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The first survey of Pan-American geometric abstraction between the 1920s and 1950s, Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s-50s provides a fresh and innovative look at this dynamic and cosmopolitan period of Modernism in the Americas.
In the first half of the twentieth century, South American and US artists infused the hard-edge lines and geometric shapes of abstract art with new perspectives. This richly illustrated book examines the connections, both conceptual and personal, among abstract artists from Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela, suggesting parallels that cut across time, national borders, and a range of media. It begins with the arrival of Torres-Garcia in New York City in 1920, and culminates in the 1950s, as North and South American abstract artists converged in the international arena in such exhibition venues as the Bienal de Sao Paulo.
Released in conjunction with the traveling exhibition organized by the Newark Museum, Constructive Spirit presents more than ninety rarely seen paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings, and films, from private and public collections across both continents. The sixty-eight featured artists include the renowned--Alexander Calder, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Jesus Rafael Soto, and Arshile Gorky, for example--as well as those who deserve much wider recognition, such as Charmion von Wiegand, Geraldo de Barros, Alfredo Hlito, and many others.
Essayists Karen A. Bearor, Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Aliza Edelman, Adele Nelson, Mary Kate O Hare, and Cecilia de Torres offer new insights as they investigate the ideas and influences that informed South and North American artists transformation of abstraction into a language of their own.
Exhibition catalog edited by Mary Kate O Hare. 192 pages featuring the work of 68 artists, with more than 90 full-color illustrations. Size: 8.5 x 10 inches. Smyth-sewn casebound book with jacket.