October 19, 2015

Boundless Reality: Traveler artists’ landscapes of Latin America from The Patricia Phelps De Cisneros Collection

Hunter College
Alessandro Ciccarelli, View of Rio de Janeiro, c. 1840, 1811–79, Italy. Oil on canvas, 56.5 x 81.3 cm. Courtesy of The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection.

Boundless Reality features more than 150 works by artists from Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Spanning three and a half centuries of Latin American landscape art, the show includes works by 17th-century Dutch artist Frans Post; by the numerous artists from Europe and the United States who visited the region during the first half of the 19th century; and by native-born artists forging a language of national landscape painting during the late 19th century. The show includes drawings, paintings, photographs, and books by key figures including Ferdinand Bellermann, Frederic Edwin Church, Marc Ferrez, Auguste Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Frederick Catherwood and José María Velasco. Two paintings in the exhibition by Frans Post predate the 19th century, but most works were made during the 1830s, ’40s, and ’50s, the years following the Latin American wars of independence.

Boundless Reality delves into a genre that is receiving increasing scholarly attention. While Alexander von Humboldt’s observations about the region’s extraordinary scenery were influential, it was only after the colonies obtained independence from Spain that Latin America became widely available to the gaze of foreign artists. Traveling alone and on commercial and diplomatic missions, these artists documented the diversity and force of their encounters with the newly independent nations of Latin America.

The exhibition is curated by Harper Montgomery, the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Professor of Latin American Art at Hunter College, and students from her master’s course, Curatorial Practicum: Subjectivity and the Nineteenth-Century Latin American Landscape. Boundless Reality is the culmination of a multi-year collaboration between Hunter College, The Graduate Center at City University of New York (CUNY), Americas Society, and the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC).


Public programs:
Landscape walk in central park
Saturday, October 31, 2–3:30pm
The Dairy Visitor Center, Central Park
(Only for AS Members and Hunter College students)

Exhibition tour with Harper Montgomery, Rafael Romero and Rafael Santana
Wednesday, November 4, 6:30pm
Meeting point: Americas Society

Landscape walk in Central Park
Saturday, November 7, 2–3:30pm
The Dairy Visitor Center, Central Park
(Only for AS Members and Hunter College students)

“The Impenetrability of Landscape,” a talk by artist Alice Miceli
Monday, November 30, 6:30pm
Americas Society

Talk with scholar Daniela Bleichmar
Wednesday, December 2, 7pm
Hunter College Main Campus

“Poema Volcánico,” a talk with artist Eduardo Navarro with independent curator Sarah Demeuse
Tuesday, December 8, 6:30pm
Americas Society

Exhibition tour with Anna Ficek
Wednesday, December 9, 6:30pm
Meeting point: Americas Society

“Exhibition Design,” a talk by Prem Krishnamurthy and Shannon Harvey
Tuesday, January 12, 6:30pm
Americas Society


For more information about the events, please visit

The presentation of the exhibition at Americas Society is made possible by the generous support of Mr. Alejandro Bulgheroni & Mrs. Bettina Bulgheroni, Adriana Cisneros de Griffin and Nicholas Griffin, Agnes Gund, The Lauder Foundation—Leonard & Judy Lauder Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Melanie Munk, Alvaro Saieh B., Alice Walton, and Art Agency Partners.

The fall 2015 Visual Arts program is supported by Jaime and Raquel Gilinski and, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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