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The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Abstract Art from the Patricia Phelps de

Grey Art Gallery
100 Washington Square East, 212-998-6780
Greenwich Village
September 12 - December 8, 2007
Web Site

On September 12, 2007, Grey Art Gallery at New York University, New York, opens a major exhibition comprising more than 100 works of art from the acclaimed Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC). Together, the exhibition, which remains on view through December 8, and its important catalogue provide a comprehensive scholarly overview of Latin American Geometric Abstraction from the 1930s to the 1970s. This will be greatly enriched and expanded upon by an exceptional agenda of interdisciplinary public programs taking place throughout NYU and co-sponsored by the Grey.

The Geometry of Hope was organized by the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin, where it was seen earlier this year and encompassed some 130 works. The exhibition and its catalogue were the culminating project of the Cisneros Graduate Research Seminar at The University of Texas at Austin, a multi-year scholarly collaboration between the New York- and Caracas-based CPPC and the Blanton, headed by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, curator of Latin American Art at the Blanton and organizer of the exhibition.

Exhibition The Geometry of Hope focuses on key cities in the development of abstraction in the Americas: Montevideo (1930s), Buenos Aires (1940s), São Paulo (1950s), Rio de Janeiro (1950s-60s), Paris (1960s), and Caracas (1960s-70s). In tracing the development of ideas from one socio-geographic context to another, the exhibition challenges the view of Latin American art as a single phenomenon.

The exhibition includes work by approximately forty artists. Among them are Joaquín Torres-García, from Montevideo; Gyula Kosice and Tomás Maldonado, from Buenos Aires; Geraldo de Barros and Waldemar Cordeiro, from São Paulo; Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark, from Rio de Janeiro; and Jesús Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez, from Paris and Caracas.

Publication The Geometry of Hope is accompanied by a richly illustrated, 300-page, bilingual (English-Spanish) publication, published by the Blanton Museum of Art. This includes an introduction by Dr. Pérez-Barreiro, scholarly essays on each of the cities explored in the exhibition, and extended essays presenting new research on forty individual works of art.

Symposium and Public Programs Grey Art Gallery and NYU Professor of Fine Arts and Dean for the Humanities Edward Sullivan have organized a series of interdisciplinary public programs: The Geometry of Hope: Abstraction as Cultural Expression—a Campus-wide Initiative. Centered around a daylong international symposium on October 5, 2007, this initiative also includes such programs as “Poetry Readings: A Celebration of Verbal and Visual Culture in Latin America,” for which Latin American poets will read specially commissioned poems based on artworks featured in the exhibition; a two-part concert series, “New Sounds of Latin America”; a lecture on Latin American expatriates in Cold War Paris; and much more. For more information, visit

Sponsorship Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by the Eugene McDermott Foundation. The presentation at the Grey Art Gallery has been made possible, in part, by the Abby Weed Grey Trust. The catalogue and public programs are made possible by the support of the Fundación Cisneros, with additional program funding provided by the Grey’s Inter/National Council, a Visual Arts Initiative Award from the New York University’s Coordinating Council for Visual Arts, the New York University Humanities Initiative, and Professor Herman Berkman.
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