Abstraction in Action

Organization Statement

Abstraction in Action is a broad and dynamic platform dedicated to the promotion and research of contemporary abstract art from Latin America since the 1990s seeking to activate the field and foster new perspectives.

The Sayago & Pardon Collection in conjunction with Abstraction in Action’s interactive database of contemporary abstract artists, publications, exhibitions and projects provides context, information and resources in the field.

About Abstraction in Action

Abstraction in Action is an interactive project born out of research on the contemporary production of abstract art in Latin America. The original aim of the research was to produce an exhibition illustrating the experimental and innovative nature of contemporary abstraction in Latin America. The body of work discovered was so rich, diverse, and exciting that it required the creation of a broader platform that not only encompassed the show, but also this expansive growing field of contemporary art. It is because of this powerful body of abstract art that Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, curator of Abstraction in Action, and the Sayago & Pardon Collection, with its focus on contemporary Latin American abstraction, have partnered to bring Abstraction in Action to life.

Abstraction in Action attests firstly to the importance and long lasting legacy of geometric abstraction and modernism in Latin America between 1940 and the late 1970s, either in the expansion of the inherited traditions or in the deconstruction of canonical ideas related to these. Secondly, it sustains an engagement in a global dialogue around contemporary art and ideas, coupled with a high degree of experimentation in a wide array of media that spans painting, drawing, sculpture, installation art, photography, video art and technology. Many of these artists incorporate mass and popular culture both conceptually and aesthetically into abstract art. For some of these artists, abstraction may not be the only language that they explore, as some work with a figurative vocabulary, incorporate photographic or video images of the world, or even combine both abstract and figurative iconography in one single work.

Abstraction in Action is an ongoing collaborative platform that encompasses this exciting field of contemporary art and seeks to incorporate the multiple voices of artists, curators, writers and researchers in the field.

Curator

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is a British/Venezuelan art historian and curator of modern and contemporary art, specializing in Latin American art and currently based in Southern California. Fajardo-Hill holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Essex, England and a MA in 20th century Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England. Fajardo-Hill was the Chief Curator at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, California between 2009 and 2012. She was the Director and Chief Curator of the Cisneros Fontanals Arts Foundation (CIFO), a non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of contemporary art from Latin America; and the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Collection, an international collection of contemporary art, Miami, Florida between 2005 and 2008. She was General Director of Sala Mendoza, an alternative space for contemporary art in Caracas, Venezuela between 1997 and 2001.

Curatorial Advisors

Every country in Latin America has a unique production of abstract art and its own dynamics of exhibitions, publications and research. With the aim of being as comprehensive as possible and include a multiplicity of curatorial voices, Abstraction in Action has invited curators with a special interest and experience working with contemporary abstraction in Latin America, to join the project as Curatorial Advisors.

Oscar Roldán-Alzate

Oscar Roldán-Alzate is a political scientist with an interest in research and cultural analysis, focusing on history, visual studies and art theory. Roldán-Alzate holds an MFA and a Master of Political Science from the Universidad de Antioquia. Roldán-Alzate has been the chief curator of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín since 2008 and has imparted classes at Universidad de Antioquia since 2003. Recent curatorial projects include: 43 Salón Nacional de Artistas in Colombia Saber Desconocer, Medellín, 2013; Sociales: Débora Arango llega hoy… which traveled to Museo Nacional, Bogotá, 2012, Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach, CA, 2013; and Mint Museum, Charlotte, 2013; and Bienes Mostrencos, a solo exhibition of artist Carlos Garaicoa at Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, 2010.

Carlos E. Palacios

Carlos E. Palacios is a Venezuelan curator and art critic. Palacios holds an MA in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, and a Masters Diploma of Advanced Studies from the Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, in the Doctoral program in History, Theory and Criticism of the Arts. Palacios obtained a BA in Art History from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Palacios was Chief Curator at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City between 2011 and 2013; and curator of contemporary art at the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros between 2005 and 2010. Palacios is currently a professor of the Master in Artistic Production at the Universidad Autónoma de Morelos and the Centro Morelense de las Artes, CEMA, in Cuernavaca, México.

Claudio Iglesias

Claudio Iglesias is an Argentine art critic, curator, translator and editor living in Buenos Aires. Iglesias holds a Bachelor Degree in Literature from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and a Bachelor of Arts from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Iglesias has been an advisor at the Nuevo Museo Energía de Arte Contemporáneo since its foundation and is part of the editorial collective Actividad de Uso. Since 2012 he has worked as guest professor in the Art Department of the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires. His essays have been published in magazines such as ramona, Otra Parte, A*Desk and Manifesta Journal, among others, as well as in various exhibition catalogues. He edited and translated Antología del decandentismo francés, 1880-1900 (Caja Negra Editora, 2007) and was awarded the fellowship Beca para Multiplicadores Culturales, Goethe Institute.

The Sayago & Pardon Collection is committed to inspire and expand the understanding of Latin American art in a global context through its collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art, via the establishment and support of broad philanthropic initiatives.

Contemporary Abstraction in the Sayago & Pardon Collection centers on contemporary abstract art from Latin America since the 1990s which expands and deconstructs the modernist legacy of the continent. This focus encompasses engaging and challenging aesthetic and conceptual abstract propositions in dialogue with a global context.

Abstraction in Action Team

Sammy Sayago Co-Founder
Nicholas Pardon Co-Founder & Director
Cecilia Fajardo-Hill Curator
Spencer Johnston, Esq. General Counsel
Gregory Attaway Art Collection Manager greg@sayagopardon.com
Frida Cano Curatorial Assistant frida@sayagopardon.com
Selene Preciado Curatorial Assistant Editing & Translation
Timothy Long Lead Designer  
Christopher King Designer
Carlos Garcia Editorial Designer