Abstraction has been a recurring strategy in Latin American visual cultures since long before the European Conquest. Over the past century, and often in dialogue with artists elsewhere, Latin Americans working in diverse media have explored both abstraction or – in the case of the Concrete art movement, who rejected the term “abstract” art as too suggestive of a link to a figurative realm that is being abstracted – “pure” explorations of color and form. Not surprisingly, filmmakers have participated actively in this process of exploration, often in collaboration with artists from other media. Enrique Pineda Barnet’s Cosmorama (1964) uses the kinetic sculptures of the Romanian-Cuban artist Sandú Darié Laver as a point of departure, much like the way Luís Ernesto Arocha’s AZILEF (1971) draws on the process of Colombian sculptor Feliza Bursztyn. Other filmmakers proceed from urban and architectural references, such as Prague’s public transit system in Azucena Losana’s At Your Heels (2017), or the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Teo Hernández’ Nuestra señora de Paris (1981-1982), and render these in ways that cross back and forth between abstraction and recognizable representations, while still others reference the altered sensory perceptions and exaggerated color palettes of psychedelic experiences. Together, like the diverse approaches of the concrete, neo-concrete, geometric abstraction, “grupo Madí,” “grupo Ruptura,” and other movements in the visual arts, these filmmakers pursue colors, light, shadows, and forms as the basis for their work.
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Earlier Event: July 10Arsenal presents Two or Three Things I Know About Latin America
Later Event: August 3Museo Tamayo presenta Armonías urbanas / Ciudades disonantes