Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum announces major gift of contemporary Latin American artworks from Nicholas Pardon, co-founder of renowned SPACE Collection

Phoenix Art Museum announces major gift of contemporary Latin American artworks from Nicholas Pardon, co-founder of renowned SPACE Collection

Dec, 21, 2018

Major GiftsCollectionsNew AcquisitionsModern and Contemporary ArtLatin American

Phoenix Art Museum announces major gift of contemporary Latin American artworks from Nicholas Pardon, co-founder of renowned SPACE Collection

The gift of more than 100 works from the largest collection of post-1990s Latin American abstract art in the United States increases the Museum’s contemporary Latin American art holdings by 280%

PHOENIX (December 2018) –Phoenix Art Museum is the recipient of a significant gift from Nicholas Pardon, co-founder of the SPACE Collection, the largest collection of post-1990s abstract art from Latin America in the United States featuring major works by artists recognized as the pioneers of their generation. The gift includes 112 artworks by 49 artists from 14 Latin American countries and represents a 280% increase in the Museum’s holdings of contemporary Latin American art. Previously, the Museum’s Latin American art collection included approximately 40 contemporary artworks.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous gift from Nicholas Pardon,” said Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. “These significant works from the esteemed SPACE Collection greatly diversify and strengthen the Museum’s Latin American art collection, and we are very excited to share them with our community.”

Co-founded by Nicholas Pardon and assembled by art historian Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, considered one of the world’s preeminent scholars of Latin American art, the SPACE Collection was committed to expanding and inspiring understanding of Latin American art across the globe through broad philanthropic initiatives. The collection built on modernist traditions and celebrated both traditional and non-traditional art forms, including drawing, painting, collage, mixed-media work, site-specific sculpture, and video installation, created by artists throughout Latin America.

Pardon’s landmark gift to Phoenix Art Museum, which includes contemporary art created by some of the most innovative artists working in Latin American today, is significant in many ways. The gift adds depth to the Museum’s collection, strengthening its holdings of artworks created in nations previously unrepresented, such as Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay, while also fundamentally fortifying the Museum’s collection of Argentine, Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, Peruvian, and Venezuelan art. Additionally, the donated works update the Latin American art collection at Phoenix Art Museum, with the majority created between 2001 and 2016. Finally, the significant gift of abstract artworks provides even greater opportunities to foster new understandings about Latin American art in the Phoenix community and beyond. Abstraction as an art form has a long and lasting legacy in the Americas, building upon modernist, concrete, op, and neo-concrete traditions that spanned the 1940s to the late 1970s. Since the 1990s, Latin American abstraction specifically has become a space for critical intervention on pressing social, political, and cultural issues. The increased representation of abstract Latin American art in the Museum’s collection will enable the Phoenix community to experience such works. 

“This transformative gift represents a milestone in the history of the Latin American art collection of Phoenix Art Museum,” said Vanessa Davidson, PhD, the Museum’s Shawn and Joe Lampe Curator of Latin American Art. “These extraordinary artworks will engender new understandings about what contemporary Latin American art is and can be, enabling our community to engage with innovative works created in the past two decades in many different media.”

The gift from Pardon places the Museum within larger conversations in the art world about the global significance of Latin American art. An exhibition featuring the newly acquired works is anticipated in 2020 and will offer the diverse Phoenix community the opportunity to learn about the many contributions of Latin American artists to modern and conceptual art through the 20th century to today.

Related Program 

New Paradigms of Contemporary Latin American Abstraction  
Wednesday, March 20, 2019  |  6:30 pm

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, PhD, one of the most important scholars of Latin American art in the United States and former curator of the SPACE Collection, will propose new ways of interpreting and experiencing Latin American contemporary abstraction. See more information at

About Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona for nearly 60 years and is the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions are shown alongside the Museum’s permanent collection of more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents festivals, a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed to enlighten, entertain, and stimulate visitors of all ages. Visitors also enjoy vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum,, or call 602.257.1880.

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