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Top-News  |  24. November 2017

A TALE OF TWO WORLDS

Ausstellungsansicht/exhibition view. Artur Bispo do Rosári. © Artur Bispo do Rósario / Museu Bispo do Rosário Arte Contemporânea Collection. Rio de Janeiro City Hall. Brazil. Foto/photo: Axel Schneider

Ausstellungsansicht/exhibition view. Beatriz González. MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt. Courtesy Beatriz González. Foto/photo: Axel Schneider

Kenneth Kemble. Gran pintura negra. 1960. © archivo Julieta Kemble. Foto/photo: Jorge Roiger

Roy Lichtenstein. Yellow and Green Brushstrokes. 1966. © The Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/ VG Bild-Kunst. Bonn 2017. Foto/photo: Axel Schneider

Antonio Caro. Colombia. 1976/2010. © The artist. Daros Latinamerica collection. Zürich. Courtesy Galeria Casas Riegner. Bogotá

Experimental Latin American Art meets MMK

In one of its largest exhibitions ever the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main is collaborating with the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (Moderno).

The exhibition, A Tale of “Two Worlds: Experimental Latin American Art in Dialogue with the MMK Collection 1940s-1980s”, will be presented throughout the MMK 1 between 25 November 2017 and 2 April 2018, and at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires between 7 July and 14 October 2018.

It accommodates some 500 artworks from private and public collections by 100 artists and collectives from Latin America, the United States and Europe.

“A Tale of Two Worlds” sets out to establish a dialogue between two narratives in Western contemporary art over the five decades spanning the 1940s and the 1980s: the European-North American canon – as represented in the MMK Collection – and Latin American experimental art.

The exhibition is configured as an associative narrative ranging across the entire museum. Organized along three grand axes and sixteen sub-sections, it deals with the development of the history of art from the various continents of the world both chronologically and conceptually.

The introductory first axis explores the art of Lucio Fontana as a response to the Concrete Art movements of the River Plate region (Rio de la Plata) in the 1940s and as a mirror to the destructive practices in the Europe and Latin America of the 1950s.

The axis also examines the politics involved in cutting through a surface to critically see through it and expose a complex socio-political situation, as in the Neo-Concrete works of 1960s Brazilian artists and the works produced to denounce the various dictatorships in the Southern Cone in the 1970s.

The second axis focuses on the shift produced by artists who redirected their attention from the material to the immaterial dimension of art and from the realm of the object towards the realm of the lived experience.

The third axis brings the figure of the artist back to the fore as they establish their roles in society and the environment (Joseph Beuys, Nicolás García Uriburu, Ana Mendieta) or obsessively record their actions in time (On Kawara, Arthur Bispo do Rosário, Edgardo Antonio Vigo).

The exhibition ends with a remarkable analogy between the two worlds. Kenneth Kemble’s Gran pintura negra (1960) in Moderno’s collection and Roy Lichtenstein’s Yellow and Green Brushstrokes (1966) in MMK’s collection are displayed side by side to signal the complex appropriation of the painting tradition by conceptual strategies in answer to specific movements.

While Lichtenstein creates a monumental brushstroke recurring to the language of the comic-strip with its solid colour and its Ben-Day dots, Kemble made use of a grid to rationally amplify and stage the single brushstroke on this canvas. Both of these works could be considered a homage to the pictorial gesture par excellence and, at the same time, a corrosive analysis and dismantling of the tradition it represents.

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