Archives: 2004: Inverted Utopias. Avant-garde Art in Latin America
Inverted Utopias. Avant-garde Art in Latin America
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH)
20 June - 12 September 2004
1001 Bissonnet Street, Houston, Texas, USA

Inverted Utopias is the first large-scale exhibition to focus on the emergence and development of avant-garde art in Latin America between 1920 and 1970. In this fifty-year period, artists from Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean carried on an extensive dialogue with the prevailing currents of European and North American Modernism.

The exhibition will bring together more than 200 works by 67 artists and artists' groups from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The show integrates outstanding examples of visual arts production (painting, sculpture, assemblage, mixed media works, and installations) with printed materials (books, manifestoes, reviews) that complemented the avant-garde manifestations of the artists and groups under consideration. In each case, the selection criteria focused on artists who carried the notion of art into a new utopian or practical dimension.

Despite its broad scope, Inverted Utopias is neither a historic nor a geographic survey. Instead, the show is organized in six constellations that highlight some ideological, formal or thematic features of the New World avant-garde artistic production. Each constellation represents an open, flexible, and porous category capable of bringing together in one space a broad diversity of artists and works belonging to different time periods or geographic locales. The six constellations include: Universal and vernacular; Vibrational and stationary; Geometry and concrete; Play and grief; Touch and gaze; and Cryptic and committed.

© Atelier Cruz-Diez Paris

Jesús Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez talking in one of the exhibition rooms.

View of the Chromosaturation displayed at the exhibition

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