Matters of Fact: The Concrete and the Conceptual in 1970s Latin America
Matters of Fact: The Concrete and the Conceptual in 1970s Latin America
Explore the relationships between Concrete art and Conceptualism in Latin America through the close study of three works produced in the 1970s.
MoMA online
September 21, 2021 | 5:00 pm
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The Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY

About This Event

This year’s seminar, Matters of Fact, will explore the relationships between Concrete art and Conceptualism in Latin America through the close study of three works produced in the 1970s: Citrus 6906 (1973/2014) by Héctor Fuenmayorthe Carimbos series (1978) by Carmela Gross, and Time (1970) by David Lamelas.

This panel will bring together scholars and curators Félix Suazo, Beverly Adams, and María José Herrera to study these emblematic works in MoMA’s collection, exploring the complex questions around abstraction, serialization, institutional critique, and temporality that redefined and expanded artistic practices in the 1970s. While scholars and curators have previously debated the possible links between these two key moments in the history of Latin American art, it nevertheless remains an understudied subject that provides crucial perspectives on artistic production in the region.

Moderated by Gabriel Pérez Barreiro, the panel will elaborate on the following questions: How can we understand the relationship between Concrete art and Conceptualism in Latin America? Is it a relationship of opposition, reinvention, and/or continuity? In what ways have artists thought in, between, and beyond these art-historically defined movements? Does Concrete art contain the seeds of Conceptualist practices, or did the shift from a postwar developmentalist framework to the collapse of democracy in the 1970s establish a new context in which art and politics were completely re-signified?

Beverly Adams is the Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at The Museum of Modern Art. Before joining MoMA, Adams was curator of Latin American art at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. During her time at the Blanton, she spearheaded the reinstallation of the Latin American permanent collection galleries in 2017 and was instrumental in the acquisition of Dr. Jacqueline Barnitz’s collection of Latin American art. From 2001 to 2013 Adams was curator for the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection, where she helped assemble one of the most important private collections of modern and contemporary Latin American art in the United States. With Natalia Majluf, Adams most recently organized The Avant-garde Networks of Amauta: Argentina, Mexico, and Peru in the 1920s (2019). The catalogue for this exhibition was awarded the Association for Latin American Art Arvey Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award.

From 1987 to 2012, María José Herrera worked in a number positions at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) in Argentina: from 2000 to 2012, she was head of the Research Department; and in 2008, she was appointed to the yearlong position of artistic director. Additionally, from 2014 to 2018, she served as general director of the Museo de Arte Tigre in Buenos Aires Province. Her research centers on contemporary art, Argentinian art, and museum studies. In 2012 she formed the Study Group on Museums and Exhibitions (GEME), devoted to analyzing the role of exhibitions in the writing of art history. As a curator, she has been responsible for a number of national and international exhibitions on abstraction, Conceptualism, and Pop art from Argentina. In 2014, Herrera published Cien años de Arte argentino. From 2007 to 2016 she was president of the Argentine Association of Art Critics (AACA-AICA). She is a researcher at the Centro Materia, Cultura y Arte, and professor at the Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero (UNTREF).

Félix Suazo is a professor, researcher, and curator. He graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana in 1990. From 2002 to 2003 he worked toward a master’s degree in curatorial studies at the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain. He has done research at the Galería de Arte Nacional (1997–2003) and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (2004–08), both in Caracas. Since 2007, he has formed part of the curatorial team at El Anexo/Arte Contemporáneo. From 2008 to 2013, he was the exhibition coordinator and curator at Periférico Caracas/Arte Contemporáneo. He was the director of Sala TAC from 2015 to 2018. In 2018, he was named educational curator of the XIV Cuenca Biennial in Ecuador.

Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro is senior advisor to the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in New York and Caracas, of which he was director and chief curator from 2008 to 2018. He was chief curator of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2018), and curator of the Brazilian pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019). He was curator of Latin American art at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, from 2002 to 2008, and director of visual arts at the Americas Society, New York. In 2007 he was chief curator of the 6th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He has a PhD in art history and theory from the University of Essex and has published and lectured widely on modern and contemporary art from Latin America. He is also a member of the Esthetical Society for Transcendental and Applied Realization.

Image: Héctor Fuenmayor, Citrus 6906 (1973/2014)