Archives: 2015: Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics
Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics
Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of American States
19 February - 07 June 2015
201 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, United States

Libertad de Expresión – curated by Mark A. White, chief curator of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma – draws from AMA’s permanent collection and surveys the taste and collecting practices of founding director José Gómez Sicre and the OAS’ approach to cultural diplomacy. The Organization championed artists sympathetic to international trends in contemporary art, with the intention of demonstrating the cosmopolitanism the Caribbean, Central, and South America in the United States, while also emphasizing freedom of expression in the American republics. He explained later in life that his interest lay in those artists who combined “universal aesthetics with transformed elements of a surviving heritage,” resulting in a hybrid of modernist tendencies with the elements of an indigenous and colonial past.

This exhibition features artists who worked in many of the influential styles at mid-century, Surrealism, Concretism, Art Informel, and Abstract Expressionism, and who also experimented with forms and themes drawn from Pre-Columbian civilizations. Gómez Sicre believed that Latin American art, a term he helped to canonize, was largely defined by “diverse and at times even antagonistic physical and spiritual geographies,” and he lauded the “diversity of expressions” that contemporary artists had used to speak to modern experience and questions of identity.

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Physichromie 965 (1977), 100 x 150 cm

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