Royal Academy of Arts

Radical Geometry

Modern Art of South America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection

05 Jul - 28 Sep 2014

Alfredo Hlito
Chromatic Rhythms II, 1947.
Oil on canvas. 69.9 x 70.2 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Sonia Henríquez Ureña de Hlito.
Tomás Maldonado
Development of 14 Themes, 1951-52.
Oil on canvas. 200.3 x 210.2 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Tomás Maldonado.
Geraldo de Barros
Diagonal Function, 1952.
Lacquer on plywood. 62.9 x 62.9 x 1.3 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Fabiana and Lenora de Barros.
Juan Melé
Irregular Frame No. 2, 1946.
Oil on plywood. 71.1 x 50.2 x 2.5 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Estate of Juan Melé.
Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt)
Sphere, 1976.
Stainless steel. 99.1 x 91.4 x 88.9 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Fundación Gego.
Hélio Oiticica
Red Monochrome, c. 1959.
Oil on plywood. 29.8 x 29.8 x 2.9 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Projeto Hélio Oiticica.
Joaquín Torres-García
Construction in White and Black, 1938.
Oil on paper mounted on wood. 80.7 x 102 cm. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honour of David Rockefeller, 2004. Photo Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros..
Lygia Pape
Untitled (from the series Weaving), 1959.
Woodcut on paper. 24.4 x 24.8 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Projeto Lygia Pape.
Hélio Oiticica
Metascheme, 1958.
Gouache and ink on cardboard. 50 x 61 cm. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. © Projeto Hélio Oiticica.
RADICAL GEOMETRY
Modern Art of South America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection
5 July — 28 September 2014

From radical innovations in the use of colour and form to new materials like neon and interactive, kinetic sculpture, this exhibition reveals some of the most original art of the last 100 years.

The time: 1930s. The place: South America. The stage was set for a major innovation in art. Over the next 50 years, artists across five cities would pioneer a new visual language to express their deeply held beliefs about art and its power to change the world around them.

Radical Geometry brings together work from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros by some of the great innovators of South American modern art, from Torres-García in Uruguay to Lygia Clark in Brazil, from Maldonado in Argentina to Gego in Venezuela. Inspired by European artists such as Mondrian and Kandinsky, their bold experiments with space, movement and colour radically transformed the relationship between art and viewer.

This is art that refuses to be contained by its own perimeter, art that ruptures the boundary between the object and the space around it and introduces dynamic forms to give the illusion of motion and volatility. You will see work that changes as you move around it, and “drawings without paper” that use negative space and shadow to create unique, fleeting compositions.
 

Tags: Lygia Clark, Gego, Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian