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Phoenix Art Museum exhibits internationally-acclaimed Halle Collection of Contemporary Latin American Art
Carlos Cruz Diez (Venezuela, b. 1923), Transchromies, 1965/2008. Plexiglas and metal, 6 modules: 33.5 x 14 x 86.5 inches each. Diane and Bruce Halle Collection.

PHOENIX, AZ.- Phoenix Art Museum is presenting Order, Chaos, and the Space Between: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection. This expansive exhibition of many of the most cutting-edge, contemporary works produced in Latin America today, as well as works from the post-war period, is drawn from the Halle Collection, internationally renowned as one of the most significant collections of art of this region. It includes more than 50 works from across Latin America, by artists including Gego, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, Matthias Goeritz, Jorge Macchi, Hélio Oiticica, and Doris Salcedo, as well as other many other innovative artists whose works figure prominently in today’s global contemporary art scene.

Beginning in 1995, Diane and Bruce Halle, longtime Phoenix residents and supporters of Phoenix Art Museum, began collecting the art of Latin America as a way to both educate themselves in this area and to build greater awareness of this historically undervalued and overlooked region in the art world. Over the course of the next 18 years, the Halles built a collection that is considered among the most significant in the world. Works from the collection have been exhibited internationally, and include collection exhibitions in 2007 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and in 2011 at the Art Institute in Chicago. Order, Chaos and the Space Between is the first large-scale exhibition of the Halle Collection in Arizona, their home state.

The Halles’ dedication to building a compelling, impactful collection comes to life in the walls of Steele Gallery. The exhibition includes works ranging from photography to sculpture, painting to installation, including one of the most striking—the 30,000 individual black paper moths and butterflies that comprise Carlos Amorales’ (b. 1970, Mexico) Black Cloud, which weaves its path through the Museum and lead visitors to the exhibition in Steele Gallery.

In addition, the exhibition features a wide range of contemporary works created after 1945 that push the limits of what art can be and how the creative process itself can be conceived in expressive, conceptual, or abstract, and ultimately groundbreaking forms. The exhibition, like the Halle Collection itself, seeks to broaden the community’s understanding and awareness of Latin American art beyond Mexico. In this way, the exhibition itself occupies a kind of ‘space between,’ juxtaposed between what is familiar, our preconceived ideas of Latin American art, and the reality and future of this art. This includes works like The Space Between, a 1970 sculpture by Brazilian artist Antonio Dias, which serves as a visual metaphor for the entire exhibition. Composed of a granite cube one bearing the words ‘THE BEGINNING,’ and a marble cube marked ‘THE END,’ the work’s title evokes a continuous present, a space and time in a constant state of becoming. It is an open metaphor for life and an apt description of the Halle Collection, which remains a work in progress, continually growing and evolving.

“We are thrilled to present this visually rich exhibition to our community, who will gain great insight into Latin America through the dialogue created by the innovative installation. These artists are among the finest working anywhere in the world today,” says James K. Ballinger, the Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director. “The Halles have built this collection to be shared with the public and to serve as a window into the nations south of our border state. Our goal is to ensure that the Halles’ goals meet with success.” Along with the exhibition, the Museum, through the generous support of its sponsors, will present a variety of educational programming, including lectures by featured artists, a rich film program, an exhibition catalogue, and outreach activities with schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

This exhibition is co-curated by Beverly Adams, Ph.D., Curator of the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection, and Vanessa Davidson, Ph.D., the Museum’s Shawn and Joe Lampe Associate Curator of Latin American Art. Together, Drs. Adams and Davidson edited a 245-page, full color catalogue, which includes essays by Robert Storr, artist, critic, and curator who currently serves as dean of the Yale University School of Art and as a professor of painting and printmaking, and Dr. Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art at New York University. It also features a conversation between Diane Halle and art advisor and gallery owner, Roland Augustine. The catalogue will be distributed by D.A.P / Distributed Art Publishers. Drs. Adams and Davidson also worked with Darren Petrucci, professor at The Design School, Herberger Institute at Arizona State University and a principal with Architecture-Infrastructure-Research, Inc., who served as the guest designer for Order, Chaos and the Space Between.

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