Forming Abstraction: Art and Institutions in Postwar Brazil (Studies on Latin American Art and Latinx Art #5) (Hardcover)

Forming Abstraction: Art and Institutions in Postwar Brazil (Studies on Latin American Art and Latinx Art #5) By Adele Nelson Cover Image

Forming Abstraction: Art and Institutions in Postwar Brazil (Studies on Latin American Art and Latinx Art #5) (Hardcover)

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Art produced outside hegemonic centers is often seen as a form of derivation or relegated to a provisional status. Forming Abstraction turns this narrative on its head. In the first book-length study of postwar Brazilian art and culture, Adele Nelson highlights the importance of exhibitionary and pedagogical institutions in the development of abstract art in Brazil. By focusing on the formation of the São Paulo Biennial in 1951; the early activities of artists Geraldo de Barros, Lygia Clark, Waldemar Cordeiro, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, and Ivan Serpa; and the ideas of critics like Mário Pedrosa, Nelson illuminates the complex, strategic processes of citation and adaption of both local and international forms. The book ultimately demonstrates that Brazilian art institutions and abstract artistic groups—and their exhibitions of abstract art in particular—served as crucial loci for the articulation of societal identities in a newly democratic nation at the onset of the Cold War.

Adele Nelson is Assistant Professor of Art History and Associate Director of the Center for Latin American Visual Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Product Details ISBN: 9780520379848
ISBN-10: 0520379845
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: February 22nd, 2022
Pages: 392
Language: English
Series: Studies on Latin American Art and Latinx Art
"Forming Abstraction fills in many gaps and inconsistencies about this period and as such is a welcome addition to extant scholarship and especially to the classroom, where Nelson’s clear and engaging prose will undoubtedly be appreciated. More importantly, the author’s unique insight paves the way for new possibilities in addressing postwar art in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America, including further research into the racialized, classed, and gendered dimensions of abstract art."
— Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture