The D.C. Docent

DC to NY: Latin American Art

The Americas! I blogged early last week about DC’s Art Museum of the Americas and Chilean and other South American artists, then later in the week I headed up to NYC for more Latin American art immersion.

I spent that Thursday afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art viewing the two Alfred Stieglitz exhibits which happened to include work by Mexican caricaturist Marius de Zayas (first embraced by Stieglitz, later shunned). I’m not much for caricatures, but I like the inclusion of his work because it speaks to the unusual dynamics of his relationship with Stieglitz, which is most of why I enjoyed the exhibit (talk about insane interpersonal relationships with his clients, friends, collaborators, lovers, etc.).

Then Friday afternoon was spent at the Hispanic Society of America. Truly a hidden gem in Manhattan, way up on West 155th Street. One of Francisco Goya’s most famous paintings is on display (The Duchess of Alba aka The Black Duchess, 1797) along with other notable works by Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Zurbaran and an entire room of enormous Joaquin Sorolla murals.

And finally, on Saturday afternoon, I visited the Americas Society, where the first solo exhibit in the U.S. of Brazilian conceptual artist Antonio Manuel is on view through December 10th. This was probably my favorite of the weekend. Manuel was part of the neo-avant-garde movement in 1960s Rio which was completely wild and different from the European and American conceptualist movement of that same era. As the exhibit points out, Latin American conceptualism was a reaction to economic turbulence, censorship, undemocratic regimes and part of a broader socio-political movement (as opposed to American or European conceptualism which was more of a reaction to the art “establishment” and the nature of art).

I encourage you to visit all three next time you’re in NYC. I’ll also be doing more research on Latin American art in the next month, so expect more related posts!