Writer and VCS faculty member Lynn Gamwell just sent us the following information about her recent involvement with an ongoing project at the Getty Research Institute:
In October 2016 Lynn Gamwell participated in a workshop on Latin American Art at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. The workshop centered on art from the Patricia Cisneros Collection, which has major works of Latin American modernism. The Getty has highlights of the collection on loan for an exhibition and catalogue, to which Lynn will contribute. Scholars who gathered for the workshop were very excited because Mrs. Cisneros had just donated the core of her collection (102 works) to MOMA, and also endowed a research center at MOMA for the ongoing study of art from Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela (New York Times; October 17, 2016). Mrs. Cisneros attended Lynn’s lecture and told her that she liked her book Mathematics + Art (Princeton, 2016) because she discussed the often overlooked contribution of Latin American artists to twentieth-century geometric abstraction. In fact, Mrs. Cisneros liked Lynn’s book so much that she gave a copy to every member of MOMA’s acquisition committee.
Image: Waldemar Cordeiro (Italian-born Brazilian, 1925–73), Idéia visível (Visible idea), 1956. Acrylic on plywood, 23 9/16 × 23 5/8 in. (59.9 × 60 cm). Museum of Modern Art, New York
Here’s some additional information about the project from the Getty Research Insitiute’s Research Projects page:
The Material of Form: Abstraction and Industrialism in Mid-Century Argentina and Brazil
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.