The twentieth-century art of Latin America is art in the western tradition, and its leading figuresWifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Diego Rivera, Joaquín Torres-García, to name only a fewhave achieved international stature. Yet much of the writing about this art has offered either a victimized view of an art tradition dominated by foreign models or a romanticized view of what Latin American art should be. This pathfinding book, by contrast, seeks not to "invent" Latin American art but to look at it from the points of view of its own artists and critics.
Drawing on some forty years of studying and teaching Latin American art, Jacqueline Barnitz surveys the major currents and artists of the twentieth century in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America (including Brazil). She progresses chronologically from modernismo and the break with nineteenth-century academic art to some of the trends of the 1980s, setting each movement within its historical and cultural contexts. This grand survey of modern Latin American art will thus be the essential guide to a vibrant art tradition, as well as a vital teaching tool. Lavishly illustrated with color and black-and-white reproductions of major works, it will be useful to artists, collectors, historians, writers, and social scientists, as well as art historians.
For breadth of reference and range of coverage, this book will stand for some time as the most comprehensive study to date of modern Latin American art from the Caribbean basin to the Southern cone countries.