Making Art Concrete
Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de CisnerosSeptember 16, 2017 to February 11, 2018
The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
In the years after World War II, artists in Argentina and Brazil experimented with geometric abstraction and engaged in lively debates about the role of the art work in society. Some of these artists experimented with novel synthetic materials, creating objects that offered an alternative to established traditions in painting. They proposed these objects become part of everyday, concrete reality and explored the material and theoretical limits of that proposition.
Combining art-historical and scientific analysis, experts from the Getty Conservation Institute and Getty Research Institute have collaborated with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, a world-renowned collection of Latin American art, to research the formal strategies and material decisions of artists working in the concrete and Neo-concrete vein, resulting in the first comprehensive technical study of these works. Visitors will see a selection of works by artists including Raúl Lozza, Tomás Maldonado, Rhod Rothfuss, Willys de Castro, Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, and Judith Lauand alongside information about the now-invisible processes that determine the appearance of the works: supports, hanging devices, methods of paint application, and techniques of painting straight edges. A selection of historical documents will shed further light on the social, political, and cultural underpinnings of these artistic propositions.
The Getty is producing a three-part series for their audio podcast channel Art + Ideas detailing the development of this exhibition:
The Making of an Exhibition, Part 1
Tom Learner, head of science, and Pia Gottschaler, senior research specialist, at the Getty Conservation Institute, and Andrew Perchuk, deputy director of the Getty Research Institute, talk about the foundational research for this exhibition.
The Making of an Exhibition, Part 2
A talk with Pia Gottschaller, Andrew Perchuck, and Zanna Gilbert, research specialist, of the Getty Research institute, that focuses on the exhibition title, relationship between concrete art and poetry, and cultural context in which these works were made.
The Making of an Exhibition, Part 3
In this final conversation, we meet the curatorial and conservation teams in the galleries to visit the show they’ve been working on for the past several years. We hear from the Getty Conservation Institute’s Tom Learner and Pia Gottschaller, the Getty Research Institute’s Andrew Perchuk and Zanna Gilbert, as well as the University of California, Riverside’s Aleca Le Blanc.
Juan Melé, (1923)
Marco recortado N° 2 [Irregular Frame N°2]
Oil on board
71.1 x 50.2 x 2.5 cm
The Museum of Modern Art. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the LACFMore
Cuadrilongo amarillo [Yellow Quadrilateral]
Paint on wood
37 x 33 cm
The Museum of Modern Art. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the LACF in honor of Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
Synthetic paint on board
60 x 60 cm
The Museum of Modern Art. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the LACF in honor of Robert Menschel & Janet Wallach
Quatro grupos de elementos
Gouache on board
59.8 x 59.9 cm (23 9/16 x 23 9/16 inches)
Willys de Castro
Gouache on paper on wood
32.5 x 5.5 x 1 cm (12 7/8 x 2 3/16 x 3/8 inches)
Ritmos cromáticos III [Chromatic Rhythms III]
Oil on canvas
100 x 100 cm
The Museum of Modern Art. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund
Doll cheek tint, car paint and other secrets revealed in the Getty's Latin American art study, Los Angeles Times, November 3, 2016
Cracked it! Getty exhibition unlocks the material secrets of Concrete art, The Art Newspaper, August 30, 2017
PST at the Getty Museum (podcast), KCRW, September 7, 2017
In a heated political moment, the ambitious Latino art series Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA opens, Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2017
What to see at Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, The Art Newspaper, September 16, 2017