Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Getty Research Institute
Combining art-historical and scientific analysis of selected works from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, this project develops a comprehensive understanding of the formal strategies and material decisions made by artists experimenting with geometric abstraction in Argentina and Brazil at midcentury. In the 1940s and 1950s, industrializing countries across Latin America sponsored ambitious national development programs, fueling innovation among new domestic industries. Many artists experimented with the novel synthetic materials fabricated in this new economic context, creating objects that were cutting-edge for their compositional and physical properties alike. This project is a holistic study of the object, from compositional elements to the materials that concretize those forms, and also places emphasis on the social, political, and cultural underpinnings that supported these innovations.