Peruvian Geometric Art: Filling Gaps in Peruvian Art Narratives

Museo de Arte de Lima - Peru
Museo de Arte de Lima

In the last decade, what Mari Carmen Ramirez calls the Frida Kahlo’s Syndrome in the US towards Latin American art is breaking down to give place to other art tendencies and histories about Latin American Art. In this perspective, Exhibitions such as Inverted Utopias (2004) in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and The Geometry of Hope (2007) have intended to relocate Latin American abstraction as an original movement in itself. While Constructive Spirit (2010), has stressed the links that have shaped both Latin American and American abstraction. However, in these exhibitions the participation of Peruvian artists have been very limited or none. Is this because in Peru geometric art was not an important art tendency? Or is it because the lack of a coherent and institutionalized art history had not allowed a visibilization of those works? I think it is the latter. However, in Peru things are changing to a more complete and encompass history of art.

First, in 2010, in celebration of its 40th anniversary, the Museo de Arte de San Marcos presented its enriched collection of contemporary art. This collection provides an important visual narrative that included different artists – from Lima and other regions- and from different tendencies. This gives referent to start an exhaustive research on the work of many of these artists. Second, the Museo de Arte de Lima has inaugurated this May 18th a compelling exhibition of the geometric artist Jorge Piqueras, called Jorge Piqueras: De la Estructura al Estillado. Una Geometria en Proceso 1952-59. This exhibition shows for the first time diverse material never seen before and opens up the arena for a broader exploration on Peruvian geometric art. With this the Museo de Arte de Lima, also responds to the international interest in Latin American abstract art, showing the Peruvian contribution. As the curators mention “Así, al documentar un periodo crucial en la obra de Piqueras esta muestra esboza también una importante aproximación al breve interludio del arte geométrico en Loma entre 1945 y 1955, sin duda un periodo crucial e injustamente olvidado de la historia plástica peruana del siglo XX”.

Posted by Giuliana Borea – PhD Candidate in Anthropology at NYU

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