The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Abstract Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection presents the most comprehensive overview to date of geometrical abstraction in Latin America from the 1930s to the 1970s.
Abstract art is one of the strongest artistic traditions in Latin America, despite being overshadowed in the popular imagination by Mexican Muralism and Magical Realism. Since the 1930s, various and distinct forms of geometrical abstraction developed and refined by South American artists have been at the forefront of international advances. Covering half a century of innovation and invention, the exhibition is structured around the principal cities in which geometrical art flourished: Montevideo, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, and Caracas.
The title of the exhibition, The Geometry of Hope, brings together the two central ideas in this history: a mathematical and precise visual language on the one hand and a utopian belief in progress and idealism on the other. The title contrasts with the term “The Geometry of Fear,” coined by Herbert Read in 1952 to describe the atmosphere of anxiety in postwar British art. The Latin American artists in this exhibition believed in art’s ability to change the world through reason, order, and progress.