By providing an overview of post-1990s abstraction from various geographies in Latin America, Stories of Abstraction illuminates how contemporary Latin American artists use abstract art to convey specific emotions, stories, and ideas related to key social issues. Featured works also address the ways in which artwork lacking figuration or recognizable characters can generate new narratives, insightful commentary, and even political change.
To historically contextualize these contemporary Latin American works, Stories of Abstraction incorporates those by artists of an earlier generation from the United States, the Americas, and Europe, such as Alexander Calder, Pedro Friedeberg, Agnes Martin, Carlos Mérida, Hélio Oiticica, Frank Stella, Bridget Riley, and Jesús Rafael Soto, to highlight their influence on post-1990 Latin American abstractionists and to underscore that abstraction in Latin America didn’t develop independently; rather its genesis is inextricably tied to the region’s history of colonialism. The exhibition’s artworks by contemporary U.S. artists working in abstraction, including those based in Phoenix, further address how abstraction continues to develop and unfold in a global context.
Sergio Vega, Shanty Nucleus After Derrida 2, 2011-2013. Installation, Inkjet vinyl prints mounted on syntra. Gift of Nicholas Pardon. Image courtesy of Nicholas Pardon.