Radical Form : Modernist Abstraction in South America

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'Sullivan’s close reading, contextual sensitivity and sidestepping of grand simplifying narratives make this book an extremely valuable addition to the growing literature on art from regions outside the classic mainstream' - The Art Newspaper

A timely reassessment of some of the most daring projects of abstraction from South America

Emphasizing the open-ended and self-critical nature of the projects of abstraction in South America from the 1930s through the mid-1960s, this important new volume focuses on the artistic practices of Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Tomas Maldonado, Alejandro Otero, and Lygia Clark. Megan A. Sullivan positions the adoption of modernist abstraction by South American artists as part of a larger critique of the economic and social transformations caused by Latin America's state-led programs of rapid industrialization.

Sullivan thoughtfully explores the diverse ways this skepticism of modernization and social and political change was expressed. Ultimately, the book makes it clear that abstraction in South America was understood not as an artistic style to be followed but as a means to imagine a universalist mode of art, a catalyst for individual and collective agency, and a way to express a vision of a better future for South American society.

  • Author: Megan A Sullivan,  assistant professor in the Department of Art History and the College at the University of Chicago.
  • Hardcover: 232 pages : 76 colour and 17 black and white illustrations
  • Date published: June 2022
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9780300254020
  • Product Dimensions: 26.3 x 21.3 cm

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