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First U.S. museum group exhibition of contemporary Latin American design opens
Angello García Bassi, Cubotoy, 2013. Paper (Bond 90 grams). Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Angello García Bassi.

NEW YORK, NY.- This fall, the Museum of Arts and Design presents the first American museum group exhibition dedicated to contemporary Latin American design. Featuring more than 75 designers, artists, craftspersons, and collectives, New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America surveys the innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations and new directions in creative production that have been occurring throughout Latin America since 2000. On view from November 4, 2014 through April 6, 2015, the exhibition focuses on work emanating from a number of key cities that serve as cultural hubs for some of the most pertinent new ideas about art, design, and craft.

Organized by Lowery Stokes Sims, MAD's William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator, New Territories is part of the Museum's Global Maker's Initiative-a series of exhibitions, launched in 2010 with The Global Africa Project, that highlights creation from parts of the world often under-represented in traditional museum settings. New Territories was organized in conjunction with a Curatorial Advisory Committee that included noted experts in the field: Regine Basha, Marcella Echavarría, Susana Torruella Leval, Ana Elena Mallet, Nessia Leonzini Pope, Gabriela Rangel, Mari Carmen Ramírez, and Jorge Rivas-Pérez.

"New Territories represents an important first for MAD, examining the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art and design today," said Glenn Adamson, MAD's Nanette L. Laitman Director. "At MAD, we are committed to exploring making across all creative disciplines, and New Territories in its scope and ambition brings together a broad cross section of skills, techniques, heritages, and creativity, revealing the universality of craftsmanship, whether practiced by a design professional or someone working within a long-standing craft tradition."

The exhibition title New Territories takes its name from a phrase coined by Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce, referring to the state of making in today's globalized society, where the boundaries between art, design, and craft have become increasingly blurred. Among the trends the exhibition reveals the commitment of Latin American designers and artists to work with indigenous craft persons to preserve their national heritage of skills. Many of these collaborations result in dynamic new work addressing a wide range of issues facing the region, from commodification and production, to urbanization, displacement, and sustainability.

"Design in Latin America today manifests a number of interesting aspects, from the direct translations of traditional craft skills into contemporary production to issues around upcycling and repurposing. New Territories highlights a range of compelling cultural and economic trends impacting design in the region, offering a platform for exploration of these issues," said Sims. "In addition, the exhibition features many artists, artisans and designers not well known in the US, bringing exciting new talent to the fore, for both design professionals as well as general museum visitors."

New Territories focuses on several cities in Latin America that serve as cultural hubs and laboratories for some of the most pertinent new ideas about art, design and craft. The exhibition demonstrates how trends identified with a hub surface in other regions, including:

• Caracas, Venezuela (conversations with artistic legacies)

• São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (upcycling and repurposing objects)

• Santiago, Chile/Buenos Aires, Argentina (cultivating collectivity and experimentation)

• San Salvador, El Salvador/San Juan, Puerto Rico (developing new markets)

• Havana, Cuba (navigating personal and civic spaces)

• Mexico City/Oaxaca, Mexico (moving craft into the future through collaborations with artists and designers)

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