Transatlantic Encounters: Latin American Artists in Paris Between the Wars, 1918–39

  • Diego Rivera|Still Life with Gray Bowl, 1915|Oil on canvas|31¼ x 25 ⅛ in.|Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
  • Emilio Pettoruti|Flautista ciego (II), 1919-20|Oil on wood|22 ¼ by 17 ½ in. Private collection|© Fundación Pettoruti-www.pettoruti.com
  • Joaquín Torres García|Tabac, 1930|Oil on canvas|24 ⅝ x 28 ¾ in.|Private collection

Traveling to three venues beginning in 2019.

In the years between World War I and World War II, Paris was the epicenter of the art world, attracting artists from across the globe. The city held particular appeal for Latin American artists—over 300 arrived there during this period, engaging with nearly every major modernist development, including Cubism, Constructivism, Surrealism, and a range of figural styles.  Their encounters with and participation in the international avant-garde community in Paris both shaped the future direction of modern Latin American art and expanded the worldview of European artists.

The result of pioneering research and scholarship, Transatlantic Encounters: Latin American Artists in Paris between the Wars, 1918–39 is the first exhibition to focus on the work of the Latin American artists who converged in Paris during the pivotal interwar years and explore their unique and significant contributions to modernism. This story of transnational cultural exchange and artistic transformation is told through approximately 125 exceptional paintings and sculptures, as well as photographs, original exhibition brochures, and other archival material, drawn from prominent collections worldwide. The exhibition features work by renowned artists, such as Roberto Matta, Diego Rivera, and Joaquín Torres-García, and introduces lesser-known masters, such as Amelia Peláez, Emilio Pettoruti, and Xul Solar.

Expatriate Latin American artists developed unique artistic identities that merged their individual cultural roots with their cosmopolitan experiences in Paris. In the highly competitive art world of Paris during this period, Latin American artists with varying aesthetic points of view also allied themselves with one another and began to identify themselves as a unified group, ultimately shaping the notion of “Latin American art.” Organized thematically, Transatlantic Encounters will highlight key artists and movements, present the range of artist styles, and reveal the dynamic interplay between the Latin American community and the Parisian art world.

PUBLICATION

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication written by Michele Greet. Both a companion to the exhibition and a valuable resource for scholars and the general public, it provides a broad social, critical, and art historical context for the works on display.

CURATOR

Michele Greet is Director of Art History and Associate Professor of 20th century Latin American Art History at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. With the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2012–13), she wrote the scholarly monograph Transatlantic Encounters: Latin American Artists in Paris between the Wars, 1918–39, upon which the exhibition is based. Author of Beyond National Identity: Pictorial Indigenism as a Modernist Strategy in Andean Art, 1920–1960 (2009), Greet has written and lectured widely on modern Latin American art. She also serves on the advisory board for the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C.

BOOKING

For more information, contact Curator Margery King at 212.988.7700 ext. 246 or mking@amfedarts.org.

CREDIT

This exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts.