Making Art Concrete exhibition catalog

Pia Gottschaller and Aleca Le Blanc, 2017

Edited by Pia Gottschaller, Aleca Le Blanc, Zanna Gilbert, Tom Learner, and Andrew Perchuk

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In the years after World War II, artists in Argentina and Brazil experimented with geometric abstraction and engaged in lively debates about the role of the artwork in society. Some of these artists used novel synthetic materials, creating objects that offered an alternative to established traditions in painting—proposing that these objects become part of everyday, concrete reality. Combining art-historical and scientific analysis, experts from the Getty Conservation Institute and Getty Research Institute collaborated with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, a world-renowned collection of Latin American art, to research the formal strategies and material decisions of these artists working in the concrete and neo-concrete vein.

Making Art Concrete presents works by Lygia Clark, Willys de Castro, Judith Lauand, Raúl Lozza, Hélio Oiticica, and Rhod Rothfuss, among others, with spectacular new photography. The photographs, along with information about the now-invisible processes that determine the appearance of these works, are key to interpreting the artists' technical choices as well as the objects themselves. Indeed, this volume sheds further light on the social, political, and cultural underpinnings of the artists' propositions, making a compelling addition to the field of postwar Latin American art.

This volume accompanied the exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center September 16, 2017 through February 11, 2018. Making Art Concrete was part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.

Catalog Essay (Online Exclusive)
"Creación de Arte Concreto" by Pia Gottschaller. Translated from the original, "Making Art Concrete" by Carolina Azuero Gutiérrez.

Pia Gottschaller was a senior research specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute. Aleca Le Blanc is assistant professor of art history at the University of California, Riverside. Zanna Gilbert is a research specialist at the Getty Research Institute. Tom Learner is head of science at the Getty Conservation Institute. Andrew Perchuk is deputy director of the Getty Research Institute.