Abstraction in Action Clarissa Tossin: Unmapping the World https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/clarissa-tossin-unmapping-world/


Artist: Clarissa Tossin

Unmapping the World -Book release & Conversation with Michael Ned Holte
June 13, 2014
Samuel Freeman Gallery
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Unmapping the World is organized around a set of works produced by Clarissa Tossin over a period of five years during artist residencies, and commissioned by Brazilian and North American art institutions. These works manifest the development of a poetics that employs a wide range of strategies in order to address contemporary issues. Tossin’s objects, videos, and installations explore a broad and intricate spectrum of desires, impasses, and utopias, while also establishing their own expressive logic, above and beyond these topics.

Driven by the curiosity of the artist-anthropologist, Tossin’s works are formed through analysis of the politics of space and urban spaces, as well as interrogations into the mappings and discourses of power, relationships of consumption and identity, circulations of symbols and ideas, and the role of architecture—particularly that of Brasília, a modernist monument that she has come to call ‘home.’

The book is bilingual, in English and Portuguese, and includes texts by Moacir dos Anjos, Michael Ned Holte, and Guilherme Wisnik. The publication has been made possible by a fellowship from the California Community Foundation.

June 15, 2015 Miguel Rothschild: Book presentation https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/miguel-rothschild-book-presentation/


Artist: Miguel Rothschild

Book presentation
May 1, 2015
Kuckei + Kuckei Gallery
Belin, Germany

On this occasion, the artist will present his new book, which is published by Hatje Cantz Verlag and show some of his work along with it.

May 5, 2015 Force Fields-Phases of the Kinetic https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/modern/force-fields-phases-kinetic/


Force Fields-Phases of the Kinetic
By Guy Brett and Suzanne Cotter
July 1, 2000
ACTAR , Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
334 pages

A comprehensive study of the field of kinetic art which, although practiced by many notable artists, has remained relatively hidden from a large audience because of its under-representation in art museums and publications. Force Fields examines the entire history of the art form, covering works from the 1920’s through the 1980’s. Featured artists include Marcel Duchamp, Lazslo Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Calder, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Jean Tinguely, Henri Michaux, James Whitney, Takis, Fran ois Morellet, Jesus Rafael Soto, Pol Bury, Sergio Camargo, Sol LeWitt, Gego, Helio Oticia, Mira Schendel, Lygia Clark, Robert Smithson, Gordon Matta-Clark, Agnes Denes, Hans Haacke, Medalla, Dieter Roth, Len Lye, Liliane Lijn, Julio le Parc, Li Yuan-Chia, Dom Sylvester Houedard, Leandre Crist/fol and John Latham, among others.

March 20, 2015 The Experimental Exercise of Freedom: Lygia Clark, Gego, Mathias Goeritz, Helio Oiticica, And Mira Schendel https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/modern/experimental-exercise-freedom-lygia-clark-gego-mathias-goeritz-helio-oiticica-mira-schendel/


The Experimental Exercise of Freedom: Lygia Clark, Gego, Mathias Goeritz, Helio Oiticica, And Mira Schendel
By Rian Carvajal and Alma Ruiz
Essays by Catherine David, Suely Rolnik, Sonia Salzstein, Osvaldo Sanchez
January 2, 2000
259 pages

This catalogue accompanied the exhibition Exercise of Freedom, on view at MOCA October 17 1999 – January 23, 2000.

Encompassing approximately one hundred pieces, this exhibition examined the contributions of five artists-Lygia Clark, Gego, Mathias Goeritz, Hélio Oiticica, and Mira Schendel-who created innovative and highly individualistic work in Latin America from the late 1950s to the 1970s. During the period highlighted by the exhibition, these artists moved away from traditional art forms such as paintings and sculpture, for a new aesthetic that connected directly with the cultures in which they lived.
January 21, 2015 The Geometry of Hope, Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/modern/geometry-hope-latin-american-art-patricia-phelps-de-cisneros-collection/


The Geometry of Hope, Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection
by Gabriel Perez-Barreiro (Author and Editor), Cecilia de Torres (Author), and Patricia Phelps de Cisnernos (Preface)
July 1, 2007
The Blanton Museum of Art
344 pages

Colorful and playful kinetic sculptures, experimental objects designed to be catalysts for community building, manifestos calling for joy and the negation of melancholy: these are the elements that have shaped The Geometry of Hope. The title of this richly illustrated, 340-page volume brings together two threads that epitomize postwar abstract art from Latin America: on the one hand, geometry, precision, clarity and reason; on the other, a utopian sense of hope. The book contains new scholarship by an international cast, with examinations of six key cities–Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas and Paris–as well as insightful essays on individual works of art. It comes to us via the Cisneros Graduate Seminar, a collaborative program of the Blanton Museum in Austin, Texas, and the renowned Fundacion Cisneros, and covers more than four decades of art-making with works by 52 artists, among them Lygia Clark, Gego, Jesus Rafael Soto and Helio Oiticica.

August 26, 2014 The Sites of Latin American Abstraction https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/modern/sites-latin-american-abstraction/


The Sites of Latin American Abstraction
Edited by Juan Ledezma. Foreword by Ella Fontanals-Cisneros. Introduction by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill
Charta / CIFO

The history of Latin American abstraction has not yet been completely written, but what has been written owes much to the Miami-based Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation. This substantial new publication includes 146 abstract geometric artworks from the 1930s-1970s–drawings, paintings, sculptures and photography from such cultural centers as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. It also elaborates on a new perspective: that Latin American identity greatly affected the art of the Modernist period. Art historian and curator Juan Ledezma creates unexpected connections and visual analogies across generational and national boundaries, offering, for example, socio-political corollaries between Latin American Concrete art and concurrent movements like Russian Constructivism and Suprematism.

August 1, 2014 Inverted Utopias, Avant-Garde Art in Latin America https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/modern/inverted-utopias-avant-garde-art-latin-america/


Inverted Utopias, Avant-Garde Art in Latin America
Mari Carmen Ramírez and Héctor Olea et al.
August 11, 2004
608 pages

In the twentieth century, avant-garde artists from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean created extraordinary and highly innovative paintings, sculptures, assemblages, mixed-media works, and installations. This innovative book presents more than 250 works by some seventy of these artists (including Gego, Joaquín Torres-García, Xul Solar, and José Clemente Orozco) and artists’ groups, along with interpretive essays by leading authorities and newly translated manifestoes and other theoretical documents written by the artists. Together the images and texts showcase the astonishing artistic achievements of the Latin American avant-garde.

The book focuses on two decisive periods: the return from Europe in the 1920s of Latin American avant-garde pioneers; and the expansion of avant-garde activities throughout Latin America after World War II as artists expressed their independence from developments in Europe and the United States. As the authors explain, during these periods Latin American art was fueled by the belief that artistic creations could present a form of utopia—an inversion of the original premise that drove the European avant-garde—and serve as a model for a new society.

As an insightful source for new ideas about the nature and function of modern art, Inverted Utopias is an essential book that will become a classic text in the field.

Mari Carmen Ramírez is the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Héctor Olea is an independent scholar and curator specializing in Latin American modern art.

May 20, 2014 Abstracción temporal (Temporary Abstraction), Museo Experimental El Eco 2010 https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/contemporary/abstraccion-temporal-temporary-abstraction-museo-experimental-el-eco-2010/


Abstracción temporal (Temporary Abstraction), Museo Experimental El Eco 2010
Mexico City, Mexico

“Art in general, and naturally architecture as well, is a reflection of the spiritual state of the man of its time. But there is a sense that the modern architect, individualized and intellectual, exaggerates at times—perhaps due to having lost close contact with the community—when wanting to highlight architecture’s rational side excessively. […] Only by receiving true emotions from architecture, man can consider it again art.” This is an excerpt from the introduction of the book “Abstracción Temporal, Museo Experimental El Eco 2010,” which gathers different activities (or “experiments” as they call them) that took place in Museo Experimental El Eco the same year.


Based on Mathias Goeritz’s Emotional Architecture Manifesto from 1953, El Eco establishes its grounds to understand the reason why this museum is a space for creation, experimentation and emotion in different levels. This summary of “experiments” is an interesting book that presents more than 20 examples of visual arts, architecture, music, poetry, film, performance and dance. Projects such as Pabellón Eco, Archivo Vivo de El Eco (Eco Pavilion, Live Archive of El Eco), Cine Abierto (Open Cinema), and its curator and artist residency program, are presented through interviews, visual information and letters which enhance the way the reader interacts with the book. The publication includes works, interviews, actions and interventions by Thomas Glassford, Alex Hubbard, Karina Peisajovich, Georgina Bringas, Omar Barquet, Geoffrey Farmer, El Resplandor, Marcos Castro, My Barbarian, Inger-Reidun Olsen, Frida Escobedo, José León Cerrillo, Adriana Lara, Lázaro Valiente, Melanie Smith, Rafael Ortega, Alejandra Laviada, N’Goné Fall, Sharon Houkema, Adrian Notz, Postopolis!DF, Verbatim Vortex, and José Jiménez Ortiz.

Texts by José León Cerrillo, Rita Eder, N’Goné Fall, Geoffrey Farmer, Mathias Goeritz, José Jiménez Ortiz, Jennifer Josten, Adriana Lara, Alejandra Laviada, David Miranda, My Barbarian, Adrian Notz, Tobias Ostrander, Ricardo Pohlenz, El Resplandor, Inger-Reidun Olsen, and Paola Santoscoy.

*Images taken from Arquine

January 12, 2014 “Discrepant Abstraction (Annotating Art’s Histories)” edited by Kobena Mercer https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/contemporary/book-discrepant-abstraction-annotating-arts-histories-edited-by-kobena-mercer/


Kobena Mercer Ed. Discrepant Abstraction (Annotating Art’s Histories) The Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA), The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England, 2006

For anyone who thinks the question of abstract art is settled, this book will come as a surprise. Discrepant abstraction is hybrid and partial, elusive and repetitive, obstinate and strange. It includes almost everything that does not neatly fit into the institutional narrative of abstract art as a monolithic quest for artistic purity. Exploring cross-cultural scenarios in twentieth-century art, this second volume in the Annotating Art’s Histories series alters our understanding of abstract art as a signifier of modernity by revealing the multiple directions it has taken in wide-ranging international contexts.

November 5, 2013 “Abstraction: Documents of Contemporary Art” edited by Maria Lind https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/contemporary/book-abstraction-documents-of-contemporary-art-edited-by-maria-lind/


Maria Lind Ed. Abstraction: Documents of Contemporary Art, Whitechapel Gallery, London & The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2013

This anthology reconsiders crucial aspects of abstraction’s resurgence in contemporary art, exploring three equally significant strategies explored in current practice: formal abstraction, economic abstraction, and social abstraction. In the 1960s, movements as diverse as Latin American neo-concretism, op art and “eccentric abstraction” disrupted the homogeneity, universality, and rationality associated with abstraction. These modes of abstraction opened up new forms of engagement with the phenomenal world as well as the possibility of diverse readings of the same forms, ranging from formalist and transcendental to socio-economic and conceptual.

November 5, 2013 “Monochromes from Malevich to the Present” by Barbara Rose https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/modern/book-monochromes-from-malevich-to-the-present-by-barbara-rose/


Barbara Rose. Monochromes from Malevich to the Present, University of California Press, Berkley, Los Angeles, London, 2004

The first comprehensive study of the modern history of monochrome art, Monochromes traces the development of single-color artwork—painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installations—up to the present. With almost 160 full-color reproductions, this stunning book examines fundamental aesthetic issues raised by the monochrome in a historical context. The authors ask whether the monochrome is the last and most radical phase of abstract painting or instead a point of departure for installations and environments. Among the many artists featured in this book are Alexander Rodchenko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Robert Irwin, and Isamu Noguchi. The book includes writings on the monochrome by twenty-six artists, from Kasimir Malevich to Warhol, and from Carl Andre, Reinhardt, and Donald Judd to Ben Nicholson, Robert Ryman, and Anish Kapoor. In an engaging essay, Barbara Rose deftly surveys the divergent complex issues raised by the monochrome.

November 5, 2013 “The Infinite Line, Re-making Art After Modernism” by Briony Fer https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/contemporary/book-the-infinite-line-re-making-art-after-modernism-by-briony-fer/


Briony Fer. The Infinite Line, Re-making Art After Modernism, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2004

This landmark book offers a radical reinterpretation of the innovative art of the late 1950s and 1960s. Examining the work of major artists of the period—including Mark Rothko, Piero Manzoni, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse, Blinky Palermo, and Louise Bourgeois—Briony Fer focuses on the overriding tendency toward repetition and seriality that occurred at the moment of modernism’s decline, gained ground in its aftermath, and continues to shape much of the art seen today.

November 5, 2013 “On Abstract Art” by Briony Fer https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/modern/book-on-abstract-art-by-briony-fer/


On Abstract Art, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1997 (2008)

Many people are intrigued by the abstract work of artists like Mondrian and Jackson Pollock yet find it difficult to explain why. In this timely and original book, Briony Fer introduces abstract painting and sculpture of the twentieth century and explores new ways to think about abstract art and the problems of interpretation it raises.

November 5, 2013