In 2015, museums, galleries and other art spaces will be packed with Latin American art. The global art world is increasingly interested in the southern continent, where solo and group shows of Latin American artists are more and more common. Not only artists from Latin America, but also ones from Africa and Southeast Asia have slowly started to exhibit, publish, and exert more influence in the international circuits. However, one should ask, why do such categories matter? Can Latin American Art be called instead Arte desde América Latina, as Gerardo Mosquera suggests?
As do many other nationalist constructs, the term “Latin American” binds differences while failing to constitute a solid identity. As a Uruguayan-Israeli living in Chicago, I wonder if I am identified as a Latin American because I am not American? Or because I speak Spanish and like soccer? Of course, the questions or answers should not be that simple. There is a long colonial history behind our—that is, Latin Americans—neurotic identity, and even the notions of Latin America and Ibero-America have always been very problematic. Do they include the Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch? And the Chicanos? Do they include indigenous people who sometimes do not speak European languages?
Despite being a large region with unique differences and subtle complexities, Latin American states do share certain characteristics. For the most part, Latin American states have failed to provide security and therefore their legitimacy falls into question. We can talk about the weakness of the Latin American state and the political violence in the region. But can we generalize in such a way about Latin American art or is such a generalization an essentialist perspective? I understand Latin America, first and foremost, as a methodological category that helps us organize information. I hope that my selection of 2015 Latin American art exhibitions around the globe will give a glimpse to the changing and questionable category.
In order of opening date:
1. Jesús Rafael Soto Chronochrome, Galerie Perrotin, New York and Paris
Jesús Rafael Soto, Pénétrable BBL bleu, 1999, Edition Avila (Succession Soto) 2007, PVC, metal, Edition of 8, 12 x 33 x 15.4 feet © Jesús Rafael Soto / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, 2015. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin
Opens: January 10 (Paris) and January 15 (New York)
Galerie Perrotin presents a double exhibition on the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto (1923-2005) held simultaneously in Paris and New York. The show includes a large body of the artist’s work made between 1957 and 2003. Soto had a major retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou in 2013, and a major installation, Pénétrable de Chicago, at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014.
2. Jaime Davidovich: Outreach 1974-1984, Threewalls, Chicago
Jaime Davidovich, Museum of Television Culture, 1982. Courtesy of the artist and Henrique Faria, New York
Opens: January 23
Who doesn’t like TV? This exhibition features the unusual and overlooked medium: broadcast television. Over the course of the six-week exhibition, there will be three television programs by Argentine conceptual artist and television-art pioneer, Jaime Davidovich. Known for his Manhattan cable program The Live! Show, Davidovich creates interactive performances inspired by Dada and anarchist humor.
3. Doris Salcedo, MCA, Chicago
Doris Salcedo, Untitled, 1998. Photo: David Heald. Collection of Lisa and John Miller, fractional and promised gift to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Courtesy of the artist, Alexander and Bonin, New York, and White Cube
Opens: February 21.
In the 2014, the MCA showed an exhibition about Frida Khalo and her influence on contemporary artists. This year it presents the high anticipated first retrospective of the Colombian artist, Doris Salcedo. The exhibition features 30 years of the Salcedo’s sculptures, some never before seen, as well as her newest body of work. The exhibition travels to the Guggenheim in New York, June 26–October 14, 2015.
Coco Fusco, Bare Life Study #1, 2005, Performance registered in video. Courtesy of Colección Videobrasil
Opens: March 20
Memorias Imborrables (Unerasable Memories) is a historical perspective on the Videobrasil Collection. It reviews controversial, contentious historical and political events such as the discovery of Brazil by the Portuguese, the military coup in Chile, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks and is based on the personal vision of artists from Brazil and other countries included in the Collection. Artists include: Jonathas de Andrade, Carlos Motta, Rosangela Rennó, Akram Zaatari, Coco Fusco and León Ferrari.
5. La Menesunda and Materia, Museo de Arte Moderno (MAMBA), Buenos Aires
Marta Minujín inside La Menesunda, 1965
MAMBA will host the recreation of Marta Minujín’s La Menesunda, her emblematic installation originally realized together with Rubén Santantonín at the Instituto Di Tella in 1965. Also the exhibition Materia (Matter), with works by Alberto Greco, Kenneth Kemble, Emilio Renart, Aldo Paparella, and other artists who will look to the art of the 1960s and the problems of material in Argentine art.
Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1934-1947. © Núcleo de Documentação e Pesquisa – Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Opens: March 29
This exhibition explores and questions the notion of Latin America as a landscape of development. It features architectural drawings, architectural models, vintage photographs, and film clips from most of the countries of Latin America. This major survey revisits a previous 1955 MoMA exhibitions titled Latin American Architecture since 1945. In 2014, MoMA had a major retrospective of the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark.
Wilfredo Prieto, Walk, 2000. Plant, soil, photograph, and wheelbarrow, overall dimensions variable. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund. Courtesy the artist and NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona/Madrid
The pivotal exhibition Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, part of the Guggenheim UBS Map Global Art Initiative, will travel to the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) in São Paulo in April and the Museo Jumex in Mexico City autumn next year. The exhibition features works by 40 artists, among them the duo Allora and Calzadilla, Tania Bruguera, Wilfredo Prieto, Luis Camnitzer, Marta Minujin, Gabriel Orozco, and Amalia Pica.
Horacio Coppola, Buenos Aires, 1936, Gelatin silver print, Latin American and Caribbean Fund. © Galería Jorge Mara-La Ruche/The Estate of Horacio Coppola
Opens: May 17
This major exhibition focuses on the Argentine photographer and filmmaker Horacio Coppola (1906-2012) and his first wife, the German Grete Stern (1904-1999), representatives of the avant-garde photography of the 1930s. In Germany, between the wars, Coppola studied in Berlin in the Photography Department of the Bauhaus where he met Stern, who was also studying there.
9. Joaquín Torres-García, MoMA, New York
Joaquín Torres-García, América invertida, 1943, drawing, Museo Juan Manuel Blanes, Montevideo
Opens: October 25
Another important Latin American presence at the MoMA. The Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-García (1874-1949) is considered the father of Latin American Constructivism. This retrospective includes drawings, paintings, objects, sculptures and original artist notebooks and publications. His famous inverted map of South America has become an icon for Latin American art: “I have said School of the South; because in reality, our north is the South. There must not be north, for us, except in opposition to our South. Therefore we now turn the map upside down, and then we have a true idea of our position, and not as the rest of the world wishes. The point of America, from now on, forever, insistently points to the South, our north.”
10. The Responsive Eye, El Museo del Barrio, New York
Installation view, The Responsive Eye, February 25, 1965–April 25, 1965. Photograph © 1999 The Museum of Modern Art, New York
El Museo del Barrio will add a Latin American twist to an important 1965 exhibition that first opened at the MoMA, New York. The director of El Museo plans to recreate a new version of The Responsive Eye that focused on Op Art, this time including Latin American masters, like Carlos Cruz-Diez and Julio Le Parc.
 Gerardo Mosquera, “Del arte latinoamericano al arte desde América Latina,” in Caminar con el Diablo: Textos sobre arte, internacionalismo y culturas (Madrid: EXIT Publications, 2010), pp. 123–33.
(Image at top: Marta Minujín, Statue of Liberty Laid Down 1 (with Public Watching) (Estatua de la Libertad acostada I (con público que la mira), 1979. Ink on vellum, 31 1/2 x 43 1/2 inches. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund. Courtesy the artist and Henrique Faria Fine Art, New York. Photo: Glenn Castellano)
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