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OAS AMA / Art Museum of the Americas to launch catalog on its permanent collection
Roberto Matta (Chile), "Hermala II," 1948. Oil on canvas, 50 x 57". Collection OAS Art Museum of the Americas Gift of the Workshop Center for the Arts, Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas announces Art of the Americas: Collection of the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States, the most comprehensive catalog on its permanent collection to date.

Art of the Americas highlights key pieces of the OAS AMA art collection, representing fundamental artistic trends that have developed in Latin America, including new figuration, geometric and lyrical abstraction, conceptual art, optical and kinetic art. Artists such as Cundo Bermúdez, Fernando de Szyszlo, Agustín Fernández, José Luís Cuevas, Alejandro Obregón, Raquél Forner, Rodolfo Abularach, Alfredo Da Silva, Ernesto Deira, and Jorge de la Vega had their first solo exhibitions in the United States in the Gallery of the Pan American Union, now the OAS. The art program outgrew its space, moving into the present-day AMA in 1976. The museum has provided valuable support throughout the years in the expansion of the academic field of modern and contemporary art of Latin America and the Caribbean in the United States. Today, AMA continues and expands this rich cultural trajectory with dynamic exhibitions and educational programs highlighting the art of all the countries of the Americas. AMA’s engagement of museums outside of the U.S. strengthens ties among all OAS member countries.

Accompanying the launch of the catalog is an exhibition of the same title, highlighting 72 of the strongest artworks featured in the publication. Forty-one years following AMA’s founding in 1976, and sixty-eight years after the OAS Visual Arts Section accessioned its first permanent collection artwork (an oil by Brazilian Cândido Portinari), the comprehensive catalog presents our inter-American cultural heritage to a new generation, highlighting new research on one hundred collection pieces. For Art of the Americas, we invited a select group of curators and scholars who have had close ties with the museum and, above all else, profound knowledge of the collection. Some of them have conducted research in our archives, others have curated our exhibitions, and a few are former museum employees. Their perspectives on the steadily growing field of Latin American and Caribbean art are vital components of the trajectory of study and understanding of the collection and its many contexts.

The accompanying exhibition is a selection of artwork from the new catalog, casting a light onto AMA’s collecting practices from the time of its founder José Gómez Sicre to today. It involves the canon of Latin American and Caribbean art that the OAS and AMA have pioneered since the 1940s. The first floor of the exhibition features renowned Latin American and Caribbean artists, lyrical and geometric abstraction, and Women of the Americas --- the latter gallery sponsored by the Organization of Women of the Americas. The second floor offers a broad review of figurative art, including trends such as new figuration and surrealism.

The AMA serves as the principal instrument of cultural diplomacy of the OAS. AMA’s mission is founded on the notion that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities. This guiding principle promotes the core values of the OAS by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, innovation, dialogue, and learning, while highlighting themes such as democracy, development, human rights, justice, freedom of expression, and innovation. AMA’s work advances the Inter-American agenda, drawing on contemporary arts to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the Americas via local and hemispheric cultural exchange. Along the way, through programming ranging from temporary exhibitions to studio and gallery visits throughout the Americas, AMA has grown the prominent art collection that is treasured today by so many members of the public who we as an institution are dedicated to serving.

The selection and research teams for Art of the Americas consist of: Félix Ángel, Alejandro Anreus, Alessandro Armato, Cecilia Belej, Carol Damian, Ana Franco, María Gaztambide, Michele Greet, Olga Herrera, Maria Leyva, Abigail McEwen, Nadia Moreno, Adriana Ospina, and Mark White. The publishing, design, and photography teams consist of: Aram Asarian, Jill Bernstein, Jennifer Cardiff, Rafa Cruz, Catalina Echaurren, Greg Svitil, Camila Matta, and Adriana Ospina.

Art of the Americas is supported by: William P. Farrand, Isabella Marques de Castilla, Karen D. Lloyd, Robert S. Roth Jr., Organization of Women of the Americas, Susie and Mitchell Rice, San Giacomo Charitable Trust, Deborah Ziska, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Canada to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Chile to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Colombia to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Dominican Republic to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Panama to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Paraguay to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Peru to the OAS, Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the OAS, Permanent Observer Mission of Italy to the OAS, Permanent Observer Mission of Spain to the OAS.

Art of the Americas: Collection of the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States and this exhibition aresponsored by the Friends of the Art Museum of the Americas.

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