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Libertad de Expresi贸n: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art | University of Oklahoma

$0.00 ISBN 978-0-9851609-6-8

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art | University of Oklahoma

Libertad de

Expresi贸n The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics


Libertad de Expresi贸n The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art | University of Oklahoma Art Museum of the Americas | Organization of American States


Libertad de Expresión The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics

TABLE OF CONTENTS 7

Preface Ghislain d’Humières

9

Introduction Mark Andrew White

11

Cold War Pan Americanism and the Art Museum of the Americas Claire F. Fox

29

Catalogue of the Exhibition Libertad de Expresión

The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics Contributions by Cierra Frances, Francesca Giani, and Mark Andrew White

107

Spanish Translation of Preface, Introduction, and Cold War Pan Americanism and the Art Museum of the Americas Carlos G. Torres-Rodríguez

120

About the Venues

123

Publication Notes


Preface

Ghislain d’Humières Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art University of Oklahoma

Six years ago, upon my arrival in Norman and appointment as director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, I met Dr. Millie Audas, then OU director of Education Abroad and International Student Services, and I joined the PanAm student organization on campus (a Spanishspeaking and Latino/a organization). Having lived in Guatemala and having had the opportunity to travel many times throughout South and Central America, I was well aware of the incredible cultural heritage found in Latin American art-from ancient to contemporary art-in all of these countries. I wanted to bring that heritage to the University of Oklahoma and celebrate the vibrant and beautiful visual art legacy of the Americas, while helping our audience discover an exciting world! Thanks to De Menil Collection Deputy Director Sheryl Kolasinski, I became acquainted with the Art Museums of the Americas of the Organization of American States and met with Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez, the secretary for external relations of the OAS, and Andrés Navia, director of the AMA. Under the leadership of FJJMA Chief Curator Mark A. White, the concept of Libertad de Expresión took shape in order to present works by artists from most of Central and South America and the Caribbean countries, produced from 1940 to the 1980s. The political context of the Cold War gives us a perfect opportunity to collaborate again with Dean Suzette Grillot and the OU College of International Studies for the opening symposium. This exhibition also will facilitate the development of an extensive and international interdisciplinary program throughout the campus and the community. It is vital that our audiences experience and understand the diversity of cultures through the arts, and Libertad de Expresión is the perfect stage to prepare oneself for the next generation of twentyfirst century Latino/a art. I would like to thank, of course, the previously mentioned colleagues, but also OU President David L. Boren and First Lady Molly Shi Boren for their unconditional support of the museum. My heartfelt thanks also goes to our museum staff for making this project possible, from the registration, preparatory, and education, to the publishing and communications departments. My sincere appreciation also goes to the AMA staff for their friendly collaboration. And, finally, an especially warm and deep thank you to Dan and Sarah Hogan for their generosity in making this beautiful catalogue possible. I’m thrilled to welcome you to the Nancy Johnston Records Gallery in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art for Libertad de Expresión. We hope you will enjoy this art from around the South American continent and appreciate the powerful dialogue between art and politics.

Rogelio Polesello (Argentina, b. 1939) No. 8 Variation, 1964 Oil on canvas, 38 x 22 in. (96.5 x 55.9 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Gift of Bernice Weinstein Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics | 7


Yutaka Toyota (Brazil, b. 1931) Em Tempo Anterior ao Nada (In the Time Before Nothing), 1960 Mixed media, 71 x 59 in. (180 x 150 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Gift of Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho, 1964

8 | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma


Introduction

Mark Andrew White In March 1948, as the political tensions between the Western and Eastern blocs escalated to a cold war, the Ninth International Conference of American States convened in Bogotá to address the spread of international communism. Twenty-one American states agreed to such an action and adopted several additional resolutions, including the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man. The Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) that resulted from the conference established a new body charged with furthering relations among the Americas, effectively replacing the Pan American Union. Although the OAS charter makes no mention of communism, it affirmed that “representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace and development of the region,” a challenge to the totalitarianism perceived to be fundamental to Soviet communism. Much of the charter emphasizes international cooperation, respect for sovereignty, and an end to social ills as the primary objectives of the OAS but, in Article 52, the treaty encourages the promotion of “cultural exchange as an effective means of consolidating inter-­American understanding; and they [the OAS] recognize that regional integration programs should be strengthened by close ties in the fields of education, science, and culture.” Article 52 makes clear that the OAS saw cultural diplomacy as an important aspect of its central mission to promote understanding among the Americas, and the Visual Arts Section would help further the cause. Following the ratification of the charter, the Visual Arts Unit Specialist, Cuban José Gómez Sicre, was promoted to the position of chief, and he began an ambitious exhibition program at the Pan American Union building (PAU) in Washington, D.C., that would further awareness of the art of the Caribbean and Central and South America in the United States.1 Gómez Sicre sought out established artists as well as emerging talents and, beginning in 1949, he acquired works from these exhibitions, forming a nascent permanent collection. The collection eventually gained institutional status as the Museum of Modern Art of Latin America in 1976 and assumed the building that had been the official residence of the OAS Secretary General. It changed its name in 1991 to the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA). This exhibition, Libertad de Expresión: the Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics, is drawn from the permanent collection of that museum and surveys, to the extent possible, the taste and collecting practices of Gómez Sicre. Gómez Sicre championed artists sympathetic to international trends in contemporary art, with the intention of demonstrating the cosmopolitanism of Latin artists and emphasizing freedom of expression in the American republics. He explained later in life that his interest lay in those artists who combined “universal aesthetics with transformed elements of a surviving heritage,” resulting in a hybrid of modernist tendencies with the elements of an indigenous and colonial past.2 This exhibition features artists who worked in many of the influential styles at mid-century, Surrealism, Concretism, Art Informel, and Abstract Expressionism, and who also experimented with forms and themes drawn from Pre-Columbian civilizations. Gómez Sicre believed that Latin American art, a term he helped to canonize, was largely defined by “diverse and at times even antagonistic physical and spiritual geographies,” and he lauded the “diversity of expressions” that contemporary artists had used to speak to modern experience and questions of identity.3 This emphasis on the internationalism of Latin American art and the range of expression available to artists acknowledged the changing character of postwar Latin art. Many of those artists Gómez Sicre exhibited and collected had trained and exhibited in Europe or the U.S., and they were represented in international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and the Bienal Internacional de São Paulo. In particular, the São Paulo Bienal established a forceful presence for contemporary art in South America after its inaugural exhibition in 1951. Industrialist Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho, the president of the Bienal, supported the PAU collection with several gifts, including the work of Danilo di Prete, Manabu Mabe, and Yutaka Toyota. Abstraction held sway in both São Paulo and Venice for much of the 1950s and ’60s, and museum collections in the U.S., including the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim, joined in the support of international modernism.4 In this regard, Gómez Sicre’s efforts were in step stylistically with tastemakers in the U.S. and abroad. Abstraction at mid-century also received encouragement from industrial and corporate patronage, especially through companies such as International Business Machines (IBM) and Esso (Standard Oil).5 IBM acquired countless paintings by Latin artists, including Marpacífico by Cuban Amelia Peláez, which it later donated to the PAU in 1969. Esso helped Gómez Sicre to exhibit emerging Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics | 9


talents through the Esso Salons of Young Artists (1964–65), and a number of the artists exhibited in the salons eventually produced works that entered the permanent collection of the AMA. In addition to the diversity of expression Gómez Sicre sought at the PAU, he also acknowledged the importance of geographical breadth. An analysis of the exhibition history at the PAU reveals that Gómez Sicre exhibited artists from every country in Central and South America and many of the countries in the Caribbean, including the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Libertad de Expresión exhibition, in turn, represents artists from each of the original member states of the OAS, with the exception of the United States. The promotion of cultural exchange and inter-American understanding with which the OAS was charged encouraged Gómez Sicre, in his words, “‘to discover’ what each country had to offer.”6 Gómez Sicre’s support for international modernism also allied him with U.S. cold warriors, who used freedom of expression as a tool in the cultural and intellectual struggle against the Soviets. In this catalogue, Claire Fox argues eloquently that Gómez Sicre’s cultural program at the PAU was identified with said Cold War ideals.7 Freedom of expression was given a Latin cast through Gómez Sicre’s exhibition and collection policies at the PAU. Despite Gómez Sicre’s interest in a “diversity of expressions,” he generally opposed muralism as represented by David Alfaro Siqueiros and his followers for its propagandistic affiliation with communism and its perceived stranglehold on Latin American art. Gómez Sicre avoided the muralists and social realists during his tenure, resulting in an imbalanced picture of Latin American art.8 Libertad de expresión, so to speak, serves as a lens through which this exhibition examines Gómez Sicre and the AMA. The AMA used art as a form of cultural diplomacy with the goal of furthering understanding and cooperation between the Americas. In the process, it championed the international aspirations of Latin American art and culture.

Notes 1. The Visual Arts Unit had staged exhibitions prior to 1946, but the schedule accelerated rapidly after the arrival of Gómez Sicre. For a survey of the exhibition history, see Annick Sanjurjo, Contemporary Latin American Artists: Exhibitions at the Organization of American States, 1941–1964 (Metuchen, N. J.: Scarecrow Press, 1997). 2. José Gómez Sicre, “Foreword,” in Sanjurjo, Contemporary Latin American Artists, 1941–1964, v. 3. Ibid. For a further discussion of the term Latin American art and its history, see Mari Carmen Ramírez, Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, and Héctor Olea, eds., Resisting Categories: Latin American and/or Latino? Critical Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art, vol. 1 (Houston, Tex.: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2012). 4. James Johnson Sweeney was particularly interested in international modernism, during his tenure at the Guggenheim. For a further discussion, see Tracey R. Bashkoff, Art of Another Kind: International Abstraction and the Guggenheim, 1949–1960 (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2012). 5. Jacqueline Barnitz, Twentieth-Century Art of Latin America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001), 143–44. 6. José Gómez Sicre, “Foreword,” in Sanjurjo, Contemporary Latin American Artists, 1941–1964, v. 7. Also see, Claire F. Fox, Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and Michael Gordon Wellen, “Pan-American Dreams: Art, Politics, and Museum-Making at the OAS, 1948–1976,” PhD diss., the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 2012. 8. On occasion, Gómez Sicre was pressured to exhibit artists he opposed such as Oswaldo Guayasamín. See Michele Greet, Beyond National Identity: Pictorial Indigenism as a Modernist Strategy in Andean Art, 1920-1960 (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2009). 10 | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma


Cold War Pan Americanism and the Art Museum of the Americas Claire F. Fox

El arte moderno y especialmente la escuela abstracta, es el más fuerte bastión que tiene la democracia en esta época. En los regímenes totalitarios el arte está dirigido. Es una cosa superficial, llena de lugares comunes, que pretende, sin lograrlo casi nunca, difundir las ideas totalitarias. (Modern art, especially the abstract school, is the strongest bastion of democracy in our times. In totalitarian regimes, art is directed. It’s superficial, full of clichés, and claims to spread totalitarian ideals without ever quite succeeding.) —José Gómez Sicre, 19641 The diverse selection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs featured in the Libertad de Expresión exhibition are among the highlights of the AMA | Art Museum of the Americas collection, which includes over two thousand works of art, with particularly strong holdings in mid-twentieth-century work by Latin American and Caribbean artists. Located just off the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the museum is part of the Pan American Union (PAU), a complex of elegant beaux-arts buildings with institutional roots in late nineteenth-century initiatives on the part of the United States to coordinate treaties, trade, and monetary policy with the American republics. After World War II, the Pan American Union assumed a new role as headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), a hemispheric cold war security pact founded with anticommunist objectives.2 The modest two-story building which houses the AMA was once the OAS Secretary General’s residence, while adjacent to it stands a renovated carriage house, La Casita, that serves as the museum’s administrative offices and archives. The Museum of Modern Art of Latin America opened its doors in October 1976, amid fanfare associated with the U.S. Bicentennial and Columbus Day celebrations. In 1991, the institution’s name was changed to the Art Museum of the Americas, as it is known today.3 The process of collection-building at the Pan American Union, however, began decades prior to the foundation of this museum, through patterns of inter-American cultural exchange established at the PAU during World War II, and through even more distant institutional linkages forged in the context of the early twentieth-century international peace movement. One can look to U.S.–Latin American cultural initiatives, piloted at the Pan American Union, as laboratories for libertad de expresión and other concepts that became centrally identified with twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy and the cold war in the Americas. Within the favorable institutional climate for cultural diplomacy at the Pan American Union, the AMA owes its existence to the herculean labors of Cuban art critic and curator José Gómez Sicre (1916–1989), who served as director of the PAU Visual Arts Section for thirty-seven years and spent the better part of his life vigorously promoting Latin American art to U.S., Latin American, and European publics.4 It is no coincidence that the first work of art to enter the Pan American Union collection in 1949, Return from the Fair (1940), a painting by Brazilian artist Cândido Portinari, was the gift of Gómez Sicre himself. Decades later, Gómez Sicre would go on to oversee the impressive collection that accumulated in the wake of his largesse.5 As a young curator and critic, Gómez Sicre had dreamed of founding a museum dedicated to modern art in Havana, but as personal and political obstacles made that dream increasingly unlikely by the mid-1940s, Gómez Sicre set his efforts on making it a reality at the Pan American Union. Art historian Andrea Giunta observed that the postwar avant-garde in Latin America was often more interested in building institutions than desecrating them, and Gómez Sicre was no exception. 6 The reflexive anti-institutionalism associated with European avant-garde movements did not take hold in Latin art worlds where, in many cases, there were few citadels to attack. In addition, the post–World War II years in Latin America were generally marked by optimism, as transatlantic trade and travel was reestablished. And the policies of new postwar regimes held out the possibility of reciprocity and recognition for Latin American cultural movements through emerging structures of international governance. The postwar visual arts programs of the Pan American Union paralleled the establishment of museums and other venues dedicated to modern art throughout Latin America. After its foundation, the AMA, too, became a crossroads and Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics | 11


destination on a hemispheric circuit of arts institutions, attracting not only artists, but also critics and administrators, who entered the institution as international civil servants, interns, fellowship recipients, cultural attachés, and ambassadors.7 In addition to Gómez Sicre, two prominent Latin American intellectuals contributed significantly to the shape and art historical interpretation of the AMA collection. The first is Rafael Squirru (Argentina, b. 1925), who arrived in Washington, D.C., in April 1963 to assume the position of Pan American Union director of Cultural Affairs, at a time when U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America was concerned with countering the allure of communism and the Cuban Revolution. An adept critic who was open to emerging aesthetic modalities, such as Pop art and happenings, Squirru dedicated himself to staking a claim for the centrality of the arts and humanities in fostering democratic and economic liberalism in Latin American societies.8 Later, in 1983, Marta Traba (Colombia [b. Argentina], 1923–1983), the most prominent art critic to emerge within the Latin American New Left during the 1960s and 1970s, arrived at the PAU to direct the reinstallation of the Museum of Modern Art of Latin America permanent collection. Concurrently, Traba wrote an ambitious history of contemporary Latin American art, based primarily on examples from the museum collection. Traba’s reinstallation plan and narrative underscored five transnational aesthetic currents featured in the AMA collection: pioneering modernisms, lyrical abstraction, geometric abstraction, figuration, and vernacular art.9 Given the different aesthetic and political commitments, cultural backgrounds, and generational affiliations that entered into Gómez Sicre’s relationships with Squirru and Traba respectively, it is not surprising that an extensive chismografía, or archive of gossip, surrounds his interactions with these two powerful critics who joined him at the PAU during different periods in the institution’s history. However, the fact that the AMA collection could serve as a point of convergence for these three figures during the cold war itself is rather amazing; it attests to the way in which Latin American postwar modernisms corresponded to an ideal of cultural autonomy across ideological divides, and the way in which this collection in particular spoke to these critics’ shared investment in advancing continental perspectives for the study and exhibition of modern and contemporary art in the face of European and U.S. dominance of the field.10 Until recently, the AMA could proclaim itself to be “the only museum in the world devoted entirely to contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art,” a testament to the uniqueness of this institution, its pioneering efforts to present contemporary work by Latin American artists in the United States, and its contributions to advancing and building consensus around a regional perspective on Latin American art, an approach that many today take for granted.11 This exhibition of work from the AMA, Libertad de Expresión, provides a window into significant aspects of cold war cultural production in the Americas, from avant-garde movements in visual art to debates about the role of the artist in society. It illuminates the overlapping networks of hemispheric art patronage, diplomacy, and corporate investment and reveals perspectives on the dynamic and evolving relationships among the peoples and nations of the Americas north and south. José Gómez Sicre’s Curatorial Values and Committed Art The rise to prominence of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism is a locus cl assicus of U.S. art history surveys, one that opens the post-1945 period on a high note of growing recognition for U.S. art in international venues amid the postwar triumphalism that Henry Luce dubbed “the American Century.”12 As but one case in point from this exhibition, Alejandro Obregón’s painting, Estudiante Muerto (El Velorio) (1956; fig. 1), serves as a powerful counterexample to familiar accounts of U.S. exceptionalism in art historical narratives. Here is an exemplary work of postwar modernism, no less American than Jackson Pollock’s action paintings, and in fact consecrated through many of the same critical and institutional circuits, but in other respects, worlds apart from the New York art scene. Obregón’s compelling and much-reproduced painting is as entwined with the AMA’s institutional history as it is with that of the artist’s native Colombia. Saturated in reds and purples, with sparing interjections of yellow, black, and white, the work’s sensuous palette draws the viewer toward a golden orb at its center, from which he begins to piece together a fragmented human figure sprawled across the canvas’s horizontal axis. A macabre still life emerges: on a table that doubles as a proscenium appears a dead man—mutilated, bones protruding and visible through transparent flesh, knees bent. A figure rendered at human scale, too large and broken to rest comfortably on this canvas that stages his perpetual wake. The victim is surrounded by flowers and a rooster, icons that bring to mind mourning and devotion, as well as the work that Pablo Picasso created during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Obregón’s visual elegy commemorates thirteen national university students who were massacred by the Colombian army in 1954. The artist was present in Bogotá on April 9, 1948, when the assassination of popular Liberal Party presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán unleashed a violent rebellion, known as the Bogotazo, that left thousands of civilians dead in a matter of hours and marked the beginning 12 | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma


Fig 1. Alejandro Obregón (Colombia, 1920–1992) Estudiante Muerto (El Velorio)/The Dead Student (The Vigil), 1956 Oil on canvas, 55 x 69 in. (140 x 175 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Purchase Fund, 1957

of a protracted civil war known simply as l a violencia. The fallen of this war haunt Obregón’s canvases from his 1950s series dedicated to la violencia, of which Estudiante Muerto is a part. As la violencia raged through Bogotá, the cold war in the Americas was also assuming an institutional form through the Ninth Inter-American Conference that, as fate would have it, was taking place in Bogotá at the same time as the Bogotazo. The conference convened delegations from the American republics to ratify the charter of the newly founded Organization of American States, as well as the first postwar international human rights document, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.13 The Declaration’s preamble upholds culture as “the highest social and historical expression of . . . spiritual development,” and its fourth article identifies freedom of expression as a basic human right: “Every person has the right to freedom of investigation, of opinion, and of the expression and dissemination of ideas, by any medium whatsoever.”14 Though largely symbolic in the face of the mounting violence in Colombia, not to mention numerous brutal episodes in the Americas since then, the Declaration provided a rationale for the implementation of hemispheric programs in the arts and humanities that supported the work of artists who, like Obregón, bore witness to the emerging cold war in the Americas. Seven years after the Bogotazo, Obregón held his first solo show in the United States at the Pan American Union, then headquarters of the fledgling OAS. With a substantial record of involvement in inter-American cultural initiatives dating from the World War II era, the Pan American Union’s Visual Arts Section had come under the direction of the young and tremendously enthusiastic José Gómez Sicre, who commenced a program of monthly rotating exhibitions featuring the work of young Latin American artists, many of whom were working in modernist idioms and finding it difficult to access museums and galleries in their native countries. Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics | 13


Libertad de Expresi贸n The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics Contributions by Cierra Frances, Francesca Giani, and Mark Andrew White

Gyula Kosice (Argentina, b. 1924) Aerolito Mad铆, c. 1988 Plexiglas and light, 17 3/4 x 17 3/4 x 8 1/2 in. (45.1 x 45.1 x 21.6 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Gift of Gyula Kosice, 1992 Libertad de Expresi贸n: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics | 29


Rodolfo Abularach (Guatemala, b. 1933) Fugitive from a Mayan Lintel, 1958 Pen and ink on paper, 27 x 38 in. (68.6 x 96.5 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Purchase Fund, 1959

After graduating with a degree in architecture from the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala in 1955, Rodolfo Abularach worked as a sketch artist for the Ministry of Education and the Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología for two years. In 1958, he moved to New York on a Guggenheim Fellowship and studied at the Art Students League and the Pratt Institute. During his studies in New York, Abularach turned to Mayan images at the encouragement of Carlos Mérida, the influential Guatemalan abstract artist, who inspired Abularach to reinterpret Mayan visual heritage in modernist terms. Abularach also came into contact with a number of the Surrealist émigrés and began to incorporate elements of that style in his work.1 His Fugitive from a Mayan Lintel dates from his period of Surrealist experimentation. The organic, abstract form floats against a vague background, reminiscent of similar images by the Chilean Surrealist Roberto Matta. The painting also displays some sensitivity to the sinuous lines of Mark Rothko’s early mythological

drawings and the “white writings” of Mark Tobey, in which white or light colored calligraphic marks are set against a field of interwoven brushstrokes. Fugitive from a Mayan Lintel responds to the Abstract Expressionist interest in line as a signifier of spontaneous expression, capable of releasing the creative energy of the subconscious, but the work also evokes the pictographic reliefs of Mayan architecture. Abularach intended to convey ambiguity in the pictographic shapes of Fugitive from a Mayan Lintel reminiscent of Mayan writing yet suggestive of archetypal forms. Abularach’s title might allude humorously to the artist’s desire to recuperate Pre-Colombian heritage and, by extricating the image from its original context, grant it new value as a modernist work of art. Later in his career, Abularach abandoned abstract images and refined his drawing technique based on networks of lines, concentrating first on the image of the human eye and later on images of furiously erupting volcanoes.2 — FG

1. For a further discussion of Abularach’s New York sojourn and Mayan themes, see William Rivera, “Rodolfo Abularach,” Américas 12, no. 4 (April 1960): 32–34.

2. Monica E. Kupfer, “Central America,” in Latin American Art in the Twentieth Century, ed. Edward J. Sullivan (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996), 56.

30 | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma


Daniel Serra Badue (Cuba, 1914–1996) Rojo (Red), 1956 Oil on canvas, 26 x 31 in. (66 x 78.7 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Purchase Fund, 1978

Born in Santiago, Cuba, Daniel Serra Badue spent much of his early life abroad, visiting New York in 1927 and then Spain during the early 1930s. Once back in Cuba, he became actively involved as a critic with the oldest newspaper in the country, El Diario de la Marina, which consistently denounced the conduct and actions of the political elite, resulting eventually in its censorship under Fidel Castro in 1960. Badue relocated to New York in 1962 in self-imposed exile, unhappy with the restrictions on movement enforced by Castro. José Gómez Sicre attributed Badue’s exile to a desire for “uncompromised aesthetic expression,” which was only possible, Gómez Sicre believed, outside of Cuba.1 Before Badue’s immigration to New York, he traveled extensively throughout Europe for almost twenty years between 1946–61. On a trip to Barcelona, Badue was exposed to the

Surrealism of Salvador Dali, who was becoming an international celebrity. Badue merged his growing interest in Surrealism with the trappings of Mexican muralism in Rojo. The painting shows the influence of Diego Rivera’s approach to the feminine form as an embodiment of fertility, visible in murals such as Subterranean Forces and Liberated Earth.2 The languid, female figures in Rojo emerge from the earth as representations of fecundity. One woman lying in a shell is a fleshy, sensual and exhausted Venus, while another has been washed ashore. The figure in the foreground recalls Diego Velasquez’s Rokeby Venus and seems to be observing from the comfort of her lair the two other women undergoing the same stages she, presumably, has already experienced. By titling the painting Rojo and by employing only primary colors Badue attempts to recreate a primal, highly eroticized, vision of nature. — FG

1. José Gómez Sicre, Art Of Cuba in Exile (Miami: Editora Munder, 1987), 11

2. Both murals are part of the mural cycle Tierra Fecundada of the Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo Chapel in Texcoco, Mexico.

Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics | 31


Coqui Calderón (Panama, b. 1937) Homage to the “A” No. 2, 1976 Acrylic on canvas, 39 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (100 x 100 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Purchase Fund, 1977

Coqui Calderón was born in Panama City. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Art History from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania in 1959, she moved to Paris and lived there for three years.1 Between 1961–67, Calderón lived in Greenwich Village, where she experimented with Abstract Expressionism and associated with other Latin American artists, such as Marisol Escobar and Armando Morales. She spent part of the 1980s in Miami, Florida, before resettling in Panama. Calderón favored intense, complementary colors arranged in geometric shapes that echoed dynamic urban spaces. Gradually, the geometric forms that dominated her canvases became a background for asymmetrically positioned numbers and letters with no logical interrelation. Homage to the “A” No. 2 responds to the ongoing stimuli of mass communication and advertising in the United States that first influenced Calderón in the late 1960s. Although Jasper John’s use of numeric and alphabetical symbols had some impact on Calderón, Chryssa’s Gates to Times Square (1966) may have been a stronger influence.

Regarded by Pierre Restany as an “homage to the living American culture of advertising and mass communication,” Gates to Times Square consists of a ten-foot cube dominated by two gigantic letters “A,” fabricated in stainless steel, Plexiglas, and neon lights, and structured as a canopy.2 The piece was first shown in Manhattan’s Pace Gallery, at a time when Calderón lived in the Village, and it was eventually acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in 1979. The fluorescent colors that Calderón employs for Homage to the “A” No. 2 suggest the luminescence of neon lights, and the reiteration of the letter “A” responds to the same preponderance of mass media that inspired the creation of Gates to Times Square. Calderón employs the memories of urban signs gathered during her time in New York as tools for the exploration of tonal saturation and chromatic intensity. The illusion of movement created at the center of the painting, where the darker square appears to emerge from the background towards the viewer, speaks to the artist’s interest in the visual effects of Op art, which gained popularity in the 1960s. — FG

1. “Biografía,” Coqui Calderon, accessed April 24, 2013, http://www.coquicalderon.com/es/biografia.

2. Pierre Restany, Chryssa, trans. John Shepley (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1977), 45.

32 | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma


Oscar Capristo (Argentina, b. 1921) Circulos Ausentes (Absent Circles), 1961 Oil on canvas, 52 x 52 in. (132 x 132 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Purchase Fund, 1964

Born in Buenos Aires, Oscar Capristo began his education with Marcos Tiglio at the Universidad Popular de la Boca, followed by enrollment at the Escuela de Bellas Artes “Manuel Belgrano.” He won a fellowship from the Ernesto Santamarina Foundation in 1945 after his graduation and began study with modernist Emilio Pettoruti. Capristo’s inclinations towards Cubism matured during this time, and by the late 1950s, he began to experiment with nonobjectivity. His exploration of geometric form, color, and transparency, influenced by László Moholy-Nagy and other Bauhaus artists, eventually led to his mature style, of which Circulos Ausentes (Absent Circles) is an early example.1 Capristo composed Circulos Ausentes through a layering of grids, each of which is formed by adjacent circles. Using a predetermined mathematical formula, he selectively painted the negative space between the shapes, resulting in an optical play in which the circles are visible only through contour. As a result, the circles are absent, and the only painted forms present are an array of irregularly pointed shapes. Capristo creates a game

of perception that forces the viewer to focus on either the painted forms, created from the negative space between the circles, or the circles, formed through impartial contours. Color adds complexity to the game through the inference to an additional series of shapes: orange and gold forms take the shape of a large circle that dominates much of the painting, and blues and blacks introduce hard edges and right angles into the patterns. Circulos Ausentes, in this respect, bears some similarity to Op art in its use of mathematical formulae and in its play of perceptual experience, yet Capristo also had some interest in the metaphysical possibilities of the circular forms as references to both celestial bodies and atomic particles.2 Regardless of the significance intended, Circulos Ausentes questions not only what viewers see, but also how they see and comprehend visual experience. Capristo explores the nature of looking and forces viewers to be aware of their vital role in shaping the meaning and reception of a painting. — MAW

1. Ernesto B. Rodríguez noted the influence of the Bauhaus in the development of Capristo’s mature style. Ernesto B. Rodríguez, García Morillo, and L. Carlton, La Pintura de Oscar Capristo, Ars: revista de arte 90, no. 20 (Buenos Aires, 1960), n.p. 2. Ibid., and “Oscar Capristo of Argentina: Oils,” December 12, 1963–January 8, 1964, reproduced in Annick Sanjurjo, Contemporary Latin American Artists: Exhibitions at the Organization of American States, 1941–1964 (Lanham, M.D.: Scarecrow Press, 1997), 423–24. Capristo’s metaphysical interpretation of the

circle is rarely discussed thoroughly in the critical literature, but it is likely that he understood the spiritual implications of the circle in a manner similar to Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky discussed the cosmic significance of the circle in Point and Line to Plane, reproduced in Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art, ed. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (New York: Da Capo Press, 1994), 524–699.

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Carlos Mérida (Guatemala, 1891–1984) Mural, 1961 Oil on canvas, 53 x 12 1/2 in. (135 x 31 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Purchase Fund, 1964

Spanish Translation

by Carlos G. Torres-Rodríguez

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Prólogo

Ghislain d’Humières Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art University of Oklahoma

Hace seis años, a mi llegada a Norman con el nombramiento como director del Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art en la Universidad de Oklahoma, conocí a la doctora Millie Audas, en ese entonces directora de la oficina internacional y de estudios en el extranjero, e ingresé como miembro de la organización estudiantil PanAm (organización Latina de habla hispana en el campus). El haber vivido en Guatemala y via jado muchas veces a través de Sur y Centroamérica, estuve muy consciente de la increíble herencia cultural desde el arte antiguo hasta el arte contemporáneo en todos estos países. Yo quise traer esta herencia a la University of Oklahoma y celebrar el legado vibrante y maravilloso del arte visual de los Américas y al mismo tiempo ayudar a nuestra audiencia a descubrir un mundo apasionante! Gracias a Sheryl Kolasinski, director adjunto de De Menil Collection, llegué a conocer el Art Museum of the Americas de la Organization of American States (OAS) y conocí al emba jador Alfonso Quiñones, secretario de relaciones exteriores de la OAS, y Andrés Navia, director del AMA. Ba jo el liderazgo del curador en jefe de FJJMA Mark A. White, el concepto Libertad de Expresión tomó forma para presentar obras desde 1940 a la década de 1980 de artistas de la mayoría de los países de América Central de Suramérica y el Caribe. El contexto político de la guerra fría nos dará una oportunidad ideal de colaborar nuevamente con la decana Suzette Grillot y la Facultad de Estudios Internacionales de OU para la inauguración del symposium. Esta exhibición también nos dará la posibilidad de desarrollar un interdisciplinario programa internacional a lo largo del campus y en la comunidad. Es vital que nuestra audiencia experiencia y entienda la diversidad de culturas a través de las artes y Libertad de Expresión es un escenario perfecto para prepararse para la siguiente generación del arte latino en el siglo XXI. Quisiera agradecer, por supuesto, no sólo a los colegas mencionados anteriormente, sino a David L. Boren, presidente de OU, y primera dama, Molly Shi Boren por sus apoyo incondicional al museo. Mi sentido agradecimiento va también a los miembros de nuestro museo por hacer posible este proyecto desde la inscripción, preparación y educación hasta los departamentos de publicidad y comunicación. Mi sincera gratitud también a todo el personal del AMA por su amable colaboración. Y finalmente, un especial y cálido agradecimiento a Dan y Sarah Hogan por su generosidad al hacer posible este hermoso catálogo. Estoy muy emocionado de darle a usted la bienvenida a la Galería Nancy Johnston Records del FJJMA para Libertad de Expresión. Disfrute este arte de todo el continente suramericano y aprecie el diálogo fuerte entre arte y política.

Introducción Mark Andrew White En marzo de 1948, mientras las tensiones políticas entre occidente y los países de Europa oriental intensificaron la guerra fría, La novena conferencia internacional de los Estados Americanos se reunió en Bogotá para referirse a la expansión internacional del comunismo. Veintiún estados americanos estuvieron de acuerdo con esta acción y adoptaron varias resoluciones adicionales incluyendo La Declaración Americana de los Derechos y Deberes del Hombre. Los estatutos de la Organization of American States (OAS) que resultó de la conferencia estableció un nuevo órgano encargado de favorecer las relaciones entre las Américas reemplazando efectivamente la Unión Panamericana. Aunque el acta de la OAS no hace mención al comunismo, afirmó que “la democracia representativa es una condición indispensable para la estabilidad, la paz y el desarrollo de la región”, un desafío al totalitarismo percibido como fundamental por el comunismo soviético. La mayoría de los estatutos enfatizan la cooperación internacional, respeto por la soberanía y fin de los males sociales como objetivos primordiales de la OAS, pero en el artículo 52 el acuerdo fomenta la promoción de “intercambio cultural como un medio efectivo para consolidar el entendimiento interamericano; y ellos (OAS) reconocen que los programas de integración regional deben ser fortalecidos por lazos estrechos en los campos de la educación, la ciencia y la cultura”. El artículo 52 aclara que la OAS ve la diplomacia cultural como un aspecto importante de su misión fundamental de promover el entendimiento entre las Américas y la Sección de Artes Visuales ayudaría más a fondo a esta causa. Siguiendo la aprobación de este estatuto, el especialista en la Unidad de Artes Visuales, el cubano José Gómez Sicre, fue promovido a la posición de director y comenzó un 108 | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma


ambicioso programa de exhibición en la sede de la Unión Panamericana (PAU) en Washington, D.C. que promovería el arte del caribe y de centro y Suramérica en los Estados Unidos.1 Gómez Sicre buscó artistas reconocidos y talentos jóvenes y, en 1949, adquirió obras para estas exhibiciones formando una colección emergente fija. La colección obtuvo eventualmente estatus institucional como en el Museo de Arte Moderno de Latinoamérica en 1976 y el edificio que había sido la residencia oficial del secretario de la OAS le fue concedido. En 1991 su nombré cambió a Art Museum of the Americas (AMA). Esta exhibición, Libertad de Expresión: el Museo de Arte de las Américas y la Política de la Guerra Fría, viene de la colección permanente de ese museo y contempla el posible alcance, el gusto y los alcances de Gómez Sicre. Gómez Sicre abogó por artistas simpatizantes con las tendencias del arte contemporáneo a fin de demostrar lo cosmopolita de los artistas latinos y enfatizar la libertad de expresión en las repúblicas Americanas. Él explicó posteriormente en vida que su interés radicó en aquellos artistas que combinaron “estéticas universales con elementos transformadores de un patrimonio sobreviviente”, teniendo como resultado un híbrido entre tendencias modernistas con elementos de un pasado indígena y colonial.2 Esta exhibición presenta artistas que traba jaron en la mayoría de los estilos influyentes de mitad de siglo, Surrealismo, Concretismo, Art Informel y Expresionismo Abstracto, y que también experimentaron con formas y temas recogidos de las civilizaciones precolombinas. Gómez Sicre creía que el arte latinoamericano, un término que él ayudó a canonizar, era extensamente definido por “diverso y muchas veces antagonista de la geografía física y espiritual”, y él elogió la “diversidad de expresiones” que los artistas contemporáneos habían usado para hablar de una experiencia moderna y asuntos de identidad.3 Este énfasis sobre el internacionalismo del arte latinoamericano y la variedad de expresión proporcionó a los artistas reconocimiento del carácter cambiante del arte latinoamericano de posguerra. Muchos de estos artistas que Gómez Sicre exhibió tenían formación académica, habían expuesto en Europa o en Estados Unidos y fueron representados en exposiciones internacionales como la Venice Biennale y la Bienal Internacional de São Paulo. Esta última estableció una fuerte presencia por el arte en Suramérica después de su muestra inaugural en 1951. El industrial Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho, presidente de la Bienal, apoyó la colección de la Unión Panamericana (PAU) con muchos obsequios, incluyendo la obra de Danilo di Prete, Manabu Mabe y Yukata Toyota. La Abstracción dominó tanto en São Paulo como en Venecia durante la mayoría de las décadas de los años cincuenta y sesenta, y las colecciones de los museos, incluyendo el Museo de Arte Moderno y el Guggenheim, se unieron para apoyar el modernismo internacional.4 A este respecto, los esfuerzos de Gómez Sicre fueron estilísticamente un paso con los creadores en los Estados Unidos y en el extranjero. A mediados de siglo, la Abstracción recibió también estímulo de los industriales y apoyo empresarial especialmente a través de compañías como la IBM (International Business Machines) y la ESSO (Standard Oil).5 La IBM adquirió numerosas obras de artistas latinos, incluyendo Marpacífico de la cubana Amelia Peláez que posteriormente fue donada al PAU en 1969. La ESSO ayudó a Gómez Sicre a exhibir talentos nuevos a través de los Salones Esso de Jóvenes artistas (1964-65) y un número de artistas exhibidos en los salones produjeron eventualmente obras que ingresaron a la colección permanente del AMA. Además de la diversidad de expresión que Gómez Sicre buscó en el PAU, él también reconoció la importancia de la cobertura geográfica. Un análisis de la historia de la exhibición en el PAU revela que Gómez Sicre exhibió artistas de cada país centro y suramericano y muchos del Caribe incluyendo Puerto Rico. La exhibición Libertad de expresión, a su vez, representa artistas de cada uno de los estados miembros de la OAS con la excepción de Estados Unidos. La promoción del intercambio cultural y la relación interamericana con que la OAS estaba a cargo motivó a Gómez Sicre, en sus propias palabras, “a descubrir lo que cada país tenía que ofrecer.”6 El apoyo de Gómez Sicre al modernismo internacional también lo unió con los activistas norteamericanos de la guerra fría que utilizaron la libertad de expresión como una herramienta en la lucha cultural e intelectual en contra de los soviéticos. En este catálogo, Claire Fox discute elocuentemente que el programa cultural de Gómez Sicre en el PAU se identificó con los ideales expresados en la Guerra fría.7 La libertad de expresión fue dada a un elenco latino a través de la política de exhibición y colección del PAU. A pesar del interés de Gómez Sicre en la “diversidad de expresiones”, él generalmente se opuso al muralismo representado por David Alfaro Siqueiros y sus seguidores por su propagandística afiliación con el comunismo y su control del arte latinoamericano. Gómez Sicre evitó los muralistas y los realistas sociales durante su permanencia en el cargo, dando como resultado un panorama desequilibrado del arte latinoamericano.8 Libertad de expresión, por así decirlo, sirve como lente a través del cual esta exhibición examina a Gómez Sicre y el Museo de Arte de las Américas. El AMA usó el arte como medio de diplomacia cultural con el objetivo de un mayor entendimiento y cooperación entre las Américas. En este proceso, el AMA defendió las aspiraciones internacionales del arte y la cultura latinoamericana.

Notas 1. La unidad de artes visuales ya había organizado exhibiciones antes de 1946 pero el programa se aceleró rápidamente después de la llegada de Gómez Sicre. Para una vision general de la historia de la exhibición, véase Annick Sanjurjo, Contemporary Latin American Artists: Exhibitions and the Organization of American States, 1941–1964 (Metuchen, N. J. : Scarecrow Press, 1997). 2. José Gómez Sicre, “Foreword,” en Sanjurjo, Contemporary Latin American Artists, 1941–1964, v. 3. Ibid. Para una discusión adicional del término arte latinoamericano y su historia, véase Mari Carmen Ramírez, Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, and Héctor Olea, eds., Resisting Categories: Latin American and/or Latino? Critical Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art, vol. 1 (Houston, Tex.: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2012). 4. James Johnson Sweeney estuvo particularmente interesado en el modernismo internacional durante su permanencia en el Guggenheim. Para una discusión adicional, véase Tracey R. Bashkoff, Art of Another Kind: International Abstraction and the Guggenheim, 1949–1960 (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2012). 5. Jacqueline Barnitz, Twentieth-Century Art of Latin America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001), 143–44. 6. José Gómez Sicre, “Foreword,” en Sanjurjo, Contemporary Latin American Artists, 1941–1964, v. 7. Véase también, Claire F. Fox, Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and Michael Gordon Wellen, “Pan-American Dreams: Art, Politics, and Museum-Making at the OAS, 1948–1976,” PhD diss., the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 2012. 8. En la ocasión, Gómez Sicre fue presionada para exhibir artistas se opuso, como Oswaldo Guayasamín. Véase también, Michele Greet, Beyond National Identity: Pictorial Indigenism as a Modernist Strategy in Andean Art, 1920–1960 (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2009).

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Panamericanismo de la guerra fría y el Art Museum of the Americas Claire F. Fox El arte moderno y especialmente la escuela abstracta, es el más fuerte bastión que tiene la democracia en esta época. En los regímenes totalitarios el arte está dirigido. Es una cosa superficial, llena de lugares comunes, que pretende, sin lograrlo casi nunca, difundir las ideas totalitarias. (Modern art, especially the abstract school, is the strongest bastion of democracy in our times. In totalitarian regimes, art is directed. It’s superficial, full of clichés, and claims to spread totalitarian ideals without ever quite succeeding.) —José Gómez Sicre, 19641 La diversa selección de pinturas, esculturas, dibujos y fotografías escogidas en la exhibición Libertad de Expresión están entre las más destacadas de la colección del AMA, Art Museum of the Americas, la cual incluye cerca de dos mil obras de arte de artistas Latinoamericanos y del Caribe. Localizado en el National Mall en Washington DC, el Museo es parte del PAU, Unión Panamericana, un complejo de edificios elegantes de bellas artes con raíces institucionales del siglo XIX, iniciados en la parte de Estados Unidos para coordinar tratados, comercio e intercambios monetarios con los países Americanos. Después de la Segunda guerra Mundial, la Unión Panamericana asumió un nuevo papel como centro the Organization of American States (OAS), un pacto de seguridad hemisférico durante la guerra fría, fundado con objetivos anticomunistas.2 El modesto edificio del AMA que fuera la residencia del secretario general de la OAS, mientras se adhería una casa nueva, La Casita, sirvió como oficinas y archivos de la administración del Museo. El Museo de Arte Moderno de Latinoamérica abrió sus puertas en Octubre de 1976, en el bicentenario de la independencia de los Estados Unidos y de las celebraciones del día de la raza. En 1991 el nombre de la institución cambió a AMA, como se conoce hoy en día.3 El proceso de construcción y de colección en la PAU, sin embargo, comenzó décadas anteriores a la fundación de este Museo a través de modelos de intercambio cultural interamericano establecidos por este organismo durante la segunda guerra mundial, y a través de conexiones con instituciones más distantes en el contexto del movimiento internacional para la paz de comienzos del siglo XX. Se pueden observar las iniciativas culturales entre Estados Unidos y Latinoamérica, dirigidas por la Unión Panamericana, como laboratorios para libertad de expresión y otros conceptos que comenzaron a identificarse fundamentalmente con la política exterior de Estados Unidos en el siglo XX y la guerra fría en el continente americano. Dentro del favorable clima institucional para la diplomacia cultural en la PAU, el AMA debe su existencia a la labor hercúlea del crítico de arte y curador Cubano José Gómez Sicre, quien sirvió como director de la Sección de Artes Visuales de la Unión y pasó la mayor parte de su vida promocionando vigorosamente el Arte Latinoamericano al público de Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y Europeo. 4 No es coincidencia que la primera obra de arte que entró en la colección de la Unión, Return from the Fair (1940), una obra del artista brasilero Cândido Portinari, fuera un obsequio del propio Gómez Sicre. En décadas posteriores, Gómez Sicre iría a supervisar la impresionante colección que acumuló como consecuencia de su generosidad.5 Como crítico joven y curador, Gómez Sicre había soñado con fundar un museo dedicado al arte moderno en La Habana, pero obstáculos personales y políticos hicieron que el sueño fuera poco probable a mediados de la década de los 40, Gómez Sicre puso todos sus esfuerzos en hacerlo realidad en la Unión Panamericana. La historiadora de arte Andrea Giunta observó que la vanguardia de la postguerra en Latinoamérica estaba más a menudo interesada en construir instituciones que los profanaban, y Gómez Sicre no fue la excepción.6 El reflexivo anti-institucionalismo asociado con los movimientos de vanguardia Europea no tuvieron asentamiento en el mundo del arte Latinoamericano donde, en muchos casos, había pocos fuertes para atacar. Adicionalmente, los años siguientes a la Segunda guerra mundial en Latinoamérica estaban generalmente marcados por el optimismo, ya que el comercio transatlántico y los via jes se reestablecieron. Y las pólizas de los regimenes de la nueva post-guerra dieron la posibilidad de reciprocidad y reconocimiento para los movimientos culturales de Latinoamérica a través de estructuras que emergieron de la política internacional. Los programas de artes visuales de la PAU después de la post-guerra fueron paralelos al establecimiento de lugares dedicados al arte moderno a través de toda Latinoamérica. Después de su fundación, el AMA comenzó también a ser un destino en el circuito hemisférico en las instituciones de arte atrayendo no sólo artistas sino críticos y administradores que entraron a la institución como empleados civiles internacionales, internos becados, agregados culturales y emba jadores.7 Además de Gómez Sicre, dos prominentes intelectuales latinoamericanos contribuyeron significativamente a darle forma a la interpretación del arte histórico de la colección del AMA. El primero es Rafael Squirru (Argentina, 1925), quien llegó a Washington, D.C. en Abril de 1963 para asumir la posición de Director Cultural de la Unión Panamericana en el momento en que los asuntos externos de los Estados Unidos hacia Latinoamérica estaban preocupados por el crecimiento del comunismo y por la revolución Cubana. Como crítico adepto que estaba abierto a las modalidades estéticas emergentes, como el arte pop y los happenings, Squirro mismo se dedicó a reivindicar el derecho por la centralidad de las artes y las humanidades dentro de un económico y democrático liberalismo en las sociedades de América Latina.8 Posteriormente, en 1983, Marta Traba (Colombia, [nacida en Argentina], 1923-1983) la crítica de arte más prominente que emergió dentro de la nueva izquierda Latinoamericana durante las décadas de los años sesenta y setenta, llegó al PAU para dirigir la re-instalación de la colección permanente del Museo de Arte Moderno de Latinoamérica. Además, Traba escribió una ambiciosa historia del arte latinoamericano contemporáneo, basada principalmente en ejemplos de la colección del museo. El plan de reinstalación de Traba enfatizó cinco corrientes estéticas transnacionales destacadas en la colección del AMA: modernismos pioneros, abstracción lírica, abstracción geométrica, figuración, y arte vernáculo.9 Dado los diferentes compromisos estéticos y políticos, formaciones culturales y afiliaciones generacionales que tomaron parte en las relaciones de Gómez Sicre con Squirru y Traba respectivamente, no es sorprendente que una extensa chismografía, o archivo de chismes, rodeara sus interacciones con estos dos poderosos críticos que se unieron a él en el PAU durante diferentes periodos en la historia de la institución. Sin embargo, el hecho de que la colección del Museo pudiera servir como punto de convergencia de estas tres figuras durante la propia Guerra Fría es sorprendente; esto atestigua la forma en que los modernistas de post guerra Latinoamericanos correspondieron a un ideal de autonomía cultural a través de divisiones ideológicas, y en la forma en la cual esta colección en particular habló de la inversión compartida de estos críticos para avanzar en perspectivas continentales para el estudio y exhibición del arte latinoamericano ante un dominio estadounidense y Europeo del campo.10 110 | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma


About The Venues

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma The University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is one of the finest university art museums in the United States. Strengths of the nearly 16,000-object permanent collection (including the approx. 3,300-object Eugene B. Adkins Collection and the approx. 4,500-object James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection) are the Weitzenhoffer Collection of French Impressionism, twentiethcentury American painting and sculpture, traditional and contemporary Native American art, art of the Southwest, ceramics, photography, contemporary art, Asian art and graphics from the sixteenth century to the present. Photo: Eric H. Anderson

Ghislain d’Humières After studying history and art history at the Sorbonne in Paris, Ghislain d’Humières became a specialist in eighteenth-century furniture for Sotheby’s London, and then transferred to New York. He became the director of the jewelry department at Christie’s of Los Angeles and then transferred to Christie’s in Geneva where he was in charge of international clients from Europe and South America. In 2004, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco hired him as assistant director in charge of the opening of the new de Young Museum. Following that appointment, d’Humières joined the University of Oklahoma in 2007 as the Bill and Wylodean Saxon Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, where he oversaw the construction of the Stuart Wing, which opened in 2011.

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Art Museum of the Americas Organization of American States The origin of the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States dates back to 1917 with the establishment of the Visual Arts Unit of the then Pan American Union. Today, AMA’s work is based on the principle that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities. This serves to promote the core values of the OAS by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, dialogue, and learning. AMA’s work advances the inter-American agenda, drawing on the arts to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the region via local and hemispheric cultural exchange. The museum’s permanent collection of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art is one of the most important of its kind in the United States. Photo: Andrés Navia

Andrés Navia Andrés Navia is the head of the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas. Before joining the OAS, he worked at the Inter-American Development Bank in cultural tourism projects in the Maya region and youth violence prevention programs in Central America. Navia is a graduate from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Washington, D.C., where he obtained his M.A., and from the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, where he obtained a B.A. in political science. Since he joined AMA over four years ago, he has made an effort to streamline the operation of the AMA, strengthening its social outreach programs and developing partnerships. Navia is an advocate of inventive and socially engaged art from Latin America and the Caribbean and supports new curatorial interpretations of the AMA’s permanent collection.

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Publication Notes Copyright © 2013 The University of Oklahoma This catalogue has been published in conjunction with the exhibition Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art October 5, 2013, through January 5, 2014 Art Museum of the Americas May 29, 2014, through September 14, 2014 No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form without the written consent of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Catalogue authors: Claire F. Fox, Mark Andrew White, Cierra Frances, and Francesca Giani Catalogue designer: Joshua Boydston Copy editor: Jo Ann Reece Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art The University of Oklahoma 555 Elm Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma 73019-3003 phone: 405.325.3272; fax: 405.325.7696 www.ou.edu/fjjma Library of Congress Control Number: 2013945697 ISBN: 978-0-9851609-6-8 This catalogue was printed by the University of Oklahoma Printing Services and is issued by the University of Oklahoma. 1,000 copies have been printed and distributed at no cost to the taxpayers of Oklahoma. COVER (DETAIL): Lola Fernández (Costa Rica, b. 1926) Untitled, 1978 Mixed media on wood, 26 in. diameter (66 cm. diameter) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Purchase Fund, 1982 TITLE PAGE: Manabu Mabe (Brazil, 1924–1997) Agonía (Agony), 1963 Oil on canvas, 75 x 75 in. (190 x 190 cm.) OAS | Art Museum of the Americas Collection. Gift of Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho, 1964

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Libertad de Expresión Exhibition Catalog Preview