Symposium: Sur moderno

February 6, 2020 to February 7, 2020

Sur moderno : New Perspectives on South American Abstraction and Its Legacies

Part I
Thursday, February 6, 2020
5:30pm
MoMA, Mezzanine, Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater)
Free admission, ticket is required.
*Tickets will be available online starting on January 6, 2020. Will-call tickets will be available to be picked up from the Cullman Education and Research Building starting at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the program. 

Part II
Friday, February 7, 2020
1:00pm
Columbia University 612 Schermerhorn Hall
Free admission, ticket is required.



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Luiz Roque. O Novo Monumento. 2013. Image courtesy of the artist

 

In recent decades, a significant number of scholarly projects have been devoted to the study and exhibition of concrete and kinetic art from South America. Likewise an array of books, academic theses, and exhibitions, produced both within the region and abroad, have enabled a growing understanding and heightened visibility of one of the richest artistic periods in the region.

The works included in the exhibition Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, and the sustained scholarship that has been produced around them, have been at the center of this expanding field. Organized as part of MoMA’s celebration of a major gift from Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, the symposium seeks to build on questions around the perception of South American art, focusing on the intellectual frameworks that characterize our ever-changing present.

The symposium approaches this goal with two points of emphasis. On the one hand, it will explore how contemporary theoretical and political positions are expanding the ways in which these artistic movements are studied, bringing to the foreground aspects of the modern movement that were hitherto elided. The tensions and dilemmas between internationalism and vernacular traditions; the relationships between abstract movements and the promises of development as seen from today’s environmental humanities; and the complexities of gender politics in modern South America are some of the topics that will be discussed by a group of distinguished scholars and artists. On the other hand, the symposium will seek to understand how key ideas developed by modern South American artists drifted toward contemporary practices and disciplines that at the same time use, expand, and dispute their legacy. Through conferences and short virtual presentations by contemporary artists, we hope to feature the multiple afterlives of geometric abstraction, emphasizing these artistic languages’ continuing formal and conceptual impact.

The symposium will take place over the course of two consecutive days at The Museum of Modern Art and at Columbia University. The program is free, but separate tickets are required for both days. Tickets will be available online starting on January 6. Will-call tickets will be available to be picked up from the Cullman Education and Research Building starting at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the program.


Part One
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
MoMA, The Celeste Bartos Theater

Part one includes conversations, artist presentations about the legacy of geometric abstraction, and academic papers. Participants include Paulo Herkenhoff, curator, São Paulo; María Amalia García, researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)–Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires; Lisa Blackmore, lecturer at Essex University, Colchester, UK; and Isaac Julien, artist, London. Inés Katzenstein, curator of Latin American Art and director of the Cisneros Institute at MoMA, introduces the program, and Mónica Amor, Maryland Institute College of Art, moderates.


Part Two
Friday, February 7, 2020, 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Columbia University, 612 Schermerhorn Hall

Part two includes academic papers and artist presentations. Participants include Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University; Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, curator, Los Angeles; Kaira Cabañas, professor of art history and affiliate faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville; and artists Karin Schneider and Nicolas Guagnini, Union Gaucha Productions, New York. Alexander Alberro, Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Art History at Barnard College and Columbia University introduces the program; Inés Katzenstein, curator of Latin American art and director of the Cisneros Institute at MoMA, introduces the exhibition Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, and Irene V. Small, associate professor in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, moderates.


Sur moderno: New Perspectives on South American Abstraction and Its Legacies is jointly organized by the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America at The Museum of Modern Art, and the Art History and Archeology Department at Columbia University, in conjunction with the exhibition Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift.

The event is organized by Inés Katzenstein, curator of Latin American Art and director of the Cisneros Institute at MoMA, María Amalia García, consulting curator for Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, and Alexander Alberro, Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Art History at Barnard College and Columbia University.

Part one is organized by the Cisneros Institute in collaboration with MoMA’s Department of Education.

For more information, please visit the MoMA website.