ABSTRACIONISM IN LATIN AMERICA AND BEYOND

Illusive Eye _Oiticica_Metaesquema

Tatiane Schilaro

El Museo del Barrio has opened a bold exhibition, The Illusive Eye, that aims to defy conventional understandings about the origins of abstracionism. The title of the show already sets the tone: it is a direct comment on MoMA’s  1965 exhibition, The Responsive Eye, which explored geometric abstraction and Op art across Europe and the United States, but mostly disregarded the large number of Latin American artists working on those practices at that time.

The Illusive Eye broadens MoMA’s aproach, weaving back together Latin American, American and European artists. The works on show also represent the more “exotic” side of abrastracionism, rather than the “purity” principles of the movement. Sub-themes, such as mandalas, dervishes, apparitions, hypnosis and the notion of the sublime remind visitors of the spiritual motivations underneath some of these artists’ practices – the very “founding fathers” of abstraction, Malevich, Mondrian and Kandinsky were followers of Theosophy, an esoteric science.

As you walk trough the galleries, you will see a multitude of artists representing diverse views – from Carmen Herrera and GEGO to Josef Albers and Frank Stella. There are a few Brazilian artists/works, among them Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica and Lygia Pape – her astonishing installation with gold thread at this exhibit (Tteia) is small scale version of the work on permanent view at Inhotim (Brazil).

 

The Illusive_eye_lauand

Judith Lauand – Untitled 1959

 

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Almir da Silva Mavignier – Ohne Titel, 1967

 

The Illusive_eye_hemelindo

Hermelindo Fiaminghi – Cor, Luz, Superposição de quadros em transparência, 1961

 

The Illusive_bichos

Lygia Clark – Bichos

 

 

Illusive Eye _Oiticica_Metaesquema

Hélio Oiticica – Metaesquema 286, 1958

 

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Helio Oiticica – Relevo Espacial 3

 

 

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Abraham Palatnik’s – Objeto Cinetico CK-8

 

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Lygia Pape – Ttéia

 

Tatiane Rosa Schilaro is a Brazilian writer and curator who lives in-between New York and California. She has an MA in Contemporary Art History, an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing from SVA-NY and she’s a PhD Student in Visual Studies at UC Santa Cruz, CA.  

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