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Venezuela in Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America

Jan 25

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1/25/2016 2:34 PM  RssIcon

The ICAA highlights the work of four Venezuelan artists this week whose output often expresses beauty through themes contingent on personal or collective identification. To better understand them, we suggest a dozen rare and essential reference materials that give further insight into Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America. Venezuela, perhaps more than any other Latin American country, is identified with geometric abstraction, such as the seductive, sculptural forms of José Gabriel Fernández (b. 1957). His many works, including Revolera, are further illuminated in an article by the Venezuelan journalist Aurora Blyde. Magdalena Fernández (b. 1964), whose featured work, 2iPM009, uses sound combined with moving images based on geometric figures referencing Mondrian, is highlighted in two articles, one by Premio Eugenio Mendoza, and another by Edgar Alfonzo-Sierra. The work of Roberto Obregón (1945-2003), whose Untitled (linear arrangement of black rubber rose petals) is exhibited in the show, finds further meaning in three documents, including a rare catalogue from a 1967 solo show in Caracas. Javier Téllez (b. 1969) and his video work on view, La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (Rozelle Hospital) [The Passion of Joan of Arc (Rozelle Hospital)], relates to the artist’s inspiration: his psychiatrist parents and visits to psychiatric hospitals, which are brought to further clarity in six documents concerning his career only found in our digital archives.


Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America, brings together major works by 21 artists who have made significant contributions to the global art scene within the past 30 years. Developing cutting-edge techniques and daring proposals, the artists intertwine aesthetic refinement with biting critiques of timely issues grounded in Latin American social and political realities. The works, all from the Museum’s permanent collection, employ conceptual, sensory-based, and interactive strategies that elicit the viewer’s active participation. Artists include Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Johanna Calle (Colombia). Yoan Capote (Cuba), María Fernanda Cardoso (Colombia) Los Carpinteros (Cuba), José Gross (Brazil), Guillermo Kuitca (Argentina), Grupo Mondonga (Argentina), Óscar Muñoz (Colombia), Roberto Obregón (Venezuela), Gabriel Orozco (Mexico), José Alejandro Restrepo (Colombia), Miguel Ángel Rios (Argentina), Miguel Ángel Rojas (Colombia), Teresa Serrano (Mexico), Regina Silveira (Brazil), Javier Téllez (Venezuela), and Tunga (Brazil). The exhibition is organized by Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Rachel Mohl, Curatorial Assistant. It runs November 22, 2015 to February 28, 2016 at the Caroline Wiess Law Building Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries at the MFAH.


We will continue to announce the availability of additional rare manuscripts, unpublished texts, and essential reference materials that give further insight into the conceptual framework of Latin American artists participating in MFAH exhibitions. All are available at the ICAA Documents Project website. Users may view all our shared document collections free of charge by accessing the digital archive website.

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