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Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift

1 January - 2020
by Vincent Moleveld

The Museum of Modern Art announces Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, a major exhibition drawn primarily from the paintings, sculptures, and works on paper donated to the Museum by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros between 1997 and 2016. 

Alfredo Hlito (Argentine, 1923–1993). Ritmos cromáticos III (Chromatic Rhythms III), 1949. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 × 39 3/8″ (100 × 100 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Alfredo Hlito (Argentine, 1923–1993). Ritmos cromáticos III (Chromatic Rhythms III), 1949. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 × 39 3/8″ (100 × 100 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York

On view from October 21, 2019, through March 14, 2020, Sur moderno celebrates the arrival of the most important collection of abstract and concrete art from Latin America by dedicating an entire suite of galleries on the Museum’s third floor to the display of artists from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay. 

Mira Schendel (Brazilian, born Switzerland. 1919–1988) Untitled. 1964. Oil and tempera on composition board and wood, 57 7/8 × 44 7/8 × 13/16″ (147 × 114 × 2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mira Schendel (Brazilian, born Switzerland. 1919–1988) Untitled. 1964. Oil and tempera on composition board and wood, 57 7/8 × 44 7/8 × 13/16″ (147 × 114 × 2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The exhibition highlights the work of Lygia Clark, Gego, Raúl Lozza, Hélio Oiticica, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Rhod Rothfuss, among others, focusing on the concept of transformation: a radical reinvention of the art object and a renewal of the social environment through art and design. The exhibition is also anchored by a selection of archival materials that situate the works within their local contexts. 

María Freire (Uruguayan, 1917–2015). Untitled. 1954. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 × 48 1/16″ (92 × 122 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
María Freire (Uruguayan, 1917–2015). Untitled. 1954. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 × 48 1/16″ (92 × 122 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Sur moderno is organized by Inés Katzenstein, Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America, The Museum of Modern Art, and consulting curator María Amalia García, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)–Universidad Nacional de San Martín, with Karen Grimson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.

Installation view of Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 21, 2019 – March 14, 2020. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp
Installation view of Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 21, 2019 – March 14, 2020. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift

October 21, 2019 – March 14, 2020

The Museum of Modern Art

Image header: Jesús Rafael Soto (Venezuelan, 1923–2005). Doble transparencia (Double Transparency). 1956. Oil on plexiglass and wood with metal rods and bolts, 21 5/8 × 21 5/8 × 12 5/8″ (55 × 55 × 32 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.


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