maiolino (Italy, 1942), Sameer Makarius (Egypt, 1924), Ademar Manarini (Brazil, 1920-1989), Leo Matiz (Colombia, 1917-1998), Juan Mele (Argentina, 1923), Alberto Molemberg (Argentina, 1921), Joao Bizarro Nave Filho (Brazil), Nedo (Venezuela), Mauricio Nogueira Lima (Brazil, 1930-1999), Helio Oiticica (Brazil, 1937-1980), Alejandro Otero (Venezuela, 1921-1990), Abraham Palatnik (Brazil, 1928), Lygia Pape (Brazil, 1927-2004), Mercedes Pardo (Venezuela, 1922-2005), Cesar Paternosto (Argentina, 1932), Paulo Pires (Brazil, 1928), Arthur Luiz Piza (Brazil), Lidy Prati (Argentina, 1921), Rogelio Polesello (Argentina), Carlos Rojas (Colombia) Alejandro Puente (Argentina, 1933), Hector Ragni (Argentina, 1897-1952), Luiz Sacilotto (Brazil, 1924-2003), Mira Schendel (Switzerland, 1919-1988), Iván Serpa, (Brazil, 1923-1973), Antonieta Sosa (USA, 1940), Jesús Soto (Venezuela, 1923-2005) Grete Stern (Germany, 1904-1999), Rubens Teixeira Scavone (Brazil, 1925), Joaquín Torres-García, (Uruguay, 1874-1949), Alfio Trovato (Italy, 1924), Gregorio Vardanega (Argentina),  Manolo Vellojin (Colombia), Alfredo Volpi (Italy, 1896-1988) and José Yalenti (Brazil, 1895-1967).

CIFO Art Space
1018 North Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33136

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