Latin American Forum

The Latin American Forum was created to bring artists, scholars, and critics of the arts of the Americas to The Institute of Fine Arts, providing a platform for discussions and debates of diverse issues pertaining to contemporary arts and visual cultures throughout the hemisphere. As a conversational space for the creation of knowledge, the forum aims to build bridges that allow for the exchange of ideas, resources, and methods within the field.

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This forum is generously funded by the Institute of Studies for Latin American Art (ISLAA). This series of public programs and events are coordinated by Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art and Deputy Director, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and organized by graduate students. Since partnering with ISLAA in 2011, NYU’s Latin American Forum has hosted more than 30 events.

For more information about the Institute's deep engagement with Latin American art of all historical periods, please visit the student run website: IFA Latin America.

Schedule

Please check the the events calendar for upcoming lectures in this series.

Archive

2021

October 21, 2021
Speakers: Heloisa Espada, curator at Instituto Moreira Salles, Brazil; Francesca Ferrari, PhD candidate at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts; and Adele Nelson, assistant professor of art history and associate director of the Center for Latin American Visual Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
Title: Recasting Concretism: New Looks at Max Bill in Latin America A Panel with Heloisa Espada, Francesca Ferrari, and Adele Nelson

watch Recasting Concretism online [opens in new window]

Description: The Swiss artist Max Bill (1908–1994) has long been understood as a principal source for the theory and practice of Latin American abstract artists in the 1940s and 1950s, especially in Brazil and Argentina. This narrative, which pervades the literature on the history of concretism in the region, consistently casts Bill as a staunch defender of rationalism and even as the harbinger of a certain formal rigidity.

This panel challenges these assumptions, recasting Bill’s role in the shaping of Latin American concretism and reassessing his contributions in light of his Brazilian and Argentine peers’ interpretation of concrete art. It disputes the straightforward conflation of Bill’s approach to form with that of his counterparts in the region and reassesses Bill’s interest in mathematical structures in terms of irregular, non-Euclidean notions of space and the viewer’s sensory activation.

After Francesca Ferrari introduces her research for the exhibition “From Surface to Space”: Max Bill and Concrete Sculpture in Buenos Aires, on view at the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), Heloisa Espada will discuss the contradictions between Bill’s positions and the narratives that describe him as a propagator of strict ideas about concrete art in her lecture “Max Bill: Radical for Whom?” Adele Nelson will then present her talk “Max Bill or Bust: Complicating Brazilian Concretism,” which will reveal how form, as conceived by Brazilian thinkers and makers, stood counter to Bill’s thinking and instead signaled an innovative merging of media.

This program is organized in conjunction with “From Surface to Space”: Max Bill and Concrete Sculpture in Buenos Aires, curated by Francesca Ferrari, at ISLAA, a complementary exhibition to max bill global at the Zentrum Paul Klee. The event will be conducted in English on Zoom, and a recording will be made available after it takes place. For information about the related panel International Dialogues in Experimental Design, presented by the Zentrum Paul Klee and ISLAA on October 14, please visit this link.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: Heloisa Espada is curator at Instituto Moreira Salles, Brazil. She specializes in modern and contemporary Brazilian art, with a special focus on its relationship with photography. Espada is author of Hercules Barsotti (2013) and Monumentalidade e sombra: o centro cívico de Brasília por Marcel Gautherot (2016). She has organized the exhibitions Geraldo de Barros e a fotografia (2014) and Conflitos: fotografia e violência política no Brasil, 1889-1964 (2016), among others. Currently, she is fellow in the Latin American Collection Fellowship Program of the Patricia Phelps Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art in Latin America of MoMA, where she is conducting research about the Ruptura group.

Francesca Ferrari is a PhD candidate at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she is a recipient of the Robert Lehman Fellowship for Studies in the Fine Arts. She holds an MA in art history from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in art history and English from the Université de Lausanne. Her research focuses on twentieth-century European and Latin American art. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “Animated Geometries: Abstraction and the Body in the Work of Paul Klee, Sophie Taeuber, Joaquín Torres-García, and Alexandra Exter,” explores the convergence of geometric abstraction, the human body, and movement on a transnational scale during the 1920s. She has published in several graduate art history journals as well as in Afterimage and the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin. Ferrari is the 2020/2021 Mellon-Marron Research Consortium Fellow in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art.

Adele Nelson is assistant professor of art history and associate director of the Center for Latin American Visual Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in postwar and contemporary art of Latin America, with a focus on Brazil, and her writings have appeared in Art Journal, Artelogie, ARTMargins, MODOS, and various museum publications. Her new book, Forming Abstraction: Art and Institutions in Postwar Brazil, will appear in January 2022 in the Studies on Latin American Art series from the University of California Press. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright US Scholar Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society.

ABOUT THE LATIN AMERICAN FORUM: The Latin American Forum is a platform sustained in partnership with ISLAA that brings artists, scholars, and critics of the arts of the Americas to The Institute of Fine Arts, providing a platform for discussions and debates about diverse issues pertaining to contemporary arts and visual cultures throughout the hemisphere.

Since partnering with ISLAA in 2011, NYU’s Latin American Forum has hosted more than thirty events.

November 30, 2021
Title: José Antonio Fernández-Muro and Sarah Grilo Reconsidered: Argentine Abstraction in the United States
A Panel with Karen Grimson, Megan Kincaid, Juan Gabriel Ramírez Bolívar, and Delia Solomons
Moderated by Edward J. Sullivan

Description: During their lifetimes, Argentine artists Sarah Grilo (1919–2007) and José Antonio Fernández-Muro (1920–2014) made significant contributions to global abstraction. Forming part of a generation of artists working in Buenos Aires following the emergence of concrete art in the 1940s, this married couple offered distinct stylistic contributions that helped expand the genre. Their work was shown internationally, and they served as emissaries of the Argentine avant-garde at notable exhibitions and biennials. At the height of their prominence in Argentina, Grilo and Fernández-Muro relocated to New York in 1962, where they continued to push abstraction beyond its previous boundaries.

This panel will present new scholarship on the activity of Grilo and Fernández-Muro in New York, considering both their individual artistic developments and their role in relation to Latin American art’s reception in the United States during the 1960s. Grappling with existing interpretations of their careers that celebrate their time in New York as a breakthrough moment, this panel will examine their achievements through alternate methodological and historical approaches that displace the center-periphery narrative, while also considering questions of race, nationality, and gender.

In her presentation, Megan Kincaid will introduce her research for the exhibition José Antonio Fernández-Muro: Geometry in Transfer at ISLAA, locating the New York years within Grilo’s and Fernández-Muro’s sweeping careers. Delia Solomons will then contextualize how their work circulated within the surge of survey exhibitions dedicated to Latin American art in the United States amid inter-American Cold War frictions between 1959 and 1968. In his lecture, Juan Gabriel Ramírez Bolivar will trace the evolution of the circle as a geometric and figurative device across Fernández-Muro’s New York paintings. Karen Grimson will then present on Grilo’s work from 1962 to 1970, explicating how her use of language, initiated during her New York residency, functioned as a proclamation of discursive agency. The presentations will be followed by a discussion moderated by Edward J. Sullivan.

The program is organized in conjunction with José Antonio Fernández-Muro: Geometry in Transfer, curated by Megan Kincaid, at ISLAA. The event will be conducted in English on Zoom, and a recording will be made available after it takes place.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Karen Grimson is an art historian specializing in Latin American abstraction. She holds a degree in art history from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and an MA from the Courtauld Institute, London. Between 2011 and 2020, she worked at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, developing acquisitions and exhibitions of art from Latin America. Her writings on the work of Sarah Grilo have been published by ISLAA and Galerie Lelong, Paris. She also contributed articles to the publications Among Others: Blackness at MoMA, Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern, Being Modern, and MoMA Highlights, as well as the online portals MoMA Magazine and post: notes on art in a global context.

Megan Kincaid is an art historian and curator of modern and contemporary art. She is currently an adjunct instructor at New York University and a PhD candidate at The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She holds a BA in art history from Columbia University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Kincaid co-curated the exhibitions Cauleen Smith, H-E-L-L-O: To Do All At Once (2021) and Fanny Sanín’s New York: The Critical Decade, 1971–1981 (2020–21), both at The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and assisted with the curation of Charles White: A Retrospective (2018–19) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Museum of Modern Art and New York University, among others, have published her writing. Most recently, she organized an exhibition of early drawings by Susan Te Kahurangi King and published an essay on new sculptures by Daniel Lind-Ramos.

Juan Gabriel Ramírez Bolívar is a PhD candidate at The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He focuses on modern Latin American art and artistic exchanges between Europe and Latin America. Born in Bogotá, Juan Gabriel received his BA in history at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. In 2013, he was granted an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to study at the master’s program in comparative history at Charles University in Prague and social sciences at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. At the Institute, he has organized numerous events with IFA Latin America and has been part of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Lapis: The Journal of the Institute of Fine Arts.

Delia Solomons is assistant professor of art history at Drexel University. She specializes in modern and contemporary art of the Americas, focusing on intersections between exhibitions, politics, and visual culture in the 1960s. Her research has appeared in Art Bulletin, MoMA’s post: notes on art in a global context, Journal of Curatorial Studies, and The Americas Revealed: Collecting Colonial and Modern Latin American Art in the United States. Her book xCold War in the White Cube: U.S. Exhibitions of Latin American Art (1959–68) will be published by Penn State University Press in 2023. Her most recent research is devoted to Marisol’s sculpture.

2020

October 9, 2020
Title: A Conversation: César Paternosto and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Speakers: César Paternosto, artist and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, London

Watch the Lating American Forum online

Description: This conversation celebrates the recent release of Hans Ulrich Obrist & César Paternosto Interview, published by Manuella Editions with the support of the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA). In this interview directed by Hans Ulrich Obrist with an introduction by Lucy R. Lippard, César Paternosto revisits his career as a painter with passion and sincerity. From his beginnings with Art Informel, to his development of a radical geometric abstraction up to his most recent works of public art and experiments with the pictorial support, Paternosto narrates his lifelong commitment with abstraction. An abstraction also crucially influenced by his involvement with the ancient arts of the Americas, on which he also has written extensively.

Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. Prior to this, he was Curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show, “World Soup (The Kitchen Show)” in 1991, he has curated more than 300 exhibitions. Obrist has lectured internationally at academic and art institutions, and is a contributing editor to Artforum, AnOther Magazine, Cahiers D’Art, and 032C; he is a regular contributor to Mousse and System Magazine, and he writes columns for Das Magazin and Weltkunst. In 2011 he received the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence, and in 2015 he was awarded the International Folkwang Prize for his commitment to the arts. His recent publications include Ways of Curating (2015), The Age of Earthquakes (2015), Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Architects (2015), Mondialité (2017), Somewhere Totally Else (2018), and The Athens Dialogues (2018).

César Paternosto (b. 1931, La Plata, Argentina) is a painter, sculptor, and theorist. Paternosto lived in New York between 1967 and 2004, when he moved to Segovia, Spain. At the beginning of the 1960s he embraced abstraction at a time in which painting was still the cutting-edge art. It was in New York in 1969, however, that he conceived a radical “lateral vision” of painting that brought the pictorial notations to the side edges of the picture. Toward the end of the 1970s an encounter with the ancient arts of the Americas led him to pursue systematic research on the eccentric origins of abstraction in non-European cultures, about which he later wrote, published (The Stone and the Thread: Andean Roots of Abstract Art, 1996), and organized exhibitions (most notably, Abstraction: The Amerindian Paradigm, 2001). All along he has continued developing pictorially, as well as intermittently in sculpture, these foundational principles of his work.

2019

November 25, 2019
Title: Shifting Priorities: Mexican Muralism Revisited
Speakers: Anna Indych-Lopez, Professor of 20th-Century Latin American Art, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
Lynda Klich, Professor of Art History, Hunter College, The City University of New York

The Latin American Forum is excited to present “Shifting Priorities: Mexican Muralism Revisited,” a panel that proposes to reassess the state of Mexican Muralism in anticipation of the upcoming exhibition at the Whitney Museum, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945.

The evening features talks by two of the top scholars in the field: IFA alumni Dr. Anna Indych-López, Professor of Latin American and Latinx Art, The Graduate Center and The City College of New York, CUNY, and Dr. Lynda Klich, Assistant Professor of Art History, Hunter College, CUNY, who will each discuss their latest research on Mexican Muralism and its unexpected correlations and traces. The presentations will be expanded upon through a conversation led by Madeline Murphy Turner, Ph.D. Candidate, The Institute of Fine Arts.

The Latin American Forum is generously supported by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), and advised by Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Shepard Professor of the History of Art and Deputy Director, the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

The event will be followed by a reception.

https://www.islaa.org/

September 24, 2019
Title: Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx
Participants: Joanna Groarke, Director of Public Engagement and Library Exhibitions Curator
Cristóbal Jácome-Moreno, Research Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Isabela Ono, Executive Director, Roberto Burle Marx Institute, Rio de Janiero
Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Shepard Professor of the History of Art, IFA (Deputy Director)

Description: This panel is held to discuss and celebrate the multifaceted art of Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994), master garden-architect, painter, sculptor, designer, musician. Burle Marx was directly involved with virtually every avant-garde movement in Brazilian modernism in the mid-twentieth century. Panelists will discuss various facets of his work as well as international connections with other parts of Latin America and beyond. Burle Marx is currently the subject of a major exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden (until September 29).

September 21, 2019
Title: Musical Homage to Roberto Burle Marx

Description: This concert coincides with the exhibition BRAZILIAN MODERN: THE LIVING ART OF ROBERTO BURLE MARX on view at the New York Botanical Garden until September 29. Burle Marx was an extraordinary figure within modern Brazilian culture. He was a master garden-architect, painter, sculptor and designer. Much less well known is the immense significance that music played within both his youth and maturity. He trained as a young man for a career in opera and well into his late life he played piano and guitar. Growing up in a German and Portuguese-speaking household of intellectuals, he was deeply immersed in the repertory of German 19th century musical classics, and had a great love of modern classical and popular music from Brazil. This concert will feature works by the composers known, loved and played by Burle Marx.

Tyrone Whiting is a prize-winning British conductor, organist, pianist, and teacher. Currently, Director of Music at the historic Grace Church in Newark, NJ, Tyrone has performed throughout the UK and USA. He has chosen a wide-ranging repertory for this event, evoking the varied musical tastes of Burle Marx. More information about Tyrone can be found at www.tyronewhiting.com

2018

May 4, 2018
Game Changers: Women Artists in 1970s Mexico. A conversation with Magali Lara and Mónica Mayer moderated by Carla Stellweg
Speakers: Magali Lara, Mónica Mayer, Carla Stellweg, Madeline Murphy Turner

Watch Game Changers online

2017

November 17, 2017  
Speaker: Miguel Luciano

October 9, 2017
Speaker: Cecilia Vicuña
Title: A Conversation with Cecilia Vicuña

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Abstract: Artist, poet, activist and philosopher, Cecilia Vicuña (born in Chile, a long-time resident of New York) has been noted for many decades for her work in a wide variety of media and venues. Her political activism, her artistic innovation and her stimulating and original approach to problems of visuality and the expression of collective emotion are at the heart of her art.

We are immensely pleased to have Cecilia as the first Artist in this Fall's series of Latin American Forum events. She will discuss her work in the context of a conversation with Edward J. Sullivan, Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Art History and Deputy Director of the Institute of Fine Arts




April 14-15, 2017
ISLAA Symposium
Beyond the Symbolic: Art and Social Engagement in the Americas April 14–15, 2017

2016

April 30, 2016
ISLAA Symposium
Realisms: Politics, Art, and Visual Culture in the Americas

May 3, 2016
Seminar on Greek and Roman Art and Architecture
Speaker: Luca Giuliani, Humboldt University and Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin

March 4, 2016
Latin American Forum
A Dialogue About Antonio Dias
Panelists: Lilian Tone, curator, Museum of Modern Art, Department of Painting and Sculpture
Brian Bentley, PhD Candidate, IFA
Claudia Calirman, John Jay College, CUNY, Professor of Art History
Alejandra García, artistic director Galeria Nara Roesler, New York, and editor of Antonio Dias (2015)
Moderated by Edward Sullivan, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art; Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences

2015

May 11, 2015
Jaime Davidovich: Pioneer in Video and Conceptual Art
Speakers:
Julieta Gonzalez, Adjunct Curator, Modern Art e São Paulo and Chief Curator, Júmex Collection, Mexico; (Curator of Jaime Davidovich: Adventures of the Avant-Garde on view at The Bronx Museum of the Arts)
Carla Stellweg, Professor, School of Visual Arts and independent curator
Daniel Quiles, Assistant Professor of Art History, School of The Art Institute of Chicago
Sarah Montross, Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Curatorial Fellow, Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Watch video from "Jaime Davidovich: Pioneer in Video and Conceptual Art"

May 5, 2015
Digital Torres-García 
A special panel discussion on the Uruguayan modernist artist, Joaquín Torres-García, moderated by Edward J. SullivanHelen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, NYU
Speakers:
Mari Carmen RamírezWortham Curator of Latin American ArtDirector, International Center for the Arts of the Americas, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Cecilia de Torres, Scholar and head of the catalogue raisonné project on artist 
Susanna Temkin, IFA PhD candidate and Research & Archive Specialist, Cecilia de Torres, Ltd.

Watch Digital Torres-García online

March 10, 2015
A Round Table on Curating Modern and Contemporary Arts of the Americas
Speakers:
Richard Aste, Curator of European Art, Brooklyn Museum
Gabriela Rangel, Director of Visual Arts, The Americas Society
Pablo León de la Barra, UBS MAP Curator of Latin American Art, Guggenheim Museum
Iria Candela, Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Modern Latin American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Deborah Cullen, Director and Chief Curator, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University
Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, Curator, El Museo del Barrio
Randall Griffey, Associate Curator of Modern American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Moderated by Edward Sullivan, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art; Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences

February 5, 2015
Susan Aberth, Associate Professor of Art History, Bard College
The Visual Culture of Occultism: Surrealist Women Artists in Context

2014

April 10, 2014
Linda Rodriguez, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Art History, New York University
History and Art in Early 19th Century Cuba

March 4, 2014
Roberto Tejada, Professor of Art History, Southern Methodist University, Dallas
Camera-Culture and Experience in São Paulo

September 9, 2014
Modes of Defiance: Latin American Art, 1970 to the Present
A special panel in conjunction with the exhibition Bearing Witness: Art and Resistance in Cold War Latin America at John Jay College, curated by Roberto Visani, Estrellita B. Brodsky, and Pierre-Yves Linot, with the assistance of Lydia Shestopalova.
Speakers:
Joaquin Barriendos, Assistant Professor, Columbia University
Estrellita Brodsky, Independent Curator
Claudia Calirman, Assistant Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Jason Dubs
, Museum Research Consortium Project Manager, The Museum of Modern Art
Moderated by Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, NYU

November 18, 2014
A Conversation with Marta Chilindrón and Edward J. Sullivan

Watch Marta Chilindron online

December 9, 2014
Conceptualism in Latin America: A Conversation with Luis Camnitzer, Alexander Alberro, and Robert Slifkin
Speakers:
Luis Camnitzer, Artist
Alexander Alberro, Virginia Bloedel Wright Associate Professor of Art History, Barnard College
Robert Slifkin, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Moderated by Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, NYU

2013


October 1, 2013

Miriam Basilio
Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies, New York University
The Evolving Canon: Latin American Art at MoMA 1945-55

October 23, 2013
Mexican Art in Focus: New Research in Mexican Art History, Celebrating the Publication of James Oles's ART AND ARCHITECTURE IN MEXICO
Speakers will include Edward J. Sullivan (Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the History of Art,Institute of Fine Arts, NYU), moderator, Barbara Mundy (Fordham University), Katherine Manthorne (CUYNY), Mary Coffey (Dartmouth), James Oles (Wellesley) 
Please note: This event will take place at the King Juan Carlos I Spain Center 
53 Washington Square, First-Floor Screening Room 
New York, NY 10012

November 5, 2013
Gabriela Rangel, Director, Visual Arts, The Americas Society
Art and Politics in Venezuela 1960-80