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Announcement
October 6, 2021

ISLAA Exhibition Talks for “From Surface to Space”: Max Bill and Concrete Sculpture in Buenos Aires

Institute for Studies on Latin American Art

Enio Iommi, Elevación del triángulo (Triangle Elevation), 1956. © the artist. Photo: Arturo Sánchez.

International Dialogues in Experimental Design
Presented in collaboration with the Zentrum Paul Klee
Featuring talks by Julian Bittiner, Liz Donato, and Aleca Le Blanc
October 14, 12pm EDT, register

Recasting Concretism: New Looks at Max Bill in Latin America
Presented in collaboration with The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Featuring talks by Heloisa Espada, Francesca Ferrari, and Adele Nelson
October 21, 12pm EDT, register

The Swiss artist, designer, architect, and educator Max Bill (1908–1994) has long been considered an instrumental figure in the development of mid-century Latin American abstraction. In the 1940s and ’50s, artists embraced Bill’s theories and transformed the language of concretism, founding groups such as Argentina’s Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención and Madí that invoked and expanded on his practice.

In conjunction with its exhibition “From Surface to Space”: Max Bill and Concrete Sculpture in Buenos Aires, the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) will present two live online events that offer new perspectives on Bill’s transnational influence and his exchanges with artists and designers in Latin America.

International Dialogues in Experimental Design, co-organized by ISLAA and the Zentrum Paul Klee on the occasion of the exhibitions “From Surface to Space” and max bill global, will examine the emergence of teaching strategies, art schools, and design philosophies inspired by the Bauhaus during the second half of the twentieth century. In their presentations, designer Julian Bittiner and art historians Liz Donato and Aleca Le Blanc will discuss the Ulm School of Design in Germany, the Valparaíso School of Architecture in Chile, and the relationship between concrete art and design in Argentina and Brazil. Their talks will be followed by a conversation moderated by curator Fabienne Eggelhöfer.

Recasting Concretism: New Looks at Max Bill in Latin America, co-hosted by ISLAA and The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, as part of the Latin American Forum, will explore Bill’s role in shaping concrete art and reassess the prevailing art historical narratives charting his legacy in the region. In their lectures and moderated discussion, art historians Heloisa Espada, Francesca Ferrari, and Adele Nelson will probe the nuanced connections between Bill’s work and that of his contemporaries in the Americas.

These programs will be conducted in English and livestreamed on Zoom. For more information about the events and the speakers, please visit our website.

About “From Surface to Space”: Max Bill and Concrete Sculpture in Buenos Aires
Curated by Francesca Ferrari, “From Surface to Space”: Max Bill and Concrete Sculpture in Buenos Aires explores concurrent experiments in concrete sculpture amid the formative, transnational creative dialogue between the Swiss artist Max Bill and the Argentine avant-garde from 1946 to 1955. Featuring sculptures and drawings by Carmelo Arden Quin, Max Bill, Claudio Girola, Enio Iommi, Gyula Kosice, and Lidy Prati, it frames Bill’s relationship to his Argentine peers as one of reciprocal impact, revealing how artists in Buenos Aires reacted to Bill’s theories while Bill reoriented his characterization of concrete art after encountering their work.

“From Surface to Space” is conceived as a complementary exhibition to max bill global, curated by Fabienne Eggelhöfer with assistance from Myriam Dössegger, at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland.

Schedule a visit to the exhibition, on view through October 30 at ISLAA in New York City.

About ISLAA
The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) is dedicated to increasing the visibility of Latin American art on an international scale. Founded in 2011, ISLAA advances scholarship and public engagement with art from across the region through its program of exhibitions, publications, events, and university partnerships. ISLAA sponsors lectures and symposia organized by scholars, contemporary artists, and graduate students. Its publication program includes support for academic volumes, exhibition catalogues, and artists’ books, as well as a journal, Vistas, published in-house. ISLAA also hosts an exhibition series on modern and contemporary Latin American art at its space in New York City.

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