FORT WORTH, TX.-
On June 26, the Amon Carter Museum
presents Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s50s. This groundbreaking exhibition is the first to bring together South American and U.S. geometric abstraction and includes a range of paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings and films. Constructive Spirit will be on view through September 5; admission is free.
Featuring 85 works by more than 65 abstract artists from Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela, this special exhibition organized by the Newark Museum (Newark, N.J.) provides a fresh and innovative look at modernism in the Americas during a dynamic and cosmopolitan period. The exhibition begins with the arrival of Joaquín Torres-García in New York City in 1920 and culminates in the 1950s, as North and South American abstract artists converged in international exhibition venues such as the Bienal de São Paulo.
Constructive Spirit includes works by renowned artists including Joaquín Torres-García, Arshile Gorky, Gyula Kosice and Jesús Rafael Soto, as well as artists who deserve much wider recognition, such as Geraldo de Barros, Lidy Prati and Charmion von Wiegand. Largely drawn from the Newark Museums superb collection of U.S. geometric abstraction, the exhibition also includes major works on loan from acclaimed private and public collections across both continents, such as Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Malba-Costantini Foundation (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and Whitney Museum of American Art.
By bringing together artists that are typically separated from one another in historical accounts, the exhibition suggests both conceptual and aesthetic parallels that cut across time, national borders and media, says Mary Kate OHare, associate curator of American art at the Newark Museum and the exhibitions curator. Artists in both South and North America worked with a pictorial and sculptural vocabulary of simplified shapes that make little or no reference to the natural world. Together, their work demonstrates the flexibility of the geometric language, revealing its capacity for both systemic and intuitive approaches to abstraction as well as a broad range of goals spanning the spiritual to the political.
According to Rebecca Lawton, curator of paintings and sculpture at the Amon Carter Museum, the exhibition also provides thought-provoking parallels to the Carters collection. Since Constructive Spirit includes works by artists such as Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis and Louise Nevelson, among others who are represented in our permanent collection, the exhibition expands our understanding of their work. We see how the artists, who adopted the hard-edge lines and geometric forms of constructive abstract art, operated on an international playing field.